Malayan audiences have often wondered why Vineeth Sreenivasan, who writes, directs and stars in Malayalam films, has not shifted his base from Chennai to Kerala. They are curious to know why he does not act in Tamil films or continues to rely on music to write. In an open conversation, Vineeth Sreenivasan talks about his latest film “Mukundan Unni Associates” and also about his future projects.
Adult Mukundan Unni and his tricks
The character in Mukundan Unni Associates is actually calmer than me. But Mukundan Unni can only think of himself. His only goal in life is his own success. His movements are often unpredictable. It was director Abhinav Sundar Nayak’s idea to try unique advertising ideas. He suggested opening a page on the social media platforms on behalf of Mukundan Unni. The posts that appeared on these pages gave clues about the character of Mukundan Unni.
They have some unique screenplay writing techniques. What are these?
Whenever ideas come to mind, I record them as voice clips with my own voice on my phone. This idea might not be as strong if I try to remember it later. Some dialogues are like that. I could remember the idea but would forget the words. So when I hear those ideas and words in my own voice, I can recall the circumstances that inspired them, or my state of mind at that moment. Also, I keep hearing a song that perfectly captures the mood of the scene I’m writing. When I get the character in the right mental state, I listen to the voice clips I recorded earlier. All of this helped me to write.
They have settled in Chennai. How do you experience Kerala and the incidents that happen here?
Although I live in Chennai I come to Kerala at least 5 or 6 times a month. I’m not far from here. The Keralites living out of state have a special bond with their hometown. I miss Thalassery even though I live in Chennai. The film Thattathin Marayathu was born out of this love for this place.
In Chennai I live in a place where nobody recognizes me. So I don’t miss a normal life. I got offers to act in Tamil films. If I become successful in Tamil films I will have a different image. Besides, I will also lose my freedom. Pranav also turned down offers from Tamil cinema. He’s someone who wants that kind of freedom.
What are your new films?
I developed a thread that had been in my head for some time into a film. So I started recording voice clips in my phone. I would start writing it next year. In the meantime, shooting is expected to start in 2024. I have a few more films that I will be in. So I intend to write after these films are finished.
What about the movie where you would share the screen with your dad?
We will appear together in “Kurukkan”. My father’s health has improved a lot now. It’s been more than a year since he traded. I think acting is his best medicine. Now he’s busy learning the dialogues. He has plans to start writing films again. But we’re afraid he might start smoking again when he sits down to write. So we asked him to take a break from writing.
Your student Basil’s films are becoming super hits. Do you have any advice for him?
Basil told me he would be acting until next February and then take a break from acting to direct a movie. Since his films are hits one after the other and the audience trusts him very much, it is better for Basil to focus on acting now. We are both similar. Even though we act in films, directing is still our passion.