After years of anticipation, Vada Chennai (North Chennai in English), the dream project of filmmaker Vetrimaaran, is releasing this week. The gangster film stars Dhanush in the role of Anbu. Vetrimaaran’s earlier films have garnered popular and critical acclaim. Polladhavan (2007) bagged the state award for its great script.
His 2011 film Aadukalam won several National Awards and was recognised globally for its screenplay. Vetrimaaran’s 2016 film Visaranai was similarly lauded and selected as India’s official entry to the Academy Awards.
After these successful flicks, Vetrimaran’s next big project is Vada Chennai.
The shooting for Vada Chennai, which had its world premiere on Friday last week, officially started in 2016, but Vetrimaran has been planning this film for at least a decade.
The cast of Vada Chennai includes Ameer, Aishwarya Rajesh and Andrea Jeremiah. A gangster trilogy, the first part reportedly looks at the life and times of Anbu starting from the 1980s. Dhanush, curiously, plays the role of a national level carom champion.
Vetrimaran imagined this story while researching for bike thieves around Chennai. Since the initial story became too big to handle, he took out a part from it and made that into Polladhavan!
But the dream of Vada Chennai didn’t die. And now it will be played over three connected films.
For getting into the skin of the character, Dhanush trained with legendary carom player Maria Irudayam. A unique aspect of the film is that 80 per cent of the actors were not trained actors but former convicts who were released from jail.