July 02 2020
The ‘message’ in a film is as important as the characters, says Arjun
08 February 2018

Arjun’s directorial Sollividava is a love story set against the backdrop of the Kargil war

When Arjun started writing the script of a film — Sollividava that releases this Friday — he thought of three important characters. “One would be the hero, the other the heroine, and the third, the backdrop. This story places a lot of importance on the backdrop.”

For someone known to have a patriotic undercurrent in his scripts, Kargil was the first choice for this ‘important character’. Sollividava, a love story that takes place with the Kargil war as the backdrop, stars Chandan Kumar and Aishwarya in lead roles.


For Arjun, the ‘message’ in a film is as important as the characters or the storyline. “That’s my way of working... I start any story keeping a message in mind, and then weave a story around it. Once that spark comes, the characters fall in place.”

He chose Kargil because it resonates with every Indian. “I did know the basic details about that war. But when I was working on the screenplay, I had to delve into details. I spent a week in the studios of ANI and went through all the material they had on Kargil. Actually, all that research comprises only about 10% of Sollividava... if I had to do the entire detailing, I’ll have to do two more films!”

Dad should write more love stories: Aishwarya

What posed a bigger problem than research was the actual shooting part. “Getting permissions is a huge challenge. We shot in locations at Dharamshala and Kashmir,” reveals the ‘Action King’.

Arjun has done a handful of films as director, but he still feels that “lack of transparency” is a big stumbling block, especially for newcomers. “Even if their quality on screen is good, there can still be tension when its due for release. I can direct and produce a project, but distribution isn’t my cup of tea. I have to depend on someone, but I’m unsure if there’ll be transparency.”

As an actor, though, Arjun is doing well for himself; he was last seen in Nibunan and will soon be seen in Irumbu Thirai. “After being in the industry for 150 films, I select films only if there’s some elevation in characterisation. I look at the scope to perform something I haven’t done before,” he says, “After a stage, money doesn’t excite you. It’s the responsibility that matters — people who watch my films shouldn’t think: why is this guy doing this after 150 films?”



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