After winning the coveted national award in his debut film Pasanga, Pandiraj has been trying hard to keep up the initial promise. The successful Pasanga, which released in 2009, won all-round appreciation from the critics, movie-goers as well as the print and television media for the manner in which Pandiraj had presented the problems of school-going children and their egos and offered possible solutions to solve them.
Pandiraj’s solo release in 2010 as director was Vamsam which had Arulnidhi, grandson of Kalaignar, debuting as hero in Tamil films. Like Pasanga, Vamsam was also a rural subject presented in a likeable manner by Pandiraj. The film had Sunaina as the heroine opposite Arulnidhi and playing a deglamourized role as a village belle. According to trade circles, Vamsam can be classified as a ‘moderately’ successful venture.
His third venture as director has been titled as Marina and stars Oviya (of Kalavaani fame) as the heroine opposite newcomer Sivakarthikeyan who debuts as hero in the film. Those who are frequent viewers of television might be aware of Siva, who has been regularly hosting reality shows for a popular regional channel. Pandiraj zeroed in on Siva after getting impressed by the latter’s speaking talents and the ease with which he hosts those reality shows.
Pandiraj doubles up as the producer of Marina and has this to say about his latest film. “The sprawling Marina in the city happens to be the favourite hang-out place of many Chennaiites; it also is the place which serves as the ‘workplace’ for many small boys who sell eatables and many things to earn their livelihood. I have taken up the moving incidents in the kids’ lives and the various instances which affect them emotionally.
“Jayaprakash, one of my favourite actors who played the teacher in Pasanga, is back in an important role in Marina. Though his role is not a major role, it’s a significant small role which would surely find a place in the viewers’ hearts,” says Pandiraj.