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Chiyaan Vikram: I was never so excited

Written By Chiyaan Vikram on Monday, September 13, 2010 | 7:44 PM

The hall was packed and the screening of Mani Ratnam's Raavanan had just gotten over. The audience looked spellbound and soon, the hall was reverberating with thunderous applause.

Shouts of 'Bravo' and 'Maestro' buzzed in the air and some even imitated the 'Bak Bak Bak' dialogue of the film's lead character. And when director Mani Ratnam, along with his wife Suhasini, who penned the dialogues for the film and Vikram, the lead actor of the film, took centre-stage, there was just no stopping the applause. This is the scene that Chiyaan Vikram vividly remembers from the 67th Venice Film Festival at which the master filmmaker was honoured with the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award.

Vikram's happiness in having been a part of the event is quite palpable with the way he begins every sentence with "You won't believe" when he reminisces the magical moment.

"It was like a fantasy tale. There were 600-700 people in the auditorium and barring a handful of Indians, the rest were foreigners. Mani sir, Suhasini madam and I had earlier decided that we would watch till the Usure Poguthey... song, as we were not sure how the audience was going to respond. But soon, we realised that they were engrossed in the film so much so that, for the song Kodu Potta..., I could see people almost dancing to the tune," gushes the star.

He adds, "When the festival's director, Marco Muller, called the Raavanan team on to the stage, the audience went crazy. Mani sir was his usual humble self and holding the prestigious award, he remarked, 'After receiving this award, it has now become all the more important for me to deliver good cinema.' And I, standing next to him, held my head with pride."

Almost a week has passed since, but Vikram still can't get over the festival. "Right from the pre-awards party to the red carpet welcome and the amazing response from the audience, everything was just perfect. Even a few bigwigs, who didn't really give us much bhaav before the screening, came to us later and asked if they could have pictures taken with us. My character Veera was well-received, and many started addressing me as Veera. Now, that's a great appreciation for any actor in a foreign land. I was never this excited before," he beams.

Vikram also confesses that he himself is a great fan of the filmmaker. "I could go on watching his Nayagan, Mouna Ragam, Roja and Bombay. He was way ahead of others and he still remains so. It's a matter of honour that I could share the stage with him at such an elite do. After the event, we went around the city and did some sight-seeing, shopping and gorged on some scrumptious delicacies. Mani sir was quite familiar with the city and hence, it was a cakewalk for me. Overall, it was an experience that I will cherish forever," he signs off.
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