Free Press Journal

South Indian stars are like demigods for their fans: Resul Pookutty


Sound designer Resul Pookutty has worked in films across several languages, but the Academy- Award-winner feels one has to be careful while “tampering” with the physical aspects of South Indian actors, as fans treats them as demigods.

He is working on the upcoming Tamil film “Remo”. In the romantic-comedy, Kollywood superstar Sivakarthikeyan appears in a dual role – of a boy next door and female nurse. Resul had “sleepless nights” while working non-stop to get the perfect voice texture for the female part of Siva.

“In the last seven days I haven’t slept. You have to understand this in the context of South Indian movies. A cine star is not just a cine star anymore. To the people, they are far more bigger. They are almost like demigods. “To be able to manifest or manipulate their physical attributes, for the sake of the story, is something which can be unforgiven by their true fan-base,” Resul told PTI.

“That is what I am tampering with. Of course, that tampering is done for story and to take it further,” he said.

The 45-year-old, who has been a key element in bringing the right sound in films like “Highway”, “Ra.One” and “Slumdog Millionaire” which bagged him an Oscar, felt the same pressure while working on Rajinikanth’s “Robot”.

“It’s the same issue I was dealing with while working on ‘Robot’. To change someone like Rajinikanth’s voice into a robot… Similarly, Siva is like Ranbir Kapoor. He has a huge fan following. To be able to manipulate to this level was not an easy task,” he said. “You have to be convinced about what you are doing, and that what you’re doing is right for the story,” he said.

Also Read: Pookutty becomes first Asian to win Golden Reel Award

Written and directed by Bakkiyaraj Kannan, “Remo” also stars actress Keerthy Suresh. Resul says when he was listening to the narration, he couldn’t understand why the director approached him for a “love story”, but realised that he had a huge “technical task” of changing the hero’s voice into a female’s voice.

“For me, the most difficult task was to genuinely and truthfully do justice to an actor’s performance. They were very clear that they didn’t want to imitate any voice, or over dub his dialogues with another actress,” he said.

“He (Siva) wanted to use his own voice. You can make your character appear as a girl by wearing their clothes, apply makeup but sound is something you can’t touch. I really had to rig my brain and find new solutions,” he said.

In the process to get it right and not make it sound gimmicky or fake, Resul along with Siva worked extensively on the dubbing. “I had to find new software, new ways of understating while keeping the traditional methods. We have done extensive research. I must’ve dubbed the film with Siva 3-4 times to find the right balance,” he mentioned. The film is being released by Reliance Entertainment in North India on October 7.