Goa, 22 November 2023
“I craft my films that resonate with and are rooted in local culture, language and land”, said Vetri Maaran, Director of Tamil feature Viduthalai Part-1 which was screened in the Indian Panorama Feature section yesterday at 54 IFFI. The Director, protagonist Soori, Producer Elred Kumar Santhanam and Director of Photography R Velraj interacted with the delegates, film enthusiasts and media at 54th IFFI being held in Goa.
Speaking about the genesis of the film, Vetri Maaran said he just wanted to make a small movie during the Covid time when the restrictions were coming in and being taken off. He wanted to go with the crew in the forest where they would stay away from the rest of the world to finish the film in 30 days. He added that the film is based on a 6 page short story ‘Thunaivan’ written by Jeyamohan in 1998, a part written by Vetri Maaran and some further research. But once he started working around it, other things kept adding and he said, “It is a long journey and is still a film in the making”.
The film’s soundtrack is composed by Ilaiyaraaja and it was Vetri Maaran’s maiden collaboration with the musical maestro.
While praising the lead actor, he said, “Soori seamlessly embodies the character of Kumaresan, his genuine persona blending effortlessly with the role.” Notably, Soori’s commitment to maintaining physical fitness shines through, evident in the movie’s final stunt—a testament to his dedication and level of fitness.
While interacting with the media, Actor Soori expressed his delight at stepping onto a grand stage as a hero for the first time after a career comprising around 160 films as a comedian. He attributes his gratitude to Vetri Maaran for offering what initially seemed like a modest role, later revealed to be the lead, filling him with immense joy.
R Velraj, the Director of Photography, shed light on the challenges of shoot while capturing the 8.5 minute long single shot of opening scene of the film. This pivotal sequence demanded an extensive 13-day effort, utilizing intricate photography techniques and angles. Recounting the 15-day shoot in Sathyamangalam’s rugged terrain, Velraj reminisces about the intense experience, trekking eight kilometers daily, underlining the complexities involved filming in undulating terrains and low light conditions.
The film, which had its worldwide theatrical release in March 2023 has been a success critically and commercially. The second part of the movie is scheduled to be released by early 2024.
Viduthalai Part-1 set in 1987 Tamil Nadu, after a devastating bombing on a railway bridge claiming 25 lives, The People’s Army, an armed anti-government group, threatens the region’s stability. A special police battalion is assigned to apprehend their leader, Perumal. New recruit Kumaresan’s expectations of police work are shattered as he tackles menial tasks in the wilderness. He befriends Thamizharasi, learning about her community’s plight, provoking ire from his superiors. To shield Thamizharasi’s village from police harassment, Kumaresan devises a plan risking all.
Cast and Crew:
Director : Vetri Maaran
Cast : Soori, Vijay Sethupathi, Bhavani Sre
Screenwriter : Vetri Maaran, Manimaran
Producer : RS Infotainment Pvt Ltd, Grassroot Film Company
DoP : R. Velraj
Editor : R. Ramar
Watch the full interaction here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qsv_EsbDaU
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PIB Team IFFI | Nadeem/Loukik/Rajiv/Darshana | IFFI 54 – 029