Everyone who has seen the Tamil movie-making maestro Vetrimaaran stunning new short film Ooor Iravu which is part of the new Netflix anthology Paava Kadhaigal, would agree that this half-hour masterpiece on honour killing is another feather in the director’s cap.
What comes as a shock is that the final moments of the storytelling are missing from the film. Veterimaaran had to complete the story with graphic sketches depicting what the end should have been like.
In a conversation with this writer Vetrimaaran confessed it was a major compromise that he had to make due to the Covid 19 lockdown.
Says Vetrimaan, “Otherwise it would have been a lot different. It was a major compromise.And I know, it jars. To smoothen it out I tried to use such images in the beginning of the short as well(to give the work a finished look).”
A majority of Vetrimaan’s film unfolds in the darkened courtyard of a traditional Hindu household where, in one of the rooms lies the dying daughter(played by Sai Pallavi) of the patriarch(Prakash Raj) who has just poisoned his own daughter for marrying outside their community.
Says Vetrimaan, “This film comes from the grief about our inability to change. If it makes some of the viewers introspect then we have succeeded. I wanted to show the multi-layered hierarchy of the family, village, country through the depth and width of that courtyard. We get to see all dimensions and people at all ages and all beliefs in that shot.”
Vetrimaan feels our cinema has a long way to go. “I always feel that we have better minds than mine making films.But none want to push themselves. All are happy with the place we are in.But I’ll really try to push myself hard to do films that are relevant.”
The director whose films Aadukalam(2011) and Visaaranai(2016) have won multiple National awards is now working on another hard-hitting socio-politically relevant film.
Shedding some light on this new film Vetrimaaran says, “I’m doing a story on the slaying of a rebel leader.It was supposed to start shooting earlier .But it got delayed due to heavy rains at the location.It is set in the late 1980s in Tamil Nadu and features mostly new and non-popular actors.”