Location Diaries: By the countryside
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week, it is from Anbarivu
Shooting in and around Pollachi for the Hiphop Adhi-starrer Anbarivu was an experience actor Kashmira Pardeshi was looking forward to. "I accepted the film as the story has an innate rooted flavor. As I always wanted to play a villager, the shooting experience in the interiors of Tamil Nadu was a dream come true," says Kashmira.
Kashmira's journey began on a happy note. "The day we landed, producer Thyagarajan sir himself came to welcome us with a painting. I was touched by this warm gesture," she says. Travelling to a remote location introduced Kashmira to a new culture and landscape. "I loved soaking up the culture of the region as we travelled by car from Pollachi to a remote village every day. The scenic beauty of tree-lined roads, sunrise amidst coconut trees, the rustic houses, and the entire rural life was a new sight to behold. Having arrived after the lockdown, the expansive open fields felt like a boon granted!"
Meeting the village dwellers further widened her cultural horizon. "When you visit a place, you seamlessly absorb culture through interactions with its residents. Shooting inside well-maintained, age-old homes with courtyards, wooden pillars, old flooring, walls covered with photos of ancestors, helped transport me into my character’s world." Filming for a song near a waterfall was a revelatory experience for Kashmira. "I had seen such serene Southern locations in several films on TV. However, as we were canning my scene, I suddenly realised that I was finally part of one such film myself. It felt surreal!"
Playing a Madurai girl was not a cakewalk as she had to perfect the local dialect and body language. Moreover, the presence of seasoned actors served to intimidate her. "In one scene, my character had to speak a long monologue in an angry, high-pitched tone, with a lot of gestures. Although I was well-prepared, being surrounded by seniors such as Napoleon, Asha Sharath, and Sai Kumar, among others on the location, made me self-conscious; I ended up losing my bearings a few times. But they were all very friendly and understood that it was a new language for me. With their supportive vibes reassuring me, I calmed down and pulled off the scene after a couple of takes."
Watching everyone enjoy the local cuisine, Kashmira found it tough to stick to her strict diet. But there was one silver lining. "Though I'm a black coffee addict, I tasted filter coffee during the shoot, and I was hooked for life!" Kashmira sums up her experience: "Anbarivu shoot is the longest I've ever spent in rural surroundings, and it was, indeed, a memorable experience!"