Tale of a problem town
Filmmaker Saran, who debuts with Kalathur Gramam, talks to us about his film
Saran K Adwaithan, whose debut directorial venture, Kalathur Gramam is releasing today, says he always wanted to do an intense relationship drama, set in the background of rural factional politics. He attributes his filmmaking sensibilities to his guru, director Ganesaraj, with whom he has worked on numerous village subjects. “Kalathur Gramam is a period film set in a remote village of the same name, situated in the Andhra-Tamil Nadu border. The place deals with a major conflict which existed between its residents who thrive on the charcoal business and the police. It also involves a father-son dispute spanning three decades (the 80s to the early 2000s) in the backdrop of this primary conflict,” he says.
The director, having chosen a period drama for his debut, considers the year-long pre-production process as the biggest challenge he encountered. His team zeroed in on the secluded village of Puthupatti in Tuticorin district for the shoot, after scouting around more than 250 villages all over Tamil Nadu. “I owe a lot to the art department in bringing alive the village. Thotta Tharani’s team worked hard to perfect the 80s setting, especially those involving the charcoal fields and the rural residential colonies. Also, era-appropriate vehicles and architecture have been used as much as possible” he says. Saran and his costume designer Praveenraj exchanged notes for months together to perfect the film’s look and feel. “Praveen’s meticulous eye for detail helped me depict the period differences convincingly, despite the budget constraints,” the director smiles.
Saran is all praises for Kishore, who, he says, has shouldered the film with his histrionics. “The actor will be seen in two entirely different avatars - a young, spirited look and a slightly aged character,” he reveals. A die-hard Ilayaraaja fan since his assistant director days, Saran never thought the ace musician would one day compose for his film. “It was a dream come true for me. As early as during the scripting stage, I realised that only Raja sir could do justice to my vision. Fortunately, he agreed to be a part of the film after seeing the rushes. The maestro’s rustic background score is the backbone of Kalathur Gramam,” the debutant director signs off.