Jallikattu director Santhosh Gopal's next, Pasumai Vazhi Saalai
The film will be based on real-life incidents surrounding the Salem 8-way road project
Director Santhosh Gopal, whose Jallikattu 5-23 Jan 2017 is up for release later this year, has commenced work on his next film. Similar to Jallikattu, which is based on the famous Marina protest, this film, titled Pasumai Vazhi Saalai, is based on real-life incidents surrounding the Salem 8-way road project. The film stars Pasupathy and Kishore, and talks are on to rope in Prakash Raj and Nagarjuna for the lead roles.
Speaking about the film, Santhosh says, "I run a vocational training centre in Harur, which is located between Salem and Dharmapuri. So I go there often and I got to know about the new roadway behind our centre. When I went to see it, I saw 200 policemen present there while officials placed stone pillars denoting the area that's going to be occupied for the roads."
Santhosh's team researched and shot the actual happenings--the surveyor marking the routes and villagers reacting to it--for 20 days. "The story will be partly fictional, along with actual footage shot on location. Interestingly, for the first time in India, they've used satellites to mark the locations. The track goes through a forest area, a school, many houses, wells and agricultural plots. Imagine the plight of the villagers, who consider even people walking into their lands with footwear as an intrusion, when they find their lands taken over like this."
The director says that the film will be show different perspectives. "There will be a villager whose livelihood is on the line, there will be a worker who's working on the roadways, there's also the point of view of a bird in the forest whose home is getting destroyed and of course, the main lead's point of view as well," says Santhosh, who has learned that the consultant for this project is from a Switzerland company financed by a Philippines bank. "We know someone is driving this project but we don't know who it is. We heard of various reasons for the displacement of people but we're seeing it for the first time. I've seen a person get a paralytic attack when he knew that his land is on the route. They don't know how to react to such a scenario. I find this to be violence and the trauma of the people is captured in Pasumai Vazhi Saalai."
The film is produced by Santhosh's wife Nirupama, and will have music by Justin Prabhakaran.