'My life experiences have been weaved into Bumper'
... says director M Selvakumar, whose debut stars Vetri and Hareesh Peradi and is expected to release in May
Filmmaker M Selvakumar, an erstwhile associate of director Muthaiya, is making his directorial debut with Vetri's upcoming film, Bumper.
Talking about the premise of Bumper, Selvakumar says, "I developed a story based on the lottery system in Kerala and how people from Tamil Nadu travel to Kerala only to buy lotteries." Further elaborating on the themes of the film, Selvakumar shares, "Money might blur your notions about morality, and the dichotomy between greed and need, but at the end of the day, what matters is humanity. I perceive the film as a family-emotional drama."
Selvakumar points out that he landed on the subject from his own life experiences and admits that there are autobiographical elements in the story. "My father was a scrap dealer who won a lottery in Kerala. I had many apprehensions when I went to collect the money, and I have weaved those experiences into the film."
The film has a major setting in Kerala, and it was factored in during the casting too. "The film is set in Thoothukudi, and Vetri was an obvious choice as he is familiar with the accent and the landscape. Hareesh Peradi is known in Tamil Nadu as much as in Kerala. They're playing contrasting characters. We have tried to keep the authenticity of Malayalam instead of using Malayalam-speaking characters as stereotypes."
Selvakumar also stresses how Vetri acted as the chaperone to his career and the film, "I have been working on the film since 2018. In the initial stage itself, Vetri was interested in the film. However, I searched for other actors and producers. All the attempts went in vain because of the pandemic. Then Vetri introduced me to a production manager, and the production wheeled up. So, Vetri made me the director."
Apart from Vetri and Hareesh, the film, which is aiming for a May release, also stars Shivani Narayanan, GP Muthu, Thangadurai, and Kavitha Bharathi in significant roles.
While asking whether the film endorses lottery, Selva Kumar quotes former CM Annadurai and says, "Lottery vizhunthaal veetukku, illel Nattukku."