Having won National Award for his recent film ‘Otha Seruppu’, actor-filmmaker Radhakrishnan Parthiban is now aiming to grab global attention with his next venture ‘Iravin Nizhal ‘ (Shadow of The Night) , which he says is the world’s first single shot nonlinear film. The movie has music by Oscar-Grammy winner A R Rahman. Excerpts from an interview with Parthiban.
We are in mid-pandemic enviorns. As an actorfilmmaker, how has your life transformed during the last 18-months?
Uncertainty. Though it is already there in life, it is more so now. We are in this world on a transit, for 73 years, 93 years, or 91 years like Lata Mangeshkar. But, as if we are going to live for 500 years, we do harm to others. The pandemic has reiterated the fact that life is temporary. Covid has created an awareness of uncertainty and made people realise to lead life happily. So I see the pandemic as a positive thing.
Before Covid-19 erupted, you had completed the film ‘Otha Seruppu’. It got raving reviews and appreciation. (It’s a film with multiple characters, but only one (the protagonist) shown on screen)…
How satisfied are you with the newness you had brought to the film?
Before I made ‘Otha Seruppu’, I made so many different attempts for more than three decades, right from my first film Puthiya Paathai. My movies like ‘Housefull’ won National Award and other honours, while my other films did not. I had faced huge losses too. It is a journey of winning and losing, but I am determined to make novel attempts as I am confident only such ventures would last long in the history. ‘Otha Seruppu’ is the outcome of that confidence.
Has it travelled around the movie making centres of the world?
No, it reached less than 5 per cent of the movie making centres of the world.
Your thirst for innovation in filmmaking has not ended with ‘Otha Seruppu’. You have made a film recently ‘Iravin Nizhal’ (Shadows of the Night) — which was shot in one-go? Tell us briefly about the film…
My thirst (for different movies) never ends. Everyone should have a fire within till death. For a filmmaker, the fire means not about just making money, but about innovating and reinventing. A magazine like ‘Pickle’ asking this question to me itself gives me happiness and pride. ‘Iravin Nizhal’ is a first-of-its-kind attempt in world cinema. Because, all single shot films so far were of linear type. But ‘Iravin Nizhal’ is non-linear. Ten years of script making, two years of production designing, 90 days of rehearsals were behind this. Around 340 crew members have contributed to this project. Mr A R Rahman’s music will be a highlight of this movie. I always prioritise recognition over money. I carefully collect each and every clap. My journey is towards getting global recognition for ‘Iravin Nizhal’. I believe the reach of ‘Iravin Nizhal’ will be 10 times more than that of ‘Otha Seruppu’.
Your passion for cinema has no bounds? where do you get influenced.. Who are your influencers?
Yes, I have 75 bound scripts in different genres, written in the past 20 years. But when I think about the next, I want to set aside these 75 scripts and do something different. Because, I don’t want my scripts to be different from others’ movies alone, but from my own scripts too. My box is full of scripts (for the attention of producers across the world who are looking for novel scripts). The passion for novelty and never ending imagination drive me. I get influenced by my audience. Because, they expect something different from me. It impacts me. People are very intelligent and creative, one can see this on social media. So filmmaking should cater to them and movies should be talked about even after some ten years.
What is good cinema…
Cinema is not about making the audience clap. Filmmaking is all about making the audience freeze on their seats even after the movie is over. This is cinema according to me. I am not talking about either experimental or commercial films, but good cinema. Finally, as a filmmakers, what are the buried things in your mind, that have not taken wings… I have buried so many scripts in my mind. I feel that urgency to make them as movies, but they are yet to get wings.
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