The audio launch of “Madhubaanakadai” was a unique affair as the music director and his rock band performed live at a city mall. K. Jeshi meets the all-Coimbatore film crew

Last Saturday, the film “Madhubaanakadai (MBK)” made news at Brookefields Mall. Young men strutted around in black T-shirts with MBK posters printed on them. The LCD screen at the atrium captured the buzz, and eager fans gathered around as music director Ved Shankar and his rock band took centre stage. What followed was a grand music launch of MBK, a film that records the happenings in a TASMAC outlet during the course of a day.

Love for cinema

It was a special occasion for the all-Coimbatore team who started their journey in a small way when they set up Cinema Club of Coimbatore. As a reporter, I vividly remember my first interaction with the young members, mostly visual communication students who lived for cinema. The love for cinema translated into MBK, their debut film. The film records the happenings in a wine shop. “It has been a fulfilling journey. It seems like magic,” says director S. Kamala Kannan, director of the film.

Right from the cameraman, technicians and cinematographers, to animators and the marketing team, the team is from Coimbatore. And, that's the reason they kick-started the promotional tour for the film from here.

“It is like playing cricket on your home ground. We opted for a live band show rather than a celebrity launch to make it more interactive with the audience who really matter to us. The film is in itself is an outcome of interactions with people right from our film-screening days, when we would show films and hold discussions. This gave us the confidence to make a film,” says Kamal.

Ved Shankar opened the evening with the folk number ‘Kallu kolam vetti', the theme song of the film. A subtle version of the kuthu genre, the song stands out for its catchy beats. The best part is you also remember the lyrics. “Manjal nera bodhaiyile' has an intoxicating effect, as it is sung by people in the wine shop after a couple of drinks.

The music director urged the audience to sing along the lines ‘Saathanum saamiyum koodavey kudikkkathu…' The fans also sang other songs such as ‘kadhal en kadhal', ‘singari sarakku nalla sarakku', ‘anjaley anjaley' and ‘kudimaganey' as part of a contest. The winners got passes for the movie.

The team planned a live rock band show to reach out to everyone. “The film is a reflection of society and it is for everyone, not just the male audience,” Kamal says. The melody pollatha kudhirai with rock beats was refreshing. Kamal says ‘Kodikaal bootham', a dancing number is a song of the working class, including labourers, transgender, and the poverty stricken. For the ‘Tasmac anthem', the team has taken inspiration from Seerkazhi Govindaraj's “Samarasam ulavum idamey.”

Happy moments

About the making of MBK, Kamal says: “It was memorable and joyful. Everything has been different, the theme, the new actors…and now the promotion. Our story is the hero. It's an experiment, a sincere attempt and an opportunity to prove ourselves. It's a team effort.”

“This is your film. You will enjoy every moment of it and won't get bored,” assures cinematographer Rajkumar. They screened the film's trailer which had the popular song “ullasa ulagam unakkey sontham”. It made an impact.

There was also a short clip which summed up the creative process that went behind the making of MBK beginning with 190 days of scripting, 30 days of rehearsal, one year of research and so on…

Art director Vinod Mirdad won appreciation for his realistic sets. “This is the film which will give me an identify in the industry,” he said to the crowd's cheers.

Kamala Kannan says Coimbatore creates an ambience and nurtures film-makers. “The weather, lifestyle, people, and the culture here can inspire any filmmaker. MBK will give a boost to all those newcomers who want to make a film from here,” he smiles. The film has been sent for the Censor Board Certification and is to be released in mid-April.

The team also launched a ‘stop-motion video' — a montage created from some 40,000 photographs taken at various stages of film-making that was transformed into a video. Running for two and a half minutes, it features stills right from the brain storming sessions, actual shooting, erecting sets, etc. Graphics and music in the video bring out the humour.