Prabhu Solomon comes out with his second flick close to Nature
No one can show villages and forests as beautifully as Prabhu Solomon does. Two years after Prema Khaidi (Mynaa in Tamil), the images of the Tamil Nadu-Kerala borders and the woods are still vivid in our minds. Prabhu Solomon did not rush to make another movie immediately. He instead went back to Theni and other areas which he visited for Mynaa and wrote his next script Kumki (Gaja Raju in Telugu). Releasing this week, it marks the debut of Sivaji Ganesan’s grandson Vikram Prabhu. The story revolves around a mahout (portrayed by Vikram) and his trained elephant, Kumki that’s used to guide wild elephants back to the forest to minimise the destruction of properties of nearby villages.
In an exclusive chat with Cinema Plus, director Prabhu Solomon says he cannot make his movies on city life and city people as he hails from Neyveli, a small town in Tamil Nadu. “I was born and brought up in an environment which was green, vast and breezy. The trees were my friends. I am a travel freak and I would travel miles in trains. Ninety percent of the population lives in villages and that’s what I want to show in my movies. The thought of Mynaa triggered one day as I saw a cop having a conversation with a handcuffed convict. He was smoking, drinking tea and the duo were discussing. I started wondering about their background and wove a story from there. In Kumki too, there’s a beautiful love story. After Mynaa, when I was travelling for my next script I came across many newspaper reports about elephants causing havoc in villages, and that was a daily affair. I visited those villages, travelled with the people and realised that because villagers are encroaching their land, the displaced elephants wander into human territory. So the villagers bring in ‘trained elephants ‘to drive away the intruding elephants.”
The director says he shot the film in Theni, Shimoga near Mysore, a few places in Araku, Bhubaneswar, Orissa and Kerala. “The hero of the film is the location,” says Prabhu.
Prabhu Solomon adds that he had trained both the artistes and the elephants for a month to ensure the comfort level between them. Vikram Prabhu is no doubt talented and equipped to deal with the subject and Lakshmi Menon, is a Kathakali dancer. Kumki was earlier titled as Komban and for the climax portion, producers bought two-acres of land to shoot a scene where elephants destroy the land. Music is done by D. Imman, cinematography is by Sukumar. Bellamkonda Suresh is releasing the dubbed version in Andhra Pradesh.