Veghan Rajesh's 17-minute film ‘Appavi' has been winning laurels
The 17-minute short film “Appavi” opens to a clichéd theme: a lovelorn boy waits with bated breath for his neighbour's daughter. Prodded on by a friend, he musters the courage to declare his love and is rebuffed with a sound slap. In the next instant, he wakes up in a cold sweat — he also lets out a cry of distress. It's only 4 a.m. and his startled mother asks him to go back to sleep. He is overpowered by sleep, but not before he has spent anxious moments worrying if early morning dreams come true.
In a following sequence, the opposite turns out to be true. The romantic hero — played by S.S. Shreekarathick — discovers that the girl adores him and wants to meet him at 4 p.m. at their college grounds. All through the day, the love-struck boy blabbers inanities to the consternation of his mother, played by Meera, who has done numerous supporting roles in Tamil cinema.
The boy dreams up a duet before keeping his rendezvous with the girl, who promises him undying love. At this moment, the boy's mother wakes up with a start. It's 7 a.m. and she shakes her head, a smile on her lips, “It's just a dream!” She calls out to her son, who is the opposite of what he appeared to be in the two dreams: his hair combed into place and he is hard at his commerce notes. The film draws to a close with his words: “I want to be an auditor and help my parents. That's the overriding desire of my heart.”
A charming element of surprise and dollops of entertaining moments have won the short film — written and directed by Veghan Rajesh — the Best Entertaining Film award at the JFM International Short Film Festival 2011, organised by D.G. Vaishnav College. Earlier, “Appavi” had won Veghan the Best Screenplay Writer award at the YFM Digital Short Film Award.
Veghan Rajesh, at present an assistant to director Venkatpabhu, was lead dancer at RAACK Academy of Dance and has also had stints as RJ (Suryan FM) and VJ (Jaya TV). It's sometime since he got drawn to tinsel town and has acted in two successful films, “Saroja” and “Rainbow Colony”.
“To build up my profile, I made ‘Appavi'. I teamed up with Shreekarthick, who is also a dancer trying to find his feet in the world of cinema. Shreekarthick is brilliant in front of the camera — as ‘Appavi' will prove — and he made the job of directing the film a ridiculously easy one. But for the generosity of another friend, Sekar, the film would not have hit the screens,” says Veghan.
The aspiring film-maker has made another short movie, “Saturday” which splices adventure with superstition. With Shreekarthick in the lead, it has won the third prize at the DBICA International Short Film Festival.
Says Veghan, “To celebrate its successes, our team collected and donated a modest amount of Rs. 30,000 towards the education of the children of junior artistes attached to the South Indian Film Artistes' Association.”