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All about realising dreams

"Kanavu Mei Padavendum", directed by Janaki Viswanathan along with Jayaram as the co-director, is in its final stages of production. It is a poignant tale about one's faith in mankind and the tenacity to transcend the odds in life, writes CHITRA MAHESH.

Janaki with actress Ramya Krishnan, on the sets of "Kanavu Mei Padavendum".

DO DREAMS come true? They must or would people continue to dream? "Kanavu Mei Padavendum" is all about the dreams of its maker — a person who believes that giving positive messages work and in the process also helps to reinforce faith in mankind. Which is why the story is also about a person who fights and refuses to let his depressing background bog him down. Even a Mahatma has different facets — and not all of them palatable! There are situations in life where one does not necessarily do what is right in the eyes of the world. One does as the soul tells them. And in the process there is sacrifice. "Kanavu Mei Padavendum" unravels the trials and tribulations of one who goes through these situations.

The story traverses the time from 1950s to the present — and the journey captures the ups and downs of many lives — all connected in one way or the other. And at the beautiful Nemam temple at the outskirts of Karaikudi amidst the silent granite pillars, the crew works feverishly. Walking around absorbing the beauty of the ancient temple structure is the protagonist of the film. Asim Sharma comes from a theatre background, making his mark with the play `Sword Of Tippu', a venture put up a while ago. From there to "Kanavu... " has been a long journey``After `Tippu' I moved to Mumbai. I did serials and ad films. I did one film too. I came on a holiday to Chennai and met a friend who introduced me to Janaki. I auditioned, and all I can say for now is that it is a role of a lifetime!''

As for the kind of work he has put into the role, he says, ``I have a director who is organised. In January (that's virtually about 10 months before the movie began) I had my copy of the script translated. Someone spoke into a dictaphone every dialogue of mine. I translated it into Hindi, and then translated the Tamil into written Hindi. ''

The film is now almost complete except for post-production work, how would he put down the experience so far? ``To put it mildly, almost life altering. Everything — from looking at a role to performing — it has been an experience. ''

Karthik Srinivasan is no stranger to Chennai. In the theatre circuit, he is popular and has to his credit many stage performances. He is full of energy and while this is his first film he is hardly apprehensive or diffident. He tackles his role with enthusiasm and says, ``I have always been interested in acting. Stage has been my forte till now and I have done a few ads. Never a film. ''

What kind of a role is he playing? ``That of a witty doctor, a classmate and friend of the protagonist.''

Asim and Lakshmi.

Looking resplendent in a rich, silk sari with the traditional temple jewellery, she is the epitome of ancient beauty. Ramya Krishnan is playing the other protagonist in the film and is very quiet and unassuming right through the schedule. She does not seem to mind the long wait and confusion about her shots. How does she find working on this film? She has not done something like this before and says, ``It is interesting and different. Something about it moved me.''

Tanu Vidyarthi is perky and very enthusiastic about her role. For her the title says it all. ``It is my first film — my first Tamil one and I hope it fulfils my dreams.''

The film came about when she came to Chennai for a commercial. The coordinator gave her photographs to Janaki. A screen test later, she landed the part of the girl in search of her roots. With a career in modelling behind her, and theatre, Tanu says she is lucky to be working with someone like Janaki.

``Everything is just perfect and I am just sheer lucky.'' Her role, she says is very intense. ``The whole character is in a way unhappy because there is no mother, no father. I could feel the emotions. And I love the way Janaki is treating the entire film." Small and slightly built, he is someone who has a vision — through the lenses. If something is not what he thinks it should be, he stands away till that is achieved. And for C. J. Rajkumar, an assistant to none other than Thankar Bachan, this is his first major venture. He says this film spans the time from the 1950s till the present.

He says that when Janaki narrated the complete script, he was very inspired. ``Not only does it travel in three periods, but goes through various moods too. The challenge is to control the ideas. We decided to give variations and treated the 1950s, as a glorious period. In terms of colour and culture. By playing with warm colours. By treating everything costumes, location, and properties in tones of red. Apart from that we didn't go much for filtration. We went more for red. For instance, the 1970s displays some loneliness, spaces in the frames. And reduced that in the current period. We saw to it that lighting is realistic. Controlled the natural light thereby altering the nature of light.''

What expectations does he have of "Kanavu Mei Padavendum"? ``Many new people are involved in this project. The script itself is very fresh. The film has lots of emotional aspects, which people can identify with. As a cinematographer, I have to see that each and every frame is compelling. The faces are fresh, and then there is the music, which is I think the best part of this film.''

Rajkumar is a graduate in engineering, after which he did his cinematography from Bangalore. His first debut venture, "Aysha," a short feature film won him International awards in London and Mumbai.

``Right now I just want more of good cinematography. Maybe in the future, if some good subject inspires me, I may go in for direction.'' The film, directed by Janaki Viswanathan along with Jayaram as the co-director, is in its final stages of completion and has in its cast Sudharani Raghupati (in an interesting cameo), Lakshmi Gopalswamy, Hans Kaushik, Kamala Krishnaswamy among a host of new faces.

Radhika Surjeet has choreographed a few numbers, which are not only pleasing to the eye but also very different from what she has already done in films so far.

The music for the film has been composed by the late music director Mahesh, who passed away in October 2002. It has been completed by Sundar, Mahesh's assistant, who also happens to be Chitti Babu's son.

Technical support from Suresh Urs (editing) and Raja Ravi Varma (art direction) add to the venture.

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