In 2016, Lokesh Kanagaraj’s short film, Kalam , found its way into the anthology film Aviyal , produced by Karthik Subbaraj. A year later, he is all set to debut as a feature filmmaker with Maanagaram , which releases tomorrow. The film revolves around four individuals, who come to Chennai, and how their stories converge. “ Maanagaram is a crime thriller that deals with multiple stories. I’ve structured the screenplay in the hyperlink format,” says Lokesh. Starring Sri, Sundeep Kishan, Charle, Munishkanth and Regina Cassandra, the film narrates the events that unfold in 48 hours. “All the characters in the film play a pivotal role,” he adds.
He may be born and brought up in Coimbatore, but Lokesh feels he has captured the spirit of Chennai in his debut film. “ Maanagaram records the din and bustle of Chennai through the day, and its silence and solitude during the night. Capturing the trials and tribulations of four people, and how Chennai treats them, is the crux of the film,” says Lokesh.
The director says he was able to complete the film in 46 days due to the support he received from his cast and crew. “I retained the same crew that worked on my short films. Regina, who plays the role of an HR professional, is already an established artiste in the Telugu industry. But she came out of her comfort zone to work with our small unit,” says Lokesh.