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‘Like’ is like that?

Check in: Vignesh and Goutham in the film “Facebook Neenga Nallavara Kettavara”  

This hilarious, down-to-earth, 41-minute film has attracted a tsunami of ‘Likes’. A tad ironical, since Facebook Neenga Nallavara Kettavara turns an unflattering spotlight on youngsters of the day who seem to live and do things just to create fodder for catchy Facebook updates. And who better to make this film than a youngster himself?

A fourth-year engineering student of Anna University, Vignesh Kumar is the brain behind this film, which was completed on a spartan Rs.1.3 lakh budget. This young man acts in the film, and has also handled its story, script, screenplay and direction.

Sharp and funny, the film has been screened at three national film festivals so far: The Little Shores Short Film Festival in July this year, where the crew was nominated for the best find of the year; the Chennai International Women’s Film Festival, where it was nominated for the best film, and the Surabhi Short Film Festival, where the nomination was for the best film and also the best actor for Goutham Raj, the youngster who stars in the film along with Vignesh. 

Incidentally, Vignesh met all his cast and crew on Facebook. “That is the point. Facebook can be a powerful ally. I didn’t spend any money on promoting my film either. A Facebook invite was all it took to draw 1000 people for the initial screening of the film on October 24. By the next day, 10,000 people had watched it on YouTube, and the number is going up by the hour - quite remarkable for a film with no star value, and no promotional budget,” he points out. Touché. Across the world, as also in India, Facebook has been a powerful platform for augmenting social movements. Unfortunately, many youngsters are addicted to creating and posting inconsequential updates, and their lives are getting sucked into creating an online image that is often far removed from reality.   

“Many of my friends and acquaintances spend about three hours a day on Facebook. Among those in hostels, it could be as much as five hours a day. People make updates at all times - even during exams,” says Goutham. Adds Vignesh, “I have seen so many move earth and heaven just to gather likes and fabricate attractive profiles.”  Well, this is one addiction that is unnoticed by families or society.  Vignesh decided that the best way to give his friends a reality check is through comedy.

The film was shot in nine days, though the post-production process took several months. All the screenshots were made with computer graphics (VFX) and DI (for colour enhancement), under director Peter Paul who was the VFX supervisor of Sivaji , among other Tamil films. The film was produced by Rohit Ramesh, who has always been enthusiastic about promoting fresh talent, and Shailender Singh who owns Mahalakshmi Theatre, the city’s oldest cinema hall.

The film looks at the four facets which has many youngsters enslaved into creating a make-believe world: ‘Likes’, ‘Check In’, ‘Girls (or Boys)’ and ‘Brand consciousness’. Rather graphically, the film shows how youngsters trade ‘likes’ just to pump up their own collection of likes, how they hack the system to create perceived popularity, how they cajole, beg or force their parents into buying expensive stuff so that it will look good on their profiles, and how they fabricate fictitious events around themselves. The film strikes a chord because it unfolds casually like a slice of life, with its message punched in by comedy, rather than sermons. Check out the film on YouTube.


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Printable version | Jul 23, 2021 10:03:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/facebook-neenga-nallavara-kettavara-like-is-like-that/article6599445.ece

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