The green Lamborghini Huracán EVO vrooms through a rustic landscape as paddy fields, a temple, art forms, untarred roads, traditional households and curious onlookers seamlessly blend into the frames. Putting Kerala and its culture centre stage is ‘The Meeting Place’, a film by visual artist Vimal Chandran and cinematographer Sharan Velayudhan, as part of the Italian car major’s global photography and art project, ‘With Italy, For Italy’.
After Italy was hit by COVID-19, Lamborghini had launched the project in which 20 photographers from diverse fields covered 20 regions in the country capturing its scenery, art, history and more in 20 models from the Lamborghini range. “The project was later extended to the Asia-Pacific region. We were contacted by Lamborghini India to create an art work inspired by the vehicle’s design or its design philosophy and relate it with the culture of a region. We also had to come up with a connection with Italy as well. We chose Kerala for the project because Muziris Port in the State has had trade relations with several countries, including Italy,” says Vimal, who runs an ad agency Ordinary Secrets Films with Sharan.
This film was shot at Vimal’s village near Pattambi in Palakkad district, Kerala. “Although the project was meant to have photographs and art work, we made the film because we wanted to tell the story behind the concept,” says Vinod.
It is about creating a meeting place for the past and the future. The car, a futuristic object, is in a village, which is untouched by urbanisation, and is set against the culture and folklore of the region. There is Poothan and Thira, a ritualistic art form from South Malabar region and Darika, a demon, and Kali, characters from Mudiyettu, a ritualistic dance form that enacts the battle between the two. The team says that it was a conscious decision to avoid familiar motifs such as Kathakali and Theyyam.
Sharan, who debuted as a cinematographer with the Malayalam film Ambili , says that the concept of contrast when the past comes up close with the future, came out organically during the making process. “People of the village were in awe of the vehicle when it was brought from Bengaluru. The colour, the sound, the shape, the design…everything made them curious,” says Sharan, whose next work is Akhil Sathyan’s Fahadh Faasil-starrer Pachuvum Athbhuthavilakkum .
The video has been released on Lamborghini’s social media pages.