Chennai

A peek into the world of yesteryear Tamil theatre

Filmmaker Vasanthabalan’s musical ‘Kaaviya Thalaivan’ will explore theatre and theatre actors of the early 20th century

Filmmaker Vasanthabalan’s musical ‘Kaaviya Thalaivan’ will explore theatre and theatre actors of the early 20th century  

At a time when Tamil films such as ‘Jigarthanda’ and ‘Kathai Thiraikadhai Vasanam Iyakkam’ are turning the spotlight on the process of filmmaking itself, filmmaker Vasanthabalan’s ‘Kaaviya Thalaivan’, a musical starring actors Siddharth, Prithviraj, Vedhika and Anaika, offers to look at the roots of Tamil cinema: the world of Tamil theatre in the early 20 century.

The film has been creating a buzz on social media, thanks largely to its interesting premise and its music album set to tune by composer A.R. Rahman.

“Recently, renowned Iranian filmmaker, Majid Majidi asked me why Indian movies ape the style evolved in the West. This is the film which I would proudly show him,” he said.

At a press interaction on Monday, Vasanthabalan said the idea came to him after a conversation with Tamil writer Jeyamohan, “I was fascinated when Jeyamohan got talking about Tamil theatre of yore. In fact, the credit goes to Jeyamohan for my choosing to make this film. Usually, K.P. Sundarambal-S.Kitappa love story itself is a solid premise for a film. But I wanted to go further than that and write a complete story about Tamil theatre.”

A film about theatre and theatre actors can be tricky as actors have to walk-in and out of characters throughout the film. “Not only did we have to be ‘dramatic’ while playing a character inside the play, many of us had 20-25 looks in the film,” said Vedhika, who plays the female lead, alongside Siddharth and Prithviraj.

Jeyamohan said the setting provided ample space to explore the past. “It was almost like a dream. When something is set in the past, you get to explore love and relationships,” he said. Five veteran stage artistes were called on stage and felicitated by A.R. Rahman. They received Rs. 25,000/- each.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2020 6:33:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/a-peek-into-the-world-of-yesteryear-tamil-theatre/article6329515.ece

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