Hollywood touch

peraanmai “Terminator” Roland Kickinger dons the role of a villain in director Jhananathan’s film

The hot afternoon sun, even in Vagamon, Kerala, can be tiring, when you are atop a grassy hill with no trees around. Jeyam Ravi is the hero and Roland Kickinger of Hollywood, the next Terminator who takes over from Arnold Schwarzenegger, plays the villain in Peraanmai. Roland has screen-blood all over him and as he puts on that villainous look for the shot, his rippling muscles are the envy of the crew. He grapples with the hero and the quick shot is okayed. Kickinger is very cooperative on the set as Karthik, assisting the director, translates Jhananathan’s instructions about the next scene.

Again, from one hill, where the movie crew is stationed, the camera pans the top of another hill. A few girls are in the frame; they run, hide by the hillside, and peep out, as the cameraman, S. R. Sathishkumar cans the shots, but not after a few retakes. Jhananathan is upbeat. He is on the last leg of shooting for Ayngaran International Films’ Peraanmai. From March, the unit has been in different locations of Kerala — Thekkady, Vagamon and the hills nearby. Jhananathan does not rely on one genre of stories to make a movie. Peraanmai is very different from his poetic, laid back Iyarkai or the flamboyant E.

The subject is contemporary — terrorists and patriotism. A group of terrorists enter India with evil intentions. A Forest Officer, a tribal who is passionate about conservation (played by Jeyam Ravi), with the help of five NCC women cadets, thwarts their designs. The girls are comparatively new faces — Liyasree, Maha, Saranya,Thanshika and Vasundhara. The girls were given lessons in fencing, silambattam and archery. Jeyam Ravi looking lean and mean downs the terrorists, played by foreigners. Ravi does all the stunts himself. There are no ‘dupes’ for him, says stuntmaster M. S. Michael. Siso Kaqmburov, another Hollywood actor, is one of the two main villains. The others are from Iran, France and Russia. Stuntmaster Michael talks about how he gave Kickinger classes everyday to familiarise him with the stunt styles of Tamil cinema.

Vadivelu and Ponvannan are the two other major artistes. Urvashi plays a nun who is the warden of the hostel in which the girls stay. These scenes were shot at Marion College, Kuttikkanam.

Vidyasagar has scored the music for Peraanmai. There are five songs in the film. Selvakumar’s art direction has come in for much praise from the ‘terrorists’, who handle the sophisticated guns and bombs made by him. In fact, so real did the guns look that when they entered the forest areas with special permission for shooting, the guns were scrutinised by the authorities. Selvakumar with the help of his four-member team made the weapons, after referring the Net. Peraanmai, which has co-director and scriptwriter Kalyanakrishnan’s story, will have hi-tech animation done in Chennai for some scenes. The tribal costumes designed by R. Krishnan suit the storyline. After two more schedules in the Tamil Nadu forests, the shooting will be completed, but the date of release of the film has yet to be finalised.


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