It happened one night

Candid shots Newcomer Arvind and Rambha try to unravel the mystery behind the caller.

Candid shots Newcomer Arvind and Rambha try to unravel the mystery behind the caller.  


Rambha and Prakash Raj are caught in the suspense drama, ‘Prathikshanam’.

From the exterior it looked like a bungalow housing a well-heeled family. Once we stepped inside, it was a different experience. The lights suddenly went off. Even before you think it is one of those frequent power cuts, the lights were back again but dimmer than before. Before we can exclaim ‘Ah… it is low voltage,’ a voice from a corner screamed. Jolted at the sudden shrill, we turned towards the direction from which the voice emerged. What follows is pin-drop silence. The telephone rings breaking the silence. In that dim light you spot a young lady, with fear writ large on her face, lifting the phone. Her hands shiver. As you wait to see what happens next, a voice announces ‘dim and dip lights.’ The effect followed.

It is debut director Vyas who asked for dimming the lights and he is filming the scene for Parichay Creations’ Prathikshnam. The film is produced by Pallavi Vasu. Once the shot is done, the lights in that studio set at Ramoji Film City glow in all brightness and you spot a smiling Rambha emerge from the steps leading to the sprawling drawing room. She plays a medical college student. Prakash Raj is cast in a crucial role and the two are the driving force behind the suspense drama. Arvind debuts opposite Rambha.

Most of the film’s talkie part was shot in Sri Lanka. Rambha goes to Sri Lanka on a medical camp and stays at her uncle’s house. It is here she faces the most horrifying experience of her life, explains the producer. In Kandy the unit stayed at a five star hotel and took over the entire lobby area and created a rich house set. During the climax chase scenes, Rambha fell and injured herself. So the unit had to return to India and create a similar set at RFC and shoot the remaining portions.

A while later the shoot resumes. By then, ace cinematographer Paneer Selvam and his unit shift the equipment to another location in the sprawling set. This time it is a night scene. The phone bell rings. The heroine is disturbed. She answers and a howling voice is heard from the other side. Some strange things happen setting the tone for the dark drama. She puts down the receiver. It rings again. By now she thinks the calls are from a killer or a mentally-disturbed man. Vyas orders for a ‘cut.’ The scene done, the producer heaves a sigh of relief as the shoot is also almost complete.

“It is a screenplay-driven entertainer. Vyas studied film-making and has come up with a novel concept. The set with all its props that we created in Sri Lanka and here are remote controlled to set the right mood for the audience. The story takes place in one night. Watch out for a different Prakash Raj in this film.”

Music is by Taj Noor, who worked with A.R. Rahman for 16 years. “Of the five songs, two each are choreographed by Prem Rakshith and Sobhie while one is a theme song. We waited for A.R. Rahman’s date for the audio release and we will now be releasing the audio on April 27,” says the producer. Swaraj Kavi, a long time associate of Kamal Hassan, edits the film.

“As the title suggests, there is suspense and mystery in each frame,” signs off the producer as the unit is packing up for the day.

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