IN THE MAKING!
films are turning out with some regularity
these days. There was a time when they
were an absolute rarity, but now more
and more film makers seem to be falling
to the charms of recreating a bygone era.
Usually, when we talk about period flicks,
there are one or two eras which Indian
cinema always liked to revisit; the freedom
struggle or at best the age of kings and
kingdoms, the Mughal or Maurya period.
We have had several excellent films set
in these eras. But, history outside these
eras or emperors has been more or less
Of course, one understands the difficulties
of going any further back than the Mughals.
very little information and it is nearly impossible
to reconstruct an era that is almost unknown through
texts. Even Hollywood has mostly restricted its period
attempts to the World War period or at best the heydays
of the Greek and Roman empires.
But, it is now interesting to note that film makers
are willing to be even more daring. One can only wonder
how Vasanthabalan’s Aravaan is going to be like.
It looks like he has decided to explore a piece of
history that has been hitherto untouched on celluloid.
Based on the novel Kaavalkoottam which details the
history of Madurai between 1310 and 1910, one can
only guess the portion of the book that Vasanthabalan
has decided to recreate. He has already said that
the reasons behind his casting of Aadhi and Pasupathi
in the lead roles were their physical appearances,
Aadhi’s nose in particular. One can assume that
this film will be set in a period when man fought
tooth and nail with nature for survival.
One is also equally excited by Karikalan which again
is a period film taking us as far back as Karikala
Chozhan; again a period that does not have erudite
information, only gleanings and folklore, mostly from
Sangam poetry. Even reading small snippets about this
legendary king makes us feel that any movie made on
his character cannot be anything but immensely exciting,
especially with Vikram playing the lead.
One really feels the need to laud these film makers,
even before these films are ready for release, for
their exemplary courage in setting out to make projects
which can have umpteen number of unforeseen logistical
delays, when there is always the easy option of going
on and making a normal entertainer. Even the producers
involved with these films have to be encouraged no
One remembers seeing Apocalypto for the first time
and wondering whether any such film will happen in
India. Now, we can be confident, of not just equaling,
but even bettering that gripping adventure which did
not rely on CGI or any other sophistication.
Whatever be the results of these efforts, these brave
film makers will have rewritten the history of Tamil