'I am moved by reality'

'I am moved by reality'

It was when popular Tamil director Manikandan’s five-year-old son asked him to buy him a pizza that it struck him that an entire family’s monthly expenditure can be met with the money spent to buy a pizza. Manikandan soon realised that fast food was as much an embodiment of commodity fetishism as much as it symbolised aspirational
values.

 The film, ‘Kaka Muttai’ is a result of director Manikandan’s creative engagement with the pizza. The film is about a bunch of kids from the slums who are consumed by the desire to eat a pizza when a pizza parlour opens on their old playground. The boys soon begin to save money to buy a pizza.Manikandan has shot the film in a real slum in Chennai to give the film a touch of reality. “When the boys realise that a pizza costs more than their family’s monthly income, they begin to plan ways to earn more money — inadvertently setting in motion an adventure that will involve the entire city,” explains Manikandan. The film which will release on June 5 has already won two national awards at the 62nd National Film Awards and has been shown at Toronto Film Festival. It is co-produced by actor Dhanush.

 The young director recollects that the process to train the children from the slums wasn’t an easy task. “We had to put them through a series of workshops and all the dialogues and expressions had to be taught. It wasn’t easy but it has been worth the effort. The film has turned out to be as natural as it can get without any artificiality attached to it,” he adds. He says that the film is sure to take people back to their childhood full of innocence, adventure, unsuspecting nature and all the fun associated with it. “Children are associated with innocence and here in the movie people get to see how children work hard just to buy a pizza. In addition to these children from the slums, there are also a few accomplished senior actors who have been roped in to play prominent characters,” she adds.  

Manikandan says that he consciously chose a film which is steeped in reality. “There are so many stories around us that are waiting to be told. I am moved by reality and anything natural instantly fuels ideas in me,” he signs off.

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