Boyhood revisited

Tamil cinema

Boyhood revisited

His first film Pasanga, which had children as its protagonists, not only fetched him the National Award for Best Dialogues, but also continued picking scores of awards, including a number of international ones, long after the film had run to full houses for several weeks.

Pasanga announced director Pandiraj’s arrival in style, but what marked him as special was the fact that he had proved his mettle by making a commercially-successful children’s film, a genre that had until then few takers in Tamil cinema.

After Pasanga, he delivered two back-to-back hits in Marina and Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga, before moving on to other projects. He is now back with two other films to offer — Haiku and Idhu Namma Aalu — both of which have caught the attention of not just industry experts, but also film buffs for different reasons.

While the progress on Haiku is being keenly watched because of the fact that Pandiraj has again chosen to make a film that focuses on children, his Idhu Namma Aalu has been garnering attention as it features Simbu and Nayanthara in the lead. In an interview with Sunday Herald, director Pandiraj opens up on both his films.

Why have you named your film Haiku?

Haiku is a Japanese word that is used to refer to short poems. Those penning Haiku poems make their point in brief — usually in two to three lines. The reason I have named my film Haiku is because this is a film on small children. Also, everything about it is poetic. I deal with the lives of three children and their families. If I have to explain what it is that I intend to communicate through this film, then, it is this — the best classroom in the world is a mother’s womb.

You drew upon your school life experiences to fashion certain sequences in your first film Pasanga. Will that be the case with Haiku as well?

No, while Pasanga was based on my school life experiences and the experiences of those who would be anywhere between 35 and 40 today, Haiku is based on the experiences of school children living in cities now. I came up with this script based on what I have been observing in some children. Some kids suffer from what is known as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). This film is about the life of such superkids and parents will get to understand certain ideal ways of bringing up children.

What inspired you to pick this as the subject for Haiku?

A friend once said his son was hyperactive. As a result, he disclosed that he had to put him in a new school every year. When I enquired why this was happening, I learnt about ADHD and that is how I arrived at the plot of my film. When I told about this story to actor Suriya (who has produced this film and also played a role in it), he just asked me, how many years I had been working on it, for he realised the amount of hard work that this story requires. I had to research for almost three to four years on this topic. I met almost 40 doctors and over a 100 teachers in around 25 schools for this film. The film, which has extraordinary camera work by Balasubramaniam and scintillating music by Arrol Carelli, will hit screens by the first week of July.

Let’s now talk about your other film, Idhu Namma Aalu. What is it all about?

Idhu Namma Aalu is a feel-good romantic entertainer with a huge dose of comedy. The film will focus on a guy’s love for his fiancée. Generally, when families decide on an alliance, they choose to have the engagement first and then the wedding three or four months later. In Idhu Namma Aalu, the guy gets to know his girl during this intermittent period between the engagement and the wedding, and falls in love with her.
Finally, is Idhu Namma Aalu’s story based on experiences from your life?

It could be from my life or it could be inspired by the love story of others. One thing is certain, people who have been in love or are in love will definitely be able to relate to this film.

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