‘Vetri Maaran sir never gave me the script of our film’

…says Sai Pallavi, as she joins director Vetri Maaran in a conversation about their upcoming short, Oor Iravu, which is a part of Netflix’s upcoming anthology, Paava Kadhaigal

The Tamil anthology, Paava Kadhaigal, which is coming out on Netflix on December 18, is quite a breakthrough in the trend of anthologies that have been quite the rage, this year. It’s a departure from the rather generic topics typically handled by such film collections. Among anthologies that have descended into our television are those themed on lust, ghosts, morality… you get the idea. With Paava Kadhaigal, the boundaries are narrower, and the topic handled by the four filmmakers—Sudha Kongara, Vignesh Shivan, Gautham Menon and Vetri Maaran—is one that’s as sensitive as it’s specific — honour killings. Here’s the brain behind the topic and one of the directors of the anthology, Vetri Maaran, and the heroine of his segment, Sai Pallavi in conversation with us.

Excerpts:

Vetri Maaran, could you expand upon how this topic of honour killings was chosen?

About five years ago, the plan was to make an anthology to mark 100 years of Indian cinema, featuring directors like Ameer, Gautham Menon, Venkat Prabhu and myself, but that project fell through and it got made in Hindi. When I was approached again about the topic of making something about love, I wasn’t too interested. Love dhaan irukke elaa padathlayum — we either make love stories surrounded by other elements or use love to coat an unrelated story. I was keen that we do something unique in this space, something that would allow us to utilise the freedom that OTT platforms accord filmmakers.

For filmmakers like Gautham Menon and Vignesh Shivan, this topic must have seemed quite unusual. Did you all have any concerns over dealing with such a sensitive topic?

Vetri Maaran: If they had any concerns about this topic, they didn’t tell me. (Laughs) The truth is, all of us had some reservations. Even I had my concerns. You see, when you handle such a topic, there’s a good chance that you could face backlash from both sides, the one you are raising a voice for, and the side that you are raising a voice against. And yet, I thought that it would all be worth it.

Any worries that the topic, on account of its specificity, could cause multiple filmmakers to create similar material? Did you guys exchange notes about your stories?

VM(Laughs) Adhelaam onnum pannala. Gautham knew about my film. I understand that Sudha and Vignesh had shared with him their stories as well. None of us knew about his story though. He’s used a poster in his film that makes a reference to mine. I also want to clarify that we think of this anthology as being one about sin — and that makes the canvas broader. Also, honour killings need not always be about love. You see this in films of both Gautham and to a certain extent, Sudha as well.

For the remainder of this review (and there’s a lot more left, I assure you), visit Vetri Maaran Sai Pallavi Netflix Paava Kadhaigal Prakash Raj Interview- Cinema express

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