Director Arun Kumar Aravind says he switches genres every time he does a film. While Left Right Left was a political drama and Ee adutha kalathu a black comedy, the latest is Kaattu, a rustic tale set in the late 1970s. But, Arun refuses to bracket Kaattu into any genre.
“It is a mix of many genres, but basically about raw human emotions,” he says. He, however, agrees Kaattu is different from what he has done so far. Arun, who is busy with the post-production work, shares with Express his work in Kaattu and love for films.
Gone with the wind
Kaattu is a tale from a bygone era. When Anantha Padmanabhan narrated the story, I was instantly attracted to the raw emotions it contained. There is love, anger, treachery and everything humane in it. It is a story of a man and reflects discernment. The characters have a rustic charm and share flavours of ‘Padmarajan characters’.
I was enamoured by the script and wanted to make a movie of it. However, recreating that era came with its share of challenges. An extensive research went into it. The story happens on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. We shot for it in Palakkad. Thankfully, there were hamlets where development, as we see around us now, hasn’t altered lives. There were buildings where we could get the vibes of that time period. Even then, we did set extensions.
Finding the characters
I believe I have always been lucky when it comes to casting. For
Kaattu, I knew Asif Ali and Murali Gopy could do justice to the characters. While one is in his mid-twenties, the other one is older. They form a rare bond and the movie explores it. When the script was done, I knew Asif would be best as one of the protagonists.
I approached him with the story board and he was convinced. So was Murali, with whom I share a bond beyond films. Every actor is a director’s tool and the trick is to convince him about the character and make him trust in his skills. Then, Varalakshmi plays a Tamil woman and I saw my character in her. We also have Manasa who will make her debut. Then Rajan P Dev’s son Unni P Dev also plays a prominent role.
Stint as a producer
This is my second stint as a producer, the first one being Vedivazhipadu. Whether it is direction or production, I make movies only if it answers the question, why it should be made. I love entertainers and make movies to entertain people. I think Vedivazhipadu was a good film and deserved an audience. I will continue to make movies that convince me, irrespective of its success quotient.