He is an artist with a commendable body of work, yet writer/actor Shankar Ramakrishnan
decided on a relatively unconventional choice for his directorial debut. For, Pathinettam Padi tells the sensitive tale of a group of adolescents. While many might call it a risk, he'd rather term it 'an opportunity'. "Every movie is a risk and, along with it, there is an excitement too. For me, this is an opportunity," he tells Express, amidst the workshop he conducts for the new faces.Shankar, who began his career as a writer in Kerala Cafe (2009), says he brings the focus to a group of 18-year olds in Pathinettam Padi. "This movie is about knowledge.
The popular devices we employ to educate our children and its effects come under the radar here. The real education happens when they face real-life situations and that's when they acquire life skills. All these sensitive issues find a voice in Pathinettam Padi," he adds. Is it a coming-of-age movie? Shankar says it indeed is, but then there is more to it. Nevertheless, Pathinettam Padi definitely is an entertainer, something everybody can enjoy. "I don't want my movie to be something that appeals only a certain section," he adds.
Shankar, for the last few days, has been engrossed in conducting art camps, that he expects will benefit the industry as a whole. "The faces we selected are from outside the industry and I am delighted they get to attend these workshops that will benefit them immensely," he says about the latest one where legendary action choreographer Kecha Khamphakdee interacted with the participants.
"Besides his contributions to Pathinettam Padi, I was adamant that the industry itself benefits from someone like Kecha. He is a famous name and his experience would definitely enrich us," he adds.
So, who is the protagonist here? "The content. Of course, there will be a character, but it is the concept that is important. The hero is the concept," Shankar clarifies. Pathinettam Padi has a bunch of new faces in front and behind the camera. While the fact that there are few established actors in our industry at that age group, Shankar also wanted to give many aspirants a chance through his debut.
"Not just actors, many new faces are there. For instance, Sudeep Elamon, the DOP is a 22-year-old who has made many wildlife movies. Their creative contributions are invaluable, " says Sankar.