In a couple of months, you’ll get to watch a digitally enhanced version of the Kamal Haasan-Prabhu starrer Vetri Vizha. The 44-year-old Chennai-based distributor Deva (of Darwin Pictures), who has taken this initiative, says he’s trying his best to revive the film, using extra digital inputs in visual and sound effects.
“I am die-hard fan of Ulaganayagan. Initially, I attempted to get the rights of Apoorva Sagodharargal and Salangai Oli for re-releasing them, but couldn’t. My second option naturally was Vetri Vizha. The film, released by Sivaji Productions, was ahead of its time. Prathap Pothen, the director was brilliant, and even now when I watch it, I get goosebumps,” he smiles.
Deva adds, “We are working on the finishing touches and technical aspects of the restoration, including preparing the ‘digital intermediates’ (DI). In fact, there was no negative film left. We got it scanned from Gemini labs and developed the print. I am sure this would be a treat to Kamal Haasan fans. By April, we’re looking to releasing Vetri Vizha in theatres.”
He insists on the need to archive film negatives, which has been a debatable issue in Tamil cinema for a long time. “In the past, we have made many classics, which deserve to be showcased to the coming generations. Measures need to be taken to document these things,” he shares.
Kollywood has seen a few classics being restored over the past two years like Ayirathil Oruvan, Karnan, Pasa Malar and Suryagandhi among a few. Rajinikanth’s Baashha is also being digitally spruced up and re-releasing next month.