After a hiatus, producer-director Vasudev Bhaskar is back with Palli Paruvathile, which is set for an early June release. While he displayed potential in Vedha, he followed up with the rather underwhelming Marupadiyum Oru Kadhal, which had Vadivelu playing the lead character. Theatres originally refused to screen the film.
“Blame it on the political scenario then. I was forced to bide my time because I did not want all our hard work to go waste. As a producer, I was unable to break even when it came out, and thus the delay in my third venture,” he explains.
Palli Paruvathile, Bhaskar says, is close to his heart because the plot revolves around his own school days in a remote village called Iluppai Thoppu in Thanjavur district. “Our headmaster was a man who insisted on monitoring his students closely. This led to the students being harassed and came in the way of them pursuing their dreams. I want to say with my film that the education system needs to give individuals the space and the means to achieve their goals.”
Is the movie a reflection of his own frustrations? “Yes! If my father had taken the trouble to know my ambition, he would’ve got me into a course in DFT. When precious years are lost in the youth, it has a shattering impact. I’ve been fortunate and was able to pursue my dreams despite this. Not everyone is as lucky.”
For Bhaskar, getting the right actors to play the parts was the crucial first step. “I wanted KS Ravikumar to play the character of the headmaster. It took some time to convince him to accept the role. Oorvashi was my other big signing. I’m also introducing composer Sirpi’s son, Nandhan Ram, in the role of the wayward son, and Venba as his love interest.”
“A lot can happen during the Plus Two days of a student when he is enveloped by fear and pressure from all sides. That is the phase when parents should be his friends. That’s my message in this two-hour film that’s meant for the whole family,” he concludes.