Going bald for authenticity

Hundred school and college students of Kumbakonam shave their heads for a period Tamil film,

Published: 14th September 2013 09:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th September 2013 09:14 AM   |  A+A-


Based on the life of Srinivasa Ramanujan, the mathematical genius , Ramanujan is a period film, set in the early 1900’s when Tamil Brahmins during those days kept half shaven heads along with topknots.

To make the film more authentic and true to the period, the makers of the English-Tamil bilingual required extra artistes to shave their heads for a particular scene.

They managed to convince students from the Vedic School of Kumbakonam and college students to have half shaven heads with topknots.

“It was indeed a hard task,” says Vatsan Nadathur, producer of Camphor Cinema and added, “Local students of Kumbakonam Government College who came forward to act weren't interested in shaving their heads. I explained the importance and seriousness of the film and requested the students to shave their heads as Ramanujan went to the same college as them. After two hours of persuasion, none came forward and when asked why not: the students finally revealed that they were not from the same college! Seeing how many of those young men were reluctant to shave off their hair for style or vanity reasons, Assistant Director/Assistant Scriptwriter Roxane de Rouen and Assistant Director Nandita Rajasekaran told them how women find bald men attractive. The moment one of these students accepted, we immediately got that person's head shaved lest he change his mind.”

A hard task

Sushant Desai, Producer further added, “To even get students from the Vedic School to act in the film was not easy. The conservative administrators of the school did not agree easily to permit the students to act in a movie. It took long discussions to convince them of the authenticity and the motive of the film. They finally agreed and we had actual students of the Vedas act as young Ramanujan's classmates!”

Ramanujan is an Indo-British collaboration directed by National award winning director Gnana Rajasekaran and produced by Camphor Cinema, an independent film production company that was co-founded by four young entrepreneurs: Srivatsan Nadathur, Sushant Desai, Sharanyan Nadathur and Sindhu Rajasekaran. The film will track the journey of the ace mathematician from Kumbakonam to Cambridge. It is being simultaneously shot in Tamil and English.

The film stars grandson of legendary couple Gemini Ganesan and Savitri, Abhinay Vaddi who plays the role of ‘Ramanujan’, Malayali actress Bhama, Suhasini Maniratnam, and the established British stage and screen actor, Kevin McGowan. It features other actors like Abbas, Nizhalgal Ravi, Delhi Ganesh, Y. G. Mahendran and Sarath Babu as well as British actors Michael Lieber, Richard Walsh, Cloudia Swann and Elizabeth Bourne.



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