What does a happily married couple do when their life is wrecked by a supernatural entity? Well, for one, they seek an exorcist. What happens after that? Apparently, that’s what Zero, a supernatural thriller directed by newbie V Arunkumar, attempts to narrate. The youngster has assisted Bharatbala in Mariyaan and Anita Udeep in Kulir 100 degree earlier.
Produced by newbie Balaji Kapa, the film stars Nedunchalai girl Shivada. After the kudos she received playing the gutsy village girl in Nedunchalai, Shivada has now moved onto playing a girl possessed by a spirit. But Arunkumar is quick to assure us that his is a different kind of ghostly tale. “There are no haunting ruins, blood and gore, or youth getting killed by lonely spirits as is usually seen in such movies. When man and woman were created, a certain incident occurred with the woman. This incident has repercussions on a modern day couple. Hence the title Zero, which is the primordial number from which everything starts,” he says.
In the movie, an ancient spirit comes looking for the couple Ashwin Kakumanu and Shivada, who until then had been living normal lives. Shivada had to wear a specially-designed set of costumes for the parts where the ghost enters her. The clothes were designed by National Award winning designer Poornima Ramasamy. A special kind of makeup was done for her, showing blood shot eyes, different skin tone and hairstyle to suggest a possessed look. A Russian model plays the ghost, reveals the director.
For his debut venture, Arunkumar has teamed up with his close friends, Babu Kumar as cameraman, S Raja Mohan for Art and Sudershan as editor. “We all studied in the same film making Class in Loyola college under editor Lenin,” he says with a grin. Another youngster, Niwas Prasanna of Thegidi fame, handles the music. There are lots of thrills in the movie handled by Miracle Michael of Peraanmai and Porumboku fame. The extensive CG work is being done at Lorven Studios in Hyderabad.
The icing on the cake is perhaps the presence of ace actor JD Chakravarty in the role of an exorcist. But there is a modern twist here. “He won’t be dressed in long robes or wear malas made of skulls as is often shown,” says Arunkumar. “He plays a modern day, cool looking exorcist — a man who is gifted with a seventh sense,” he adds. Tulasi plays a neighbour, while Ravi Ravichander plays Ashwin’s dad.
The film has been shot for 30 days in Binny Mills inside a giant apartment set. In the next 30 days, the unit will shoot on various locations — inside AVM Studio, Anna Nagar Tower park, Mahabalipuram and on Chennai roads. The final schedule will be held in Maharashtra in a deep forest.