Saturday, October 22, 2011

It's difficult to make a film as 'Urumi': Sivan

Celebrated cinematographer-director Santosh Sivan, who revisits the pages of history once again with his multi-starrer 'Urumi', says he is attracted to themes which deal with conflict and cultural clashes.

The director, who has previous made period films like 'Asoka' and 'Before the Rains', says he researched for a long time and then decided to make the film on Vasco Da Gama's visits to India.

"I won't say that I like historical dramas but I am attracted to the themes that talk about cultural clashes and land conflict. This is why I based my children's film 'Tahaan' in Kashmir but it is difficult to make a film like 'Urumi', which has a huge canvas. I decided to make the film in Malayalam because it happened there. I always thought that the story was very Indian," Sivan told PTI on the sidelines of Mumbai Film Festival.

The Telugu and Malayalam versions of the movie have been released while Tamil version will be in theatres soon. The director is also keen to take the film to the Hindi audience.

The film has also released in Japan and was selected at Busan International film festival.

The film stars big names like Prithviraj, Genelia D'souza, Prabhu Deva, Vidya Balan, Amole Gupte and Alex O'Neil.

"When Vasco Da Gama landed here, western people thought that he was a discoverer but if you go deeper into his log books and notebooks you will realize that he was very harsh like all the colonial rulers. He burnt ships from Mecca and people here did not react to him very kindly," Sivan says.

The film's beautiful title 'Urumi' is actually the name of the weapon, which Sivan says has a character of its own and was considered a legend of sorts in the warrior clans of Kerala.

"Urumi is a very interesting weapon, which is like a flexible sword. It has a character of coiling and recoiling and coming back in time."

Sivan, whose movie credits also include 'The Story of Tiblu', 'Malli', 'The Terrorist' and 'Navarasa', is also planning to make the second part of his famous second film 'Halo', a sweet story about and girl and her lost dog. The film will be in Hindi.

"I am going to make the second part of 'Halo' but it is not a children's film. Some of the characters from that film will come in this movie too. I am also thinking of bringing the girl. The film will be in Hindi and though it is not a sequel to 'Halo' but has the same spirit," Sivan said.

Sivan also turned actor with a film on painter Raja Ravi Varma but the director says he is not very passionate about acting.

"It was a strange experience. When the director first approached me, I thought he wanted me to shoot the film but as it turned out I had to play the lead. It is a tribute to the man, whose pictures were my first visual education. I remember my grandmother was a teacher of music in the palace and she would bring his paintings home to tell me mythological stories. I later shot some songs based on his paintings. Since I also paint a bit, I decided to go ahead with the role.

"But I am not passionate about acting. I had to turn down many offers after that because I am busy with my work as a cinematographer and director," he added.


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