Pulipaarvai Press Meet Report: A Tribute To Balachandran

Silverscreen goes to the Pulipaarvai Press meet

Channel 4, a British public-service television broadcaster, released heartbreaking pictures from a few years ago of Balachandran – son of Prabhakaran, founder and the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam –  hours before he was reportedly shot. The photographs of the innocent-looking boy munching on snacks, with uncertainty and fear in his countenance, shattered many hearts. Filmmaker Praveen Gandhi found the harrowing image hard to digest, and that moment, vowed to make a film on Balachandran. Pulipaarvai is that movie.  “The profound look that Bala had in his final moments haunted me and I was sleepless for many nights. With that agony, I approached Vendhar Movies, who didn’t give a second thought about producing this film,” said Praveen, who has directed big-budget films like Ratchagan, Jodi and Star.

The first-look poster of Pulipaarvai is a simulation of the original picture of Bala. Sathya, a ninth grade student, dons the role of Bala and one can’t ignore the striking resemblances between the real and reel Bala. Praveen revealed that he visited hundreds of schools to find a young actor to play Bala’s role. “We had a couple of boys in mind. But we zeroed in on Sathya. He has done a remarkable job in the film,” said Praveen.  Sathya was clad in shorts, with a lungi on his shoulders and a packet of biscuits in his hands, looking like he had just jumped out of the poster. He wielded the mic reluctantly, but was eager to say, “I prayed that I would bag this role.”

An emotional Praveen emphasised that he made the movie to document Bala’s life. “It is a tribute to the young boy,” said Praveen. Pulipaarvai, with several debutants on its cast, has been awarded a U/A certificate.