Producer CV Kumar has said that the rough cut duration for director Manikandan’s debut film 144 was approximately four and a half hours. Editor Leo John Paul, who has worked with CV Kumar’s previous films, had a mammoth task ahead of him. The final version is 2 hours and 15 minutes long. Unusually enough, Paul cut the film according to the music by Sean Roldan. Normally, an editor edits the movie, which is then handed over to the music director. Sean Roldan, who composed for Vaayai Moodi Pesavum, worked on the unedited four and a half hour footage.
Leo John Paul said that, unlike in the ‘film roll’ days, directors today don’t plan their shots. “These days, the digital camera version have made a director’s job easy. It is stressful to cut short a four-hour film to a two-hour one. But, we take it as a challenging task and deliver our best,” he said.
Director Manikandan, a close friend of CV Kumar, said that 144 was a village-based comedy with multiple sub-plots. The title is inspired by Section 144 of the Criminal Procedures Code, which is used by administrators to maintain law and order. The director was inspired by real life cases of police living with villagers for over 60 years, in order to defuse conflict situations. Ashok Selvan, who plays an illegal car racer, is paired opposite Sruti Ramakrishnan, while actor Shiva, a thief, is paired opposite Oviya. Ashok Selvan worked on mastering the Madurai slang, and said that 144 was different from the usual city based scripts he had received.
144 has been awarded a ‘U’ certificate by the Censor Board, and is scheduled to release on November 27.