Kuthiraivaal, starring actor Kalaiarasan in the lead, is a Tamil magic realism political film, set to hit theatres on March 4. The film is being produced by Pa Ranjith’s Neelam Productions along with Vignesh Sundaresan’s Yaazhi Films.
Kuthiraivaal has been directed by Manoj Leonel Jahson and Shyam Sunder. Speaking to Silverscreen India, director Shyam Sunder says that the duo met while studying filmmaking at LV Prasad Film & TV Academy. “After we collaborated to make a film Skylab is Falling, for our diploma, our team once again got together, to work on Kuthiraivaal,” he says.
Manoj notes that the film explores the concept of magical realism, a theme that portrays a realistic worldview, with the use of magical elements, to present ideas. “It follows the life of a bank employee (Kalaiarasan), who is also an alcoholic. One day, he wakes up in the morning with a horse’s tail, which is connected to his dream, in some way. The story also has political undertones,” he adds.
Manoj mentions that though one might interpret the movie as a commentary on the political climate in Tamil Nadu, it attempts to offer a take on exploring identity politics. It also aims to talk about issues surrounding mental health.
Kuthiraivaal was filmed in 2018 and shot by cinematographer Karthik Muthukumar. While half the film was shot in Chennai, the rest was completed in Salem. Maarten Visser has composed six songs, including one instrumental musical piece. The film, edited by Gridaran MKP, is set to run for two hours and six minutes.
“The film has used a lot of CGI to showcase the tail. Though we shot in 2018, it took us until March 2021 to get a glimpse of the final product. It was screened at the Berlin Critics Week, after premiering at the 25th International Film Festival of Kerala,” mentions Sunder.
The directors say that they were awaiting a theatrical film release, with the makers looking for the right opportunity to do so. “We found that March 4 was a good time to release the film in theatres. These kinds of films have not been seen by the audience in Tamil Nadu, in theatres. We presented the film in festivals, to start a buzz about it. The nature of Kuthiraivaal is intended to initiate a conversation among people, since it is allegorical. We hope it sparks several conversations about politics, identity, and others among viewers,” they add.