Oh My Dog, the upcoming Tamil film and the last of the four-film deal of actor Suriya’s 2D Entertainment production banner with Amazon Prime Video, is set to release on the platform on Thursday. “It is purely a film for children,” says director Sarov Shanmugam in conversation with Silverscreen India.
Written and directed by the debutant, Oh My Dog stars actor Arun Vijay alongside his son Arnav Vijay (in his acting debut) and his father, veteran actor Vijayakumar. It also features Mahima Nambiar, Vinay Rai, and others.
Sarov, who has previously assisted filmmakers Vasanthabalan and Suseenthiran, says, “The film follows the relationship between a blind dog and an eight-year-old boy. The story has an element of sports as well. It is about how one should not be discriminated against on the basis of their disability and how, given a chance, anyone can make it. But there is no preaching.”
“It will be like going to a Walt Disney film, watching and coming out happy,” adds Sarov, who is himself a big fan of Disney movies. He says he wanted to tap into the market here for children’s films. “I had conceived the idea about five years back and took about 50-60 days to write it. I wanted to pitch it to the right production house and had the chance to meet Rajasekhar (co-producer) of 2D in 2018. He liked it and the project eventually took off. Suriya sir suggested Arnav Vijay and things fell into place.”
Vijaykumar, Arun, and Arnav play their real-life roles, of grandfather, son, and grandson, in the film too. Sarov says this helps add authenticity to the film. “The original script had a good portion of the grandfather-grandson relationship. After Arun Vijay sir also liked it, I wanted to make a three-generation story. While all three of them have prominent roles, the story is primarily told from the viewpoint of the grandson.” He adds that the film became what it is now after Arun Vijay stepped in. “I am thankful for that. In fact, the entire family cooperated. Even Arnav’s mother helped off-screen.”
The filmmaker reveals that casting for the dog was a tedious process since the team wanted three of them that looked alike, but at different stages of growth, from a pup to an adult dog. “Since there are sports involved, we had to train the dogs as well and it took nearly a year to train them. It was a laborious job,” he adds.
Oh My Dog was shot in Ooty in 2021, with cinematographer Gopinath helming the camera. At the shooting stage too, the dogs were what made things difficult. “The toughest part of shooting was working with the animals. I am good with kids, so I did not worry so much about that aspect of making a kid’s film. I was mainly concerned about filming with the puppy. Adult dogs can be trained and will stay in place for at least three minutes, that’s not the case with puppies. Luckily, Arnav and the puppy shared a good chemistry and we managed to get through that part without too much trouble. It was the adult dogs, which I was very confident about, that were hard to manage. We had to handle multiple dogs on sets and it was difficult,” says Sarov.
The technical crew of Oh My Dog includes editor Meghanathan and composer Nivas K Prasanna. The film features three songs and some musical bits, notes the director.
Speaking about releasing his film on an OTT platform, Sarov says that it is a “positive evolution.” He adds, “Life of films on OTT platforms is longer than on the big screen. Over 200 countries get to watch it, which would otherwise not be possible for small films. Amazon is a reputed platform and this is a blessing. The big-screen experience, the laughter of the audience while watching it, will definitely be missed, but that’s just the trade off for such a wide release.”