Filmmaker Pa Ranjith has announced a new film to be backed by his Neelam Productions banner. The film will be written and directed by debutant Dhinakaran Sivalingam, who has previously worked with Ranjith on the Rajinikanth-starrers Kaala (co-director) and Kabali (associate director).
The upcoming film will be co-produced by TN Arun Balaji under his Balloon Pictures banner. Ranjith made the announcement on social media on Thursday.
Speaking to Silverscreen India about the untitled film, Dhinakaran says, “It is a hopeful film with an empowering message, set in contemporary Chennai. The core idea is to show a certain emotion in a comical way. It is about the internal battle of a person in their mid-40s. We will be presenting the protagonist’s highs and lows in a humorous way. And this will be balanced with family emotions, a loss, and the struggle to regain what was lost.”
The filmmaker, a former college-mate of Ranjith’s, says the duo was supposed to collaborate on another film earlier, but since that was a big-budget project, they later decided to make this film first.
“I am currently working on the final draft,” says Dhinakaran, adding that he began working on the idea in November 2020. “I completed a handwritten draft of about 130 pages in March. There were a lot of notes, and I added a few characters during the last moment. So now, I am restructuring the script and will finalise it by October. The casting and crew choices will then follow.”
The filmmaker adds that he is looking for seasoned actors with screen familiarity, but has not settled on any concrete names yet. “There are about four extreme emotions to be delivered by one character: innocent humour, cunning, hopelessness on the verge of losing something, and an inspirational attitude. The lead actor should be able to portray all these emotions,” he explains.
Dhinakaran mentions that he follows the works of filmmakers such as Yôji Yamada and Dileesh Pothan, particularly how they design characters and make feel-good films. “I also have an interest in the Japanese school of Buddhist philosophy, which teaches us to constantly renew ourselves and practice values that can elevate the lives of others as well. My film will similarly highlight the empowerment of one person and show how that inspires others.”
The makers of the untitled film are planning to go on floors in January 2022.