“Not everything that inspires you can be made into a feature film. My film was inspired from a real life theft that happened during the lockdown at Bobby Simha‘s office,” said Karthik Subbaraj, director of short film Miracle that is part of the Tamil anthology film Putham Pudhu Kaalai set to release on Amazon Prime Video on October 16. Subbaraj was speaking at a virtual press meet on Monday.
“I was in Kodaikanal when my office in Chennai was robbed. I came here only to find out that everything was stolen. I couldn’t sleep for a week during my search for the perpetrators,” Simha said. “After a while, Karthik reached out to me to shoot the anthology. That was when he told me that the story is about me,” said Simha, who is in fact playing the role of the thief in Miracle.
The trailer of Putham Pudhu Kaalai, featuring five short films by directors Sudha Kongara, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Suhasini Mani Ratnam, Rajiv Menon and Karthik Subbaraj, was released by ace director Mani Ratnam and music maestro AR Rahman on Monday, after which the filmmakers joined for a virtual press meet.
“Delighted to launch the trailer of #PuthamPudhuKaalai. Congratulations to the team on their new beginnings!” Rahman wrote, while launching the official trailer on Twitter.
All five short films are set in and were filmed during the lockdown, as per the rules and regulations laid down by the Film Employees’ Federation of South India for filming. The stories feature themes of love, new beginnings, second chances and hope.
Aparna Purohit, the head of India Originals, Amazon Prime Video said: “Art can find expression and manifestation even in the most difficult and dreary times. That was the small idea – to connect people.”
Suhasini Maniratnam said that the pandemic had managed to bring families closer together. For her film, Cofee, Anyone?, in which three siblings return home for their parents’ 50th anniversary, she roped in Shruthi Haasan and Anu Haasan to act alongside her. “I wanted to have all the Haasans in my film. Unfortunately, a week before the shoot my father met with an accident and so Kaathadi Ramoorthy came in. Otherwise, it would have been an all-Haasan cast,” she said.
Cofee, Anyone? is based on a story Suhasini Maniratnam penned nearly 10 years ago.
For filmmaker Rajiv Menon, the main challenge was to restrict the number of team members of his film Reunion. “It took me back to the time we used to take films in the film institute,” he said.
In contrast to her previous feature film works, Sudha Kongara’s film Ilamai Idho Idho will explore a romantic theme and the “happiest phase in one’s life”.
For Gautham Vasudev Menon, the most daunting aspect of being part of an anthology film was having his name appear along with Rajiv Menon’s. “I have worked with him before. When I heard that he is part of the film, I said that I don’t think I can do this. So thanks to Amazon Prime for the opportunity to put my name somewhere along with Rajiv Menon sir’s,” said Gautham Menon, who has directed the short film Avarum Naanum/Avalum Naanum.
Subbaraj, however, found the exercise easy. “I came from making short films. During my Naalaiya Iyakunar times, I used to compete with my co-contestants like Nalan and Balaji Mohan. This time it was Gautham sir, Rajiv Menon sir and Suhasini madam,” he said.
Putham Pudhu Kaalai will be available across 200 countries on Amazon Prime from October 16. The anthology features a long cast lineup that includes Malayalam actor Jayaram, Kalidas Jayaram, Urvashi. Kalyani Priyadarshan, MS Bhaskar and Ritu Varma, Suhasini Mani Ratnam, Anu Hasan, Shruti Haasan, Andrea Jeremiah, Leela Samson,Sikkhil Gurucharan, Bobby Simha and Muthu Kumar.