Anantham, the upcoming Tamil web series which is set to premiere on ZEE5 Tamil on Friday, marks the debut of director Priya V Kamakshi in the OTT space. Priya, who has previously helmed films like Kannamoochi Yenada (2007) and Kanda Naal Mudhal (2005), calls it a “hyperlinked series.”
Produced by V Murali Raaman, Anantham revolves around a house through the years 1964 to 2015, shown via the memories of its various occupants.
Speaking to Silverscreen India, Priya says, “The house I was born in and still live at is called Anantham and I have dealt with so many emotions in that house. I just thought, what if several, different people lived at the house, at different times. That is how the idea came up.”
“It is a series that deals with different emotions. There are eight stories in all, of which one story will serve as a link to the rest, making it a hyperlinked series. It is like an anthology, but the main characters will also recur at some points. It deals with all the emotions, which can be broadly called the navarasas (nine emotions). Anantham deals with sorrow, laughter, inspiration, as well as issues such as cruelty, child abuse, and a little bit of the unknown and horror,” she adds.
Priya, who has also written the story, says she came up with the idea sometime in 2014-15 and continued to develop it while working on her Kannada film, Aadi Lakshmi Puraana (2018). “I started to pitch the project around 2017-18 and then, I met Murali Raaman. When he heard about it, he was very excited about it. But, the project got delayed due to the pandemic. Later, he connected me with ZEE5.”
Anantham will consist of eight parts, with a runtime of about 45 minutes each. The series features an ensemble cast that includes actors Prakash Raj, Ananth Nag, Vivek Prasanna, Amrutha Srinivasan, Anjali Rao, Arjunan Nandakumar, and Sampath Raj.
It was shot on location at Aachi House in T Nagar, Chennai by cinematographer Bagath, in late 2021. Surya Rajeevan worked on production design, which Priya says was “exciting because [they] had to show differences in the same location.”
They also got to play around with the music because the series spans from 1964 to 2015, she adds. The music has been composed by AS Ram, and Priya says they have adopted the styles of iconic musicians of each time period. “For example, for the 70s, we used MS Viswanathan sir’s style; for the 80s, we incorporated Ilaiyaraaja sir’s style; 2000s was more like AR Rahman. Every episode has a song, and all the lyrics are from Mahakavi Subramania Bharati’s poems. That was very exciting and I hope people enjoy it,” she adds.
Thanking her producer Murali and the team of Anantham for helping her put together this “honest attempt” of a series, she particularly credits the team that worked with her on the screenplay, Preetha Jayaraman, Reema Ravichander, and Rakav Mirdath.
Priya feels that OTT platforms are “great and fantastic” for filmmakers who make content outside of the commercial space. “I can explore so many agendas through the OTT space, and it is a great thing for people like me,” she says.
After Anantham, the director will be working on a Tamil feature film that is yet to be announced.