Attended a discussion session with ‘#KaakaMuttai‘ director #Manikandan, director#VasantaBalan and popular writer #S_Ramakrishnan along with a number of film aspirants / movie lovers. The session was aimed at guiding on how #KAAKKA_MUTTAIwas made, what was the inspiration to do the film, what was the budget, what were the challenges in wiring such a script and giving it to the audience so engagingly and also the director clarified on many other doubt that the participants had.
The duration of the session was around 3 hours and Manikandan spoke on almost everything about the movie, starting from the idea of doing such a script. Below are some of the interesting information shared about the film in the session:
* Manikandan was inspired to do a film on this concept of PIZZA, when his son asked him to buy him a pizza for 500rs during a time when he did not have money literally. This incident triggered him to do a film on how Media misleads kids with such advertisements and on the idea of a poor slum kid’s dream to eat pizza.
* Manikandan’s earlier scripts were rejected by number of producers due to lack of commercial viability and just because the scripts did not have a comedy track and a romance portion.
* Kaaka Muttai had a lot of changes in scripting. The characters in the film had a totally different writing with negative shades initially. After Manikandan’s visit to some of the slums in Chennai, where he saw people with so much of righteousness, love and caring, he rewrote the draft completely from what we assume about them usually.
* Manikandan stayed in a lodge near the Saidapettai slum for more than 2 months to study about the people over there, their lifestyle, habits. Manikandan and his assistants has put forth a lot of efforts visiting different slums in Chennai at Anna Nagar, Teynampet and other places to add so much detailing to the script.
* The kids Ramesh and Vignesh were not given any training in acting, but they have undergone a 2 months training in Koothupattarai on listening skills, how to stay focused without getting distracted, understanding the basics of acting and what is expected from them. With no doubt, it was a very difficult task for Manikandan to get the best out of the kids, that he felt even like dropping the film in the first 10 days itself as he was not able to get what he expected from the kids. Later, the team found some tricks to make them act easily and also other actors like the Paatti and the tricks of some excellent shots that have dogs and crows in the film.
* He shared a lot about the cinematography in the film. The cameras and lens used, the color tone used, the colors which were purposefully avoided all through the film. He told about some interesting moments where the camera was hidden from public’s view in many scenes during filming.
* Manikandan gave the participants a lot of shocks about the making too. Will you believe that the film has a lot of sets involved? Yes, the film has a lot of importance for Art direction all through. Believe me, the tree which is cut down in the film is a SET! and, it costed more than 3 lacs 😳😱 Few things which he said about matching the continuity of scenes shot in different time period were so enlightening.
* Manikandan wrote this script as it is ending with the scene where the Paatti dies, the kids drop their dream of Pizza and the final scene is where Chinna Kaaka Muttai stops littering in sleep. But, the scenes on the exaggeration by media, the political exploitation and the ending which you see now are all added later in the script for commercial benefits.
* Kaaka Muttai was filmed in 61 days (but, in a span of 11 months due to several issues and challenges)
* Manikandan was very firm in making KAAKA MUTTAI – a film with no interval sequence. He didn’t want to compromise on that since he don’t agree on the concept of First half – Second half.
* Manikandan ended the session with a note saying that blaming commercial films for the failure of art films is not healthy, because the industry survives only because of Commercial films and that the life of art films will be too less with no commercial films.
Manikandan also shared a lot other things about Kaaka Muttai and about his early life, family, his struggles in the industry. The whole session was so informative and enlightening! Thanks to Director Vasanta Balan and Discovery Book Palace for arranging this awesome session.