‘It is interesting to shoot during the pandemic’

Director Gautham Menon‘s Vaanmagal in the anthology film Paava Kadhaigal tells a touching story, one he feels that people will connect to.

Menon tells Subhash K Jha, “It is an incredibly moving story and capturing it in a short film format made it even more intense.”

Vaanmagal shows the parents of a rape victim contemplating her murder. Isn’t that far fetched?

Well, there are fathers and mothers who kill their own daughters because she eloped with somebody from a lower caste, just to uphold their honour.

Similarly here, for their honour, this horrible thought comes up, even though here is a story of a mother who did not kill her child.

Why would a progressive loving mother think of pushing the child off a cliff?

The thought went through her just like we all have negative thoughts, but we never cross a line.

All for honour.

But she realises she has to let her daughter fly metaphorically, and not literally.

You play the father in the film. Is acting a parallel career for you now?

Not exactly. If I’m confident about a director and aspire to be around a bigger director, I don’t mind acting.

It’s a window opening for sure.

I directed myself for the first time in Vaanmagal.

In my own direction, it’s tricky. But this one, I think I sailed through.

Making Vaanmagal has been a learning experience for me. Getting to direct myself was something new.

It is an incredibly moving story and capturing it in a short film format made it even more intense.

A lot of people will connect to this story and feel for the family and their tribulations.

What are you shooting now?

I’m filming a feature film called Joshua.

It’s an action film with new actors, Varun and Rahei.

You’ve shot quite a lot during the COVID-19 crisis.

Yes. One for Amazon Prime Video, two for Netflix, and one anthology, which will release when theatres open fully.

It is interesting to shoot during the pandemic.

New norms. Faster work. Lesser people in the cast and crew.

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