Now, a film on Prabhakaran

Even as Madras Cafe remains unreleased in the state, a Tamil film director is now planning to counter the “untruths” in that film by making a film on slain LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Gowthaman, who directed the 2010-film Magizhchi, starring Seeman (whose party called for a ban on Madras Cafe), is now in the final stages of casting for a biopic on Prabhakaran.

“The film is a culmination of 10 years of my work. It is my life’s ambition to portray the LTTE struggle and its leader on the big screen,” says the director. The film, he says, will begin with Prabhakaran’s mother praying for a son who will fight against the oppression of Tamils and will conclude with the final decision Prabhakaran makes when he is surrounded by the Sri Lankan army.
Gowthaman is no stranger to controversies. He earlier helmed the TV serials depicting the lives of serial killer Auto Shankar and notorious forest brigand Veerappan. The director claims that Prabhakaran was impressed after watching the latter and had expressed a wish to his aides that he should be invited to their camps to make a film on the LTTE.

“I had used a poem by Puduvai Rathinadurai, a pro-Tamil poet, in the serial. I got word that Prabhakaran could not catch that particular episode when it was telecast. So, I sent the entire serial to him through sources and later learnt that he had managed to watch the 36-hour-long serial in just three days!” he says.

Gowthaman adds that he had sent word to the LTTE in 2008 that he was ready to shoot the proposed film but was told that Prabhakaran did not want it at that time as the war had escalated by then, and that he feared that a film crew would only become collateral damage. The current project, he clarifies, is not being funded by the LTTE, and is being produced by a first-time producer who is a staunch Tamilian.

Given that the late LTTE chief is a polarizing figure in our country, doesn’t he expect hurdles, especially from the censors, for the film? “Why should there be a problem when I’m just telling the truth behind things? If Madras Cafe can be passed by the censors, then, why shouldn’t my film not be allowed?” asks Gowthaman and adds, “I believe in the law of our land. If any problems arise, I’ll take them on legally.”


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