Movie on LTTE Prabharakan’s son

The picture of 12-year-old Balachandran, the son of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabharakan, consuming a snack a couple of hours before being allegedly shot dead by the Lankan military, was one that moved the hearts of millions across the world.

One such heart it filled with pain belongs to director Praveen Gandhi, who has now made a full-length Tamil feature film based on the life of the boy and the tragedy that befell him.

Says Praveen Gandhi, who has titled his film Puli Paarvai, “The pictures of this boy eating a snack and lying dead soon after were released in February last year. From the minute I saw the picture, my heart was filled with pain. It ignited in me a spark, and I began work on my film the next instant. The picture, I realized, was a testimony to the fact that the boy had shown a great deal of courage under intimidating circumstances.

“I say he is a very courageous boy because, for an instant, put yourself in his shoes. If you or I were to be captured and surrounded by enemy soldiers, who, we know are intent on killing us, forget about eating a snack, our throats would have gone dry in fear. But look at the eyes of the boy in the picture and you realize he is courageous,” Praveen explains.

And an analysis of that look is what has resulted in this film. “One wonders how his parents must have brought him up for him to showcase such bravery. He must have been used to living life with the awareness that death could visit him at any instant,” says Praveen.

The biggest asset for his film, Praveen says, is the star cast. “I have a brand new team unlike my earlier films like Ratchagan, Jodi or Star. I actually undertook an intense search for the boy to play Balachandran. I would stand outside schools with a picture of Balachandran and look at the children in the hope of finding one who resembled him. I found that in Satya Dev, who, many say, looks exactly like Balachandran.”

With the censor board passing the film with a U/A certificate, Praveen says he will release it next month. “Don’t mistake this film to be a documentary just because it is based on a real-life incident. It is a proper feature film, which we intend to take to audiences across the globe.”


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