Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss should have no problems with this film as none of the actors would be shown dangling a cigarette from his mouth. For, this movie’s cast would consist only of animals — a first in Indian cinema.
Tapati, the Little Mongoose, that tells the story of two young mongooses who lose their mother and fight for survival in the jungle, will be a bold new attempt to use only animals as characters in an adventure film.
No humans will feature in this movie, which will be shot mostly at ground level to keep up with mongooses and a cobra.
Co-produced by Chennai-based GV Films and French film company Films du Reve and European film distributor TF 1 International, the film is expected to cost 2 million euros. The French director Guillaume Vincent has made many award-winning films on animals, including The Besieged Fortress that tells the tale of an ant colony.
Tapati has the usual mix of survival, bravery and vengeance as the little mongoose and her younger sibling Balbir, after losing their mother to a cobra, struggle to get back to their burrow helped by monkeys and elephants. They also overcome the threats posed by their eternal enemies — dogs, hyenas and snakes.
“We chose mongoose as protagonist as it holds a special place in popular imagination as a fighter but also playful. We have spun the story like a typical folk tale, keeping in mind India’s vibrant folk arts,” explained director Vincent.
Set to be completed in 74 days, the 80-minute long film, targeting young audiences, would be released in September in English and French, first in Europe and later in India with subtitles or dubbing in Indian languages.