Despite its weaknesses and flaws, Tamil cinema cannot be faulted as far its grit to pick amazingly novel themes is concerned. Who could have thought of making a film on rooster fight? Vetrimaaran's 2011 Aadukalam plotted a story and script centred precisely around this.Now Vetrimaaran -- who produced Kaaka Muttai, that refreshing adventure of two slum boys whose obsession with the pizza takes them on a roller-coaster hunt for money -- is toying with the idea of making a movie on pigeon racing. It will be interesting to see how this young director, driven by a passion to give a new avatar to Tamil cinema, will pen his story.
A pigeon-fanciers' community -- which urged Vetrimaaran to make a film on this subject -- has promised to crowd-fund the movie.
It may be recalled here that pigeon racing did figure in Dhanush's recent outing, Maari, and the actor himself had played the lead in Aadukalam.
Pigeons have been fancied from time immemorial, when they were used as messengers by the royalty. But today pigeon racing is one of those sports associated with cruelty. However, despite this there are two organisations in Chennai that promote pigeon racing: New Madras Racing Pigeon Association and the South Indian Racing Pigeon Society.It was during a function organised by these two groups that Vetrimaaran was sounded out for a possible film on pigeon racing, which is a relatively unknown hobby, the prohibitive cost of training and taking care of the birds being a damper.
Aadukalam followed a trend set by K Sasikumar in his 2008 path-breaking Subramaniapuram. This low budget movie was critically acclaimed for its original script, extraordinary direction, imaginative editing and accurate sets and costumes. Sasikumar resurrected the 1980s Madurai, a famous temple town in Tamil Nadu, with unbelievable authenticity.
Aadukalam was also shot in Madurai, but the film had one huge drawback. Although centring on rooster fight, the movie digressed into romance, jealousy, songs, dances, fights and comedy. In the end, rooster fight appeared like a background score.
This is where a work like Chak De India scored -- remaining steadfastly focussed on the game of hockey.
Hope Vetrimaaran's work on pigeon racing will not stray from its core plot.