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In a recent interview with Film Companion, Amala Paul had said that the first look poster of her film Aadai would be “quite the shocker”. Sounding confident and excited, the actress said that her role in the Rathna Kumar (of Meyaadha Maan fame) film was something no mainstream Indian heroine had attempted yet. Aadai’s poster, launched on Tuesday evening, was indeed a sensational one.

 

It depicts a distressed Amala Paul holding a rod, with the tagline ‘arrogant, audacious and artistic’. Contrary to the title, which means ‘dress’ or ‘clothing’, Amala has only tissue papers protecting her modesty. Her character seems to be a sexual harassment survivor who is looking to take a stand against the perpetrators.

Director Rathna told us more about this striking poster and what his plans are for the film’s release. “Contrary to what people infer from the poster, Amala is not just a rape victim out for revenge against the wrong-doers. She is a metaphor and a symbol, representing many things. The irony in the poster and the complete genre shift from Meyaadha Maan has already caught the eye of viewers,” he said.

He termed the film a ‘responsible piece of cinema,’ saying it would address many issues. “The freedom of speech and expression and also, free data, comes with limits and boundaries; that’s what I’m looking to address in the film. The content will encompass dark humour, intense emotions and the protagonist’s transformation.”

Meyaadha Maan music composer Pradeep Kumar, lyricist Vivek and actor Vivek Prasanna will return for Aadai. Many new theatre actors will also share the screen with Amala. Vijay Karthik Kannan, who worked in Iravaa Kaalam and is currently a part of the untitled Vijay Sethupathi-Anjali film with director Arun Kumar, will be in charge of the camera. No editor is attached to the project as of now.

Rathna said he has decided to have predominantly long, single-take shots in Aadai and plans to have extensive pre-shoots before the film goes on the floors to see how feasible it is. “I am trying to break templates, but ultimately the practicalities will decide how the film turns out,” he said. Live sync sound is another noteworthy aspect of Aadai’s production plan.

Rathna added that he was highly impressed with his heroine. “Amala is a sensible actor who keeps asking valid questions as part of how she works on the character’s psychology and attributes. She is doing a SWOT analysis of her character to dive deep into its psyche. The industry either hasn’t tapped this side of her yet, or maybe she has matured over time. There is no turning back for her now. She says she is even ready to die for a character.”

This is a promising time for women-led films in Tamil cinema mainly thanks to Nayanthara (Maya, Aramm, Kolamaavu Kokila and Imaikkaa Nodigal). Amala has Adho Andha Paravai Pola and now Aadai. How does Rathna see this burgeoning trend?

“I’m not going by the female-centric trend. I wanted to do Aadai even before Meyaadha Maan. I didn’t want to push this film anymore. Aadai will stand out among the lot of women-centric films, and we wanted to hit the right notes from the first look itself.”

The team plans to ready the first copy of Aadai by November.

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