Touted as Asia’s first non-linear single-shot film, R Parthiban’s thriller Iravin Nizhal entered the Asia Book of Records and won several international awards this year. Known for his experiments, Parthiban wrote, directed, co-edited, produced and starred in this film. In the 2022 Tamil Directors Adda, the filmmaker-actor says that he is very happy that unique films like Iravin Nizhal are being watched and appreciated.
He asserts that the success of such films goes on to show how different attempts are well-received and do good business. “There are several factors associated with Iravin Nizhal like it is a single-shot film. But besides these appreciations, the fact that the film has earned good money is a big thing for me. It has approximately earned 15 crores, four crores from the theatres and the rest from OTT and satellite rights. It is good to see an experimental film do good business.”
Parthiban further adds that many experimental films are made today because commercial heroes are now ready to take that risk. He points out, “Earlier, there used to be a lot of hesitance to make such films, especially because heroes were not ready to take up such roles. But times have changed. Take Jai Bhim (2021), for instance. Suriya choosing to do such a film is a healthy sign in Tamil cinema.”
On the acting front, Parthiban essayed the role of Chinna Pazhuvettayar in Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan I. Crediting Kalki Krishnamurthy’s writing (the author of the five-part novel), he says there is no better time to be writers in the Tamil cinema industry. “When you look at Ponniyin Selvan’s success, even though it was Mani sir’s film and the promotions were massive with Rajini sir’s and Kamal sir’s speech, the opportunity to witness Kalki’s writing on the screen was the first thing that drove people to theatres. There is respect and regard for writers. The fact that a writer’s writing of nearly 70 years ago is being discussed today is the victory of Ponniyin Selvan,” Parthiban notes.
Besides writers, he also posits that Tamil cinema today is also increasingly recognising novels as source materials for films. He further adds that importance is given to the story selection and novels than just focusing on the hero of the film. “There is a novel called Velpari which is going to be adapted to the big screen by Shankar sir. When I asked them who the hero is, they said they don’t know yet. The value of a film that was earlier associated only with big stars is now being associated with a novel. This is such a big, wonderful change,” he hopefully smiles.