Director Anurag Kashyap is a big supporter of Tamil director, Bala, whose film, Paradesi, releases today. We caught up with Anurag at the film’s special screening last night and here are excerpts from what he told us:
Team Miss Malini: Tell us about Paradesi?
Anurag Kashyap (AK): Paradesi is set in a time much before Indian Independence in a village down South where British agents used to pick up hoards of villagers to work on tea estates. This film is based on one once such village where its people are taken to work on a tea estate. It’s a love story about a boy who goes to earn some money so that he can marry the woman he loves in the village. It’s also about the tea estates in those times. It’s based on a book called Red Tea.
Team MM: Do you watch regional cinema, regularly?
AK: I love a lot of regional cinema but I obviously don’t get enough time to see all of the films. But I do manage to keep track of film makers I admire and those that are being talked about.
Team MM: How different is Tollywood from Bollywood?
AK: I think a lot of Tamil film makers are very rooted in their culture and their language. But Hindi film makers are more influenced by the West. A lot of them are mostly English-speaking who don’t even read or write in Hindi. For instance, Tamil scripts are actually written in Tamil. That’s one basic difference.
Team MM: Who are your favourite Tollywood directors?
AK: I have a lot of favourites – Gangs Of Wasseypur was dedicated to three of them, one of them being Bala, who has directed Paradesi.
Team MM: And your favourite Tollywood actors?
AK: I like a lot of actors and follow their performances. I loved Vikram’s early performances but have not seen any of his later films. Everything Vikram has done with Bala is fantastic. I like Surya, as well. I can tell you about particular performances in particular films. But unfortunately, I don’t know the names of all the actors.
Watch our interview with him here:
Synopsis: Directed by the National award-winning filmmaker Bala, Paradesi features Atharvaa (son of the late movie actor Murali) Dhanshika and Vedhika in the lead roles. The Film is being backed and distributed by Anurag Kashap’s Phantom Films Pvt. Ltd. The film is centred on real life incidents that took place before independence in the 1930’s.
Paradesi, a pejorative Tamil term meaning a foreigner or wastrel, deals with the story of enslaved tea plantation workers in pre-independent India. The film has been adapted from Eriyum Panikadu a Tamil translation of the 1969 novel Red Tea by Paul Harris Daniel which deals with Harris’s encounters with enslaved tea plantation workers in the Madras Presidency in colonial India.
The movie deals with the slavery in the tea plantations and exhibits the agony and pain experienced by the tea plantation workers, who were treated like lesser human beings during the colonial era, before independence. The movie depicts the trials and tribulations that a couple working in a tea estate undergo to raise their son.