Animal kingdom in K'town

By M Bharat Kumar Published on May 09, 2018 04:37 PM IST

From 1960s to 1980s, there came movies that centered around animals. Thevar Films, a renowned production house,  rolled out flicks that features lions, tigers, elephants and dogs in pivotal characters. They proved successful at the box office too.

Nalla Neram, Vettaikaran, Annai Oru Alayam and Ram Lakshman among others were big hits. Then came filmmaker Rama Narayanan whose works featured around snakes, monkeys etc as heroes. The likes of Aadi Velli, Thai Poosam, Durga managed to strike a chord with audience.

However after the Animal Welfare Board tightened rules on such projects, filmmakers chose to stay away from doing films in this genre. But the trend seems to have made a comeback now, with an increasing number of Kollywood filmmakers trying to bring the audience to theatres, by penning scripts where animals are the central characters.

Kattapava Kanom released last year was about a vaasthu fish, Saivam spoke about a child's attempt to save a rooster from being sacrificed in temple, Kumki was about the bond between an elephant and his master. Naan Ee was a revenge drama involving a housefly.

A look at few films that are getting ready for release

Gorilla

Jiiva starrer Gorilla will feature a real chimpanzee playing an important role. A major portion of the movie was shot in Thailand.

According to director Sandy, "Chimpanzee plays a prominent role and helps the protoganist in a heist". Shalini Pandey of Arjun Reddy fame is the heroine. The chimpanzee is named Kong and is trained at Samut Training Station in Thailand.

Pamban

It is a super natural thriller that features Sarath Kumar and his daughter Varalakshmi. The movie is loosely based on ancient mythology. It is about a huge creature in sea that sets out to achieve its mission. Directed by A Venkatesh, it has music by Srikanth Deva.

A lot of computer graphic visuals will be created for the movie, say sources in the unit. The star cast includes Kota Srinivasa Rao, Ilavarasu, Rajendran, Ganja Karuppu, Imman Annachi, Vincent Ashokan and Rythvika.

Neeya 2

Kamal Haasan starrer Neeya that was released in 1979 was a blockbuster at the box office. It was about a snake that sets out to take revenge on the killers of her beloved.

Now, L Suresh of Eththan fame is making a sequel to Neeya with actor Jai, who recently delivered a hit with Sundar C’s Kalakalappu 2. Varalakshmi Sarathkumar, Raai Laxmi, and Catherine Tresa are the three heroines.

Seema Raja

Sivakarthikeyan starrer Seema Raja is a hilarious entertainer and sources say that a cheetah will appear in certain portions of the movie. Directed by Ponram and produced by R D Raja of 24AM Studios, the film stars Samantha Akkineni as heroine and Napoleon, Simran, Soori, Rajendran amongst others in pivotal roles.

Seema Raja is touted to be a drama, made in Tamil and also set to release in Telugu as Chinna Babu. Sivakarthikeyan and Ponram have worked together in Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam (2013) and Rajini Murugan (2016)

Kaala

The first look posters of Kaala starring Rajinikanth went viral on social media. It featured Rajinikanth sitting with a native breed dog, which sources say has a part to play in the film. Directed by Pa Ranjith, Kaala has Nana Patekar, Samuthirakani, Sampath, Ravi Kale, Sayaji Shinde, Pankaj, Huma Qureshi, Anjali Patil, Eswari Rao, Arvind Akash and Sukanya in lead roles.

Rajinikanth plays a gangster who fights for the rights of Tamil people living in the slums of Mumbai.