Thursday, December 12, 2019
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For the love of… a Fiat?

Tamil film Pannaiyarum Padminiyum (Landlord and Padmini) evokes curiosity with its title.

Yes, it is a love story — but not the typical romantic tale that the movie world usually comes up with.

Padmini is not just the beloved of the landlord of this village in Madurai, but also shares an intense bond with his driver.

“It is an emotional story,” says debutant director Arun Kumar, talking about the film that grew into a feature from a nine-minute short film.

Eager to know more about Padmini?

Padmini is a vintage car, a Fiat model of the 1970s. She belongs to the village landlord, a role played by Jaya Prakash. Vijay Sethupathy plays his driver.

“Padmini is not just the centre of attraction in the landlord and his driver’s life but she is also an integral part of the villagers’ lives,” adds Kumar, who was a runner up in season two of reality show Nalaya Iyakkunar.

The main challenge for Kumar? Procuring a vintage car for shooting. “No one was willing to part with their car.”

Producer-turned-actor Jayaprakash says he enjoyed playing the village landlord. “This film is counted among those close to my heart,” he said. “Initially I was apprehensive whether I would be able to portray this character, with its simplicity and innocence. But with Arun’s conviction, I realised that I need not put in much effort. Vijay and I shared a good rapport and that is reflected onscreen.”

Running parallel to the main story are two love stories, one the marital bond of sixty years between the landlord and his wife, played by Thulasi; the other between the driver and his lover.

Aishwarya Rajesh, last seen in Rummy, is again paired with Sethupathi. “Malarvalli, my character works in a factory. She is a simple and sweet girl,” she says.

Sneha Prasanna and Dinesh of Attakathi fame play cameo roles.

The film has impressed Telegu actor Nani so much that he has purchased the remake rights.

Produced by M.R. Ganesh and music scored by Justin Prabhakaran, Pannaiyarum Padminiyum releases on February 6.