Auto-rickshaw driver turned writer M. Chandrakumar, on whose book “Lock Up” the forthcoming Tamil thriller “Visaaranai” is based, is eager to know how the general public will react to the film that is inspired from events from his life.
The film, which had its world premiere at Venice International Film Festival last year, chronicles the harrowing experience of Chandrakumar in a lock up.
“The international audiences were moved by the film. I was equally moved by their reaction. However, I’m more interested to know how audiences here will react when the film releases this week in cinemas,” Chandrakumar, who is also known as Auto Chandran, told IANS.
Last year, the film was screened at Mumbai International Film Festival, leaving audiences in awe.
“The events have been recreated very sensitively. So much so that, it will trigger dialogue and discourse on basic human rights,” he said.
In 1983, in Guntur, Chandran along with his three friends was detained by police and was mercilessly beaten black and blue for 13 days for a crime he never committed.
Decades later, at the behest of his close friend, he penned down the agony and pain he suffered in the hands of the police as Tamil novel “Lock Up”.
“I was in my 20s when the incident happened. I’d fled from my house in Coimbatore, and before doing several odd jobs, I finally landed in Guntur where my fate changed forever. We were booked on a case of doubt,” he said.
When National Award winning filmmaker Vetrimaaran read the novel, he decided to make it as a film.
“The film was shot at the same place where we were held captive. It was a 10X10 ft room without any source of air and light,” recalled Chandran, who said Vetrimaaran had done full justice to his story.
The film, which is jointly produced by actor Dhanush and Vetrimaaran, features Dinesh, Murugadoss, Samuthirakani, Kishore, Anandi and Ajay Ghosh.
Chandran hasn’t met the three others who were locked up with him since they were released. He doesn’t even know if they’re alive.
“We parted ways fearing we may be arrested again. I hope when the film releases, they watch it and know it’s our story. I wish I could meet them again,” he said.