Auto-rickshaw driver M. Chandra Kumar, on whose novel Lock Up the National Award-winning Tamil drama Visaranai is based, feels his story of the defenceless deserves worldwide recognition. On Thursday, the Film Federation of India named Visaranai as India’s official pick for the 2017 Oscars in the Foreign Language film category.
“I’m filled with joy and pride. This honour has brought glory to my status as an auto driver in the society. This story of the defenceless deserves worldwide recognition,” Kumar told IANS. He says the film’s producer Dhanush and director Vetrimaaran deserve all the credit.
“It is through the efforts of Dhanush and Vetrimaaran this story was widely appreciated. The film, I’m told, still hasn’t yet reached its destination, with two more rounds to go. We have a long way to go,” he said. When asked if he anticipated such an honour, Kumar said: “I’m not surprised. I strongly feel ‘Visaranai’ is an Oscar deserving film.”
The film is about an organised crime within the police force. It also throws the spotlight on police brutality. “Visaranai”, which features Dinesh, Samuthirakani, Ajay Ghosh and Kishore in the lead, is the ninth Tamil film to have been chosen as India’s Oscar entry. Kamal Hassan’s “Hey Ram” was the last film the language.
The film earned critical acclaim earlier last year when it had its world premiere at Venice International Film Festival, apart from winning National Awards this year.
Visaranai is the based on the novel written by an auto-rickshaw driver, M Chandrakumar, popularly known as Auto Chandran. He wrote the book based on the police brutality and corruption that he suffered in his early life.