Director Karthik Subbaraj says his upcoming silent thriller Mercury is inspired by real-life incidents and it’s about big corporate companies exploiting small towns. The germ of the idea for Mercury came from the 2001 poisoning case where hundreds of workers were allegedly exposed to toxic mercury vapours at the Hindustan Lever factory in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu. The plant has since been shutdown.
“This film also talks about corporate exploitation of small towns. This is one such incident that in a way inspired me to make this film. It is an important factor in the film and that’s why the title is Mercury. The true incident inspired me, the film is a fictional story but it does talk about a real issue like corporate exploitation,” Karthik told PTI.
For Karthik, making a silent film was not a risk but a challenge.
“As there were no dialogues in the film, I had to concentrate on every little things, from taking the shot to technicalities to expressions of actors,” he said.
This film, Karthik said, will be a visual treat for audience across the globe as language is not a barrier in this case. “Having no dialogues helped me present the film as a pan-India movie, also language is not a barrier. The film is open for any cinema audience.”
Before he made his feature film debut with Pizza, Karthik had this desire to make a silent film someday. The idea, he said, to direct a dialogue-free feature came from one of his short films – Black and White.
“Cinema is a visual medium one has to communicate through visuals and therfore, dialogues should be less. I did a lot of short films before doing feature films. I did a short film eight years back in which there was just one dialogue and that was the time when I also thought about doing a full length silent film.
“I did not have any concept at that time. After doing two feature films I got an idea for a thriller film and felt this could be made without any dialogues,” he said. The 35-year-old director said he has often enjoyed watching silent films like Pushpak and Charlie Chaplin movies.
The upcoming silent thriller features Prabhudheva as a villain and Karthik says he felt he wanted to cast someone who had not done anything like this before. The film will release on April 13.