The stalwarts of Tamil film industry came together recently to show their support for multifaceted filmmaker Parthiban’s upcoming film Oththa Seruppu. It is, reportedly, the first Tamil film to feature only one actor. Parthiban has written, directed and produced the film in addition to acting in it.
Kamal, who attended the film’s audio launch on Sunday in Chennai, was quick to note that he is the second Indian actor-filmmaker after Sunil Dutt (1964 film Yaadein) to have done a film starring just a single actor. “I am happy that Parthiban has joined the ranks of Robert Redford, and my favourite actor Tom Hardy through this film,” he noted.
The Vishwaroopam star even likened Parthiban’s confidence in his filmmaking craft to Guru Dutt’s. “Guru Dutt was Dilip Kumar’s big fan and he originally wrote Kaagaz Ke Phool for him. Since Dilip Kumar sir had done many sob stories at the time, he turned down the film,” he recalled. Guru Dutt himself directed and acted in the film and the rest is history.
Kamal Haasan said that Kaagaz Ke Phool was a very important film for him as it remained an inspiration for him throughout his filmmaking career. He shared the little trivia about Kaagaz Ke Phool to underline a similar incident that happened between him and Parthiban.
He recalled that Parthiban offered Puthiya Pathai (1989) to him first but he was unable to do that film because he had no dates for the project. Later, Parthiban himself starred in the lead role and directed it. When the film released, it received critical acclaim, including two National Awards and became a commercial success too.
Ace filmmaker Shankar, who was also present at the event, described Parthiban as the sweetest person he knows. “Parthiban takes great personal interest and care in making his friends very happy. Be it birthdays or other functions, he puts a lot of effort into his gestures towards his friends,” Shankar said while adding that he admires this quality in Parthiban.
The Enthiran director heaped praise on the crew of the film, including lyricist Vivek, cinematographer Ramji, music composer Santhosh Narayanan and Oscar-winning sound designer Resul Pookutty. “While watching the trailer, I can feel that the film will give a very different cinematic experience. And I am waiting to experience it,” he added.
Superstar Rajinikanth recorded a video message supporting Parthiban’s Oththa Seruppu, in which he also wished that this film should qualify for Oscars. “This film is a very unique experiment. In 1960s, Sunil Dutt sir did Yaadein, just starring himself. The film then was publicized well. It was also shot well and it became a hit. After so many years, the second time in the country and the first time in South India, Parthiban has made such a film. I think it is the first time in the world, a filmmaker has starred himself, written, directed and produced a film. I give him my heartfelt congratulations,” said the 68-year-old movie god.
“I wish the film becomes a huge success and gets an Oscar,” he added.
Oththa Seruppu, which means Single Slipper, is Parthiban’s comeback as a director after a long gap. The teaser of the film gave us a glimpse of the film’s setting, which looks like an empty police station. The film seems to reflect on the divide between haves and have-nots, privileged and underprivileged.