Nandivarman – Tale and secrets of Pallava Dynasty laced with supernatural mystery thriller elements.
In the recent times, the topic about the realms of Chola dynasty has become a topic of debate and argument due to the epical translation of book ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ into cinematic presentation.
Following the rule of Cholas, it’s time for the Pallavas to expand their realms on the big screens. Yes, the film ‘Nandivarman’ directed by debut filmmaker Perumal Varadhan is about the historic reference of Pallava Dynasty’s most reputed King Nandivarman, thereby showcasing his greatness in ruling the lands and hearts of people.
Producer Arun Kumar of A.K. Film Factory is producing this movie, which features ‘Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban’ fame Suresh Ravi in the lead role with Asha Gowda playing the female lead character. The others in the star cast include Nizhalgal Ravi, Bose Venkat, Aadukalam Murugadoss, Gajaraj, Ambani Shankar, Mullai Gothandam, Meesai Rajendran, Asuran Appu, Bommi Rajan, JSK Gopi and many more prominent actors.
Perumal Varadhan, who worked as associate cinematographer of Maragadha Nanayam, Ratchasan, Bruce Lee and co-director of Kanni Maadam is making his directorial debut with this movie.
King Nandivarman was killed by deceit plans 1000 years ago during which the entire land that he ruled gets buried inside. It is believed from that point of time, the place started witnessing supernatural and paranormal activities after 6 pm every day, where the ritualistic belief exists even till now. The people dwelling in that respective land wouldn’t step out of their houses after 6 in the evening.
During this juncture, a team of archaeologists are arriving at this place to excavate the land to know about Nandivarman and his Kingdom. Unfortunately, to everyone’s shock, the team members are getting mysteriously getting killed one by one. What’s the actual reason behind all these mysterious mishaps? This forms the crux of this story that is narrated with engrossing thriller moments laced with historic reference and entertainment elements.
The first look of this film that was launched earlier garnered groovy response, thereby getting the expectation levels escalated. And now the scintillating teaser has been released that surely enthrals the crowds, which will eventually lead to debates and inquisitiveness about the premise.
SAREGAMA has acquired the audio right of this movie, which has furthermore increased the expectations over the movie and has turned the spotlights of the movie industry as well.
With the phenomenal response of the ‘Nandivarman’ teaser, the general audiences and fans are sure to get curious about the Pallava dynasty following the Cholas.
Witnessing the heart-warming response to the film’s teaser, producer Arun Kumar says, “We have made ‘Nandivarman’ with scrutinising efforts for nearly one year. We wanted to make sure that the substantial premise gets a finest output with top-notch quality. The teaser itself will exhibit the grandeur of this movie. We are happy as a team to see the good response from audiences for the teaser. I can assure that the movie will entertain audiences of all age groups.”
Director Perumal Varadhan says, “While visiting the Senji Fort, I came across an old man, who shared his paranormal encounters in that specific area. This instilled in me the curiosity to know more about it. The next day, I went to the same place, and heard another person sharing the same facts about this place. Significantly, many residing in that location shared the paranormal encounters that happened there. I came to know that Pallavas ruled that region, which furthermore turned me more inquisitive to research and learn about the supernatural incidents. Eventually, I got to know about five Pallava Kings among which Nandivarman was more prominent. Hence, I titled this movie with his name.
Besides, when I continued to research about the supernatural elements in the Senji Fort area, I was surprised to know that one cannot move into particular area after a certain distance. Yes, you can see the path easily, and you can see it, but cannot cross it. I didn’t want this movie to be a mere supernatural thriller, but to showcase the beauty of Pallavas. You can find some pillars at Pondicherry Beach, which are carried from Senji Fort. The emblems and history of Pallavas have been destroyed and one among them is the pillars. Mahabalipuram was the first tourism spot to be declared in India, but we are still unaware about the great Pallavas and their contribution towards the people and society. We have tried projecting some of them in this movie.
We are screening a 2-minute video of 2D animation about Pallava dynasty before the commencement of movie. Following this video, the movie starts with a team of archaeologists landing at the place that was once ruled by Nandivarman, and soon start witnessing paranormal incidents, which will eventually reveal some of the highlighting traits about Pallavas.
We have shot major portions in Senji Fort, but the scenes involving the paranormal episodes have been shot in Chengalpet. We came across many challenges while shooting this movie and also experienced some surprises as well. In particular, there was one particular incident, where we started digging the ground for one particular sequence in Chengalpet, where we came across a gruesome human-face like large rock that left us appalled. Following this incident, the grand set work that we had erected was destroyed in severe flood. Thank God! None of us in the team were injured due to this. The unconventional challenges didn’t stop here, but it continued with many issues like the hard disk containing the entire movie footage was corrupted. Even now, the teaser that was supposed to get screened to media in laptop got corrupted. All these incidents and experiences are giving a supernatural feeling indeed.”
Actor Suresh Ravi said, “In Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban, we had showed the other side of police department. During that time, many questioned me asking that I am a part of movie that showcases the police department in bad light, and they asked me whether I would play a cop role in the future. I casually felt about doing it when the right script comes. But I never expected that Perumal Varadhan is going to narrate me a script that features him in the cop role. I got to know about this role after the complete narration of this movie. I was surprised about it, as the topic of playing a cop role came true so soon, which I never expected.
I decided to listen to the script of Perumal Varadhan as he has been a part of successful movies like Maragadha Nanayam and Ratchasan. Usually, when actors listen to the scripts, they make sure to find out about their prominence and scope in the script, and I am no exception. However, I had more reason to be a part of this movie, and that’s because of producer Arun Kumar and directed Perumal Varadhan. Their hard work and conviction about the film that it will definitely click among all the audiences encouraged me to be a part of this movie. Director Perumal would be always concerned about the movie, and there wouldn’t be any thoughts in his mind. Sometimes, turning insomniac, he would go to the shooting at midnight 1 am.
Three days prior to the commencement of shooting, he called at midnight 1 am and asked me to take rest completely as the shoot was scheduled to start soon. I was really impressed with his dedication about the project. Producer Arun Kumar is embarking on his production venture with this movie. He stated many times that he wanted to produce this movie in grand scale as he was very impressed about the story and its premise.
It’s not an easy task for a new team of newcomers to make such a challenging movie. We have done our best with heart and soul. It’s the press and media fraternity, who are the ultimate key in helping for the film’s success, who have supported many good movies. I believe that Nandivarman will be one among their favourite movies as well.”
The grand success of Ponniyin Selvan is sure to inspire and propel many creators to make similar movies based on the historic reference of Tamil Nadu. When asked director Perumal Varadhan if the same reason motivated him to make ‘Nandivarman’, he replies saying, “Even before the announcement of Ponniyin Selvan was made, the complete screenplay of this movie was completed… I was looking out for the producers for few months, and during this time alone, the official announcement of Ponniyin Selvan was made. To be precise, my movie was supposed to get materialized even before the announcement of Ponniyin Selvan. All that I can assure that Nandivarman will reveal the interesting elements about Pallavas and will be a good treat for the universal audiences.”