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Visaaranai writer Chandrakumar’s book on rape inspires new film

  • Gautaman Bhaskaran, Hindustan Times, Chennai
  • Updated: Feb 08, 2016 12:39 IST

Coimbatore-based autorickshaw driver M Chandrakumar’s novel Lock-Up has been adapted by Tamil director Vetrimaaran as Visaaranai, a document on police brutality. (HT Photo)

The Coimbatore-based autorickshaw driver, M Chandrakumar -- whose novel, Lock-Up on police brutality, inspired Vetrimaaran to helm his latest, Visaaranai -- seems to have seduced another director. Vinoth Kamlin, also based in Coimbatore, will adapt another of Chandrakumar’s work, Veppamattra Velloliyal.

Unlike Visaaranai, which was a neat adaptation of Lock Up, Kamlin’s movie will be spun from a thought in Veppamattra Velloliyal. Kamlin said that soon after Chandrakumar returned from the Venice Film Festival -- where Visaaranai premiered -- the rights for the novel were acquired.

Visaaranai review: Vetrimaaran shows realism at its harshest best

Kamlin, who will make his feature debut with this movie, said that Chandrakumar saw the helmer’s two short films and agreed to be part of the project. Chandrakumar wrote the screenplay and the dialogues for Kamlin’s work.

Kamlin in fact read the first draft of Veppamattra Velloliyal even before Kumar had penned the climax, but the director was so smitten by the work that he decided to make a movie out of it.

The plot revolves around a woman and unfolds in a 24-hour span. The woman is in distress after her sexual encounters, and the work will capture her intense agony and pain.

Read: Surrendered myself to Vetrimaaran for Visaaranai, says actor Dinesh

M Chandrakumar’s book, Lock Up, 160 pages, clinched the Best Document of Human Rights Award in 2006. (HT Photo)

In a chat with this writer this morning, Chandrakumar said that he had never been able to find the answer for men turning into rapists. “Men who may have lived as neighbours with women are suddenly consumed by beastly lust. My novel, Veppamattra Velloliyal, tries to examine this issue in the context of rape.”

Read: Visaaranai is one of the best films in world cinema, says Rajinikanth

Kumar’s writings appear to reflect the sufferings of men and women. A take from his own bitter experiences many years ago in 2006 -- when he and his friends, employed in a small hotel in Andhra Pradesh, were picked up by the police, incarcerated in a suffocatingly small cell for 13 days and beaten to pulp for no apparent reason -- Visaaranai documents the helplessness of the have-nots in the face of injustice and horrific third-degree torture perpetrated by the police.

Watch Visaaranai’s trailer here:

The book, Lock Up, 160 pages, clinched the Best Document of Human Rights Award in 2006.

Chandrakumar has since then published six more stories, and jots downs his points when his autorickshaw is either waiting for custom or for the light to turn green. Late into the night, he pens his stories of suffering. The man also loves to read, Gorky and Chingiz Aitmatov being his favourite authors.

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