Koozhangal director Vinod Raj
Thiruvananthapuram: PS Vinothraj never even saw it in his wildest dreams that one day his film would make it to the Oscars. He went from being an ordinary employee at a DVD shop in Chennai to a world-renowned director after he drew inspiration from his sister’s real-life story and made a film.
‘Koozhangal’ (Pebbles) has been selected as India’s official entry for the 94th Academy Awards. Vinothraj’s account of the story behind the movie will move everyone. Koozhangal also won the Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in February 2021. It was screened there under the international competition category. The director says that the scorching sun seen throughout is the main character in the movie, along with the father-son duo that walks kilometres under this blistering sun.
Vinothraj got the idea for this movie from a chapter of his sister’s life where she had to walk 15 kilometres under the sun to get back to her house after being pushed out of her husband’s house. This movie very strongly depicts the way alcoholism takes a toll on the stability of Tamil families and how it leaves women in a pathetic state of pain and helplessness.
Vinod used to work in a video shop. It is from there he discovered his love for movies. He was always concerned about the way women had to bow down in supplication before the patriarchal world. He started gaining new outlooks about cinema after he became the apprentice of famous theatre artist Bhupathi and director Raghavan.
He prepared for the movie while staying at Oomachikulam near Madurai for nearly two years. The main character is portrayed by Karuththadaiyaan and his son’s role by child artist Chellapandi.
The biggest highlight of the movie is that it captured the depth of the female character’s sadness without revealing her character even once in the movie.