Tamil actor-screenwriter-director Radhakrishnan Parthiban was in the spotlight at the India Pavilion in the International Village at the 75th Cannes Film Festival on Sunday. His 16th directorial release, ”Iravin Nizhal” (Shadow of the Night), won him instant admirers.
”Iravin Nizhal” stands out among all the Indian titles unveiled at the Marché du Film–Cannes Film Festival. It’s a phenomenal cinematic achievement – a 100-minute, one-shot film with a non-linear narrative. Parthiban’s audacious labor of love is set over more than 50 sets erected across 64 acres and follows a deeply flawed man through more than 50 years of his life.
”Iravin Nizhal” has intense flashbacks and emotions tied together through a powerful narrative about a film financier on the run from the media, the police and himself.
AR Rahman, who scored the music for ‘IravinNizhal’, was on hand to express his enthusiasm for the project. “I have composed music for countless films in South and North India, but I have never worked on a film like this. ‘Iravin Nizhal’ has no precedent” , did he declare.
Parthiban, who is in Cannes with her budding filmmaker-daughter Keerthana Parthipan Akkineni and one of the Dallas-based ‘Iravin Nizhal’ producers Ranjith Dhandapani, admits the film was a huge logistical challenge. “It took us 23 takes to get it right,” he said. “Despite many surprises and setbacks, the team overcame the challenges through improvisation and creativity,” he added.
On his decision to take on the lead role in the films he directs, Parthiban says it makes things easier for him. “It’s hard to find actors who can devote months at a time to an unwavering commitment to one of my films.” “Iravin Nizhal,” he says, was filmed for 90 days non-stop and he needed an actor who would always be available. Actor Parthiban is a veteran of many Tamil hits. He has built his directing career around nationally award-winning films aimed at breaking new ground. His previous film, 2019’s ‘OthaSeruppu Size 7’, a solo act starring the director himself, won him a Special Jury Prize at the National Awards.
In 1999, his ”Housefull” won the National Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil. As an actor, Parthiban will next be seen in Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus ”Ponniyin Selvan” (Son of Ponni) and Gautham Vasudev Menon directed spy thriller ”Dhruva Natchathiram” (Pole Star).
His trip to Cannes, Parthiban said, was motivated by a desire to take ”Iravin Nizhal” to major international festivals around the world.
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