April 15, 2012 Y. Sunitha Chowdhary
Art is an imitation of life and there cannot be a better story than director Pandiraj's. Having observed poverty and hardship from close quarters, seeing the lives of so many children on the Marina beach that reflected his story, he set out to make a film on Marina, the beach being the hero. This is his second film that revolves around children, the first being Pasanga.
Not many know that the son of the farmer who won three National Awards for his debut film Pasanga worked as an office boy for director K. Bhagyaraj's weekly magazine, he rose to the position of a sub-editor thanks to his writing skills and the zeal and fire in him eventually led him to make two more movies. Pandiraj had produced Marina and had sold the remake rights, the dubbed movie is all set to release with the same title.
The director was in Hyderabad recently to promote the film and says the objective of the film is to emphasise the importance of education in a child's life and that literacy is not luxury and it is the right of every child to study and our responsibility to educate. He quotes Lenin on how the first, second and third duty of a child is to study.
He says, "The first ten days was difficult, getting the performances out of them..the children will not get tuned to your ways, you get tuned to their wavelength. One should believe in the script of film, at one point while making Pasanga I had apprehensions if this would work or not but after the success I didn't worry at all and never felt that I was taking a risk with Marina. I just followed my heart."
Pandiraj feels that the film has been designed such a way that the audience wouldn't get bored of one location, i.e., a single stretch of the coastline. He adds, "There are so many characters and each have a story to tell be it the beggar, the policeman or the lovers who walk in holding hands and return with a fight at dusk. People will not get bored of the screenplay and characters they connect with.
After seeing the film, each of us will realise how fortunate we are and how kind God has been with us. None are born as orphans and everyone has someone to love and be loved."
He adds that his camera has captured every single live moment on the beach and the audience wouldn't get bored at all. The art direction was invisible, with hidden cameras they had shot actual people in live locations. Sometimes someone would notice the camera and gape at it and they would re shoot the whole thing again, they struggled this way for four months.
He signs off, "Marina is a different concept, being a part of the city it also carries the identity of villagers, it is a part of the village. I ensured the music gave out the sound and language of the people who inhabit the beach, the waters. Marina is a character in the film that has it's own identity."