Screenwriter-director Vinod Guruvayoor is busy working on the pre-production work of his ambitious upcoming film centered around the controversial bull-taming sport Jallikattu. Speaking exclusively to ETimes, Vinod Guruvayoor spills the beans about his upcoming Tamil movie.
“Our film is not about what happens on the day of Jallikattu, but, rather talks about how it is closely weaved into the lives of people of Tamil Nadu. From raising the bulls to training them, the lives of people in the particular region revolve around the sport. From what I could understand, Jallikattu is also closely associated with agriculture and cattle rearing, and the livelihood of thousands of people,” Vinod Guruvayoor shares.
The director also adds that in his upcoming film he would also discuss how the ban, the protest, and its revival affected people closely associated with Jallikattu, “Our film will explore the kind of preparations those people did prior to Jallikattu, how the ban and the following incidents affected them. Training the bulls is a herculean task and it can get bloody. The only accidents and mishaps we hear about are those that happen during the day of Jallikattu. There are people who get injured and even bedridden during the training sessions. But despite all this labour, hard work, and sufferings, they anticipate for the day. One might think that the prize money for the sport is huge, but that’s not the case. I was surprised to know that the prize would be as little as a fan or Rs. 5000. For them, it is not about the money, it’s more of a part of their culture.”
When asked about what inspired him to make a movie based on the sport, Vinod Guruvayoor took a trip down the memory lane and expressed gratitude to his guru late veteran filmmaker AK Lohithadas, “While I was working with Lohi sir, he had plans to make a film on the sport. He had researched about Jallikattu and I remember meeting Dr. Jayaram from Palani, who had many Jallikattu bulls. A while ago, when I met him again, he asked about the long-lost project and asked if it was still on the cards. I was pumped. So, yes, Lohi sir wanted to do a film based on Jallikattu in Tamil, and that inspired me.”
Vinod Guruvayoor had almost begun the pre-production works for the film during the second wave of COVID-19, however, due to the skyrocketing cases, the permission for the shoot wasn’t allotted, and the shoot was stalled. The director is now hoping to begin filming by January 2022, and he also shared that the film will most likely have a Tamil star in the lead role, and the rest would be the locals who are familiar with the sport, as the shoot too involves risks.