SOUND BAR­RI­ERS

India Today - - LEISURE - —Prachi Sibal

In his “no-lan­guage” film, Mer­cury, di­rec­tor Karthik Sub­baraj says he’s break­ing a dif­fer­ent kind of sound bar­rier. “At any film­mak­ing class, you learn the power of the vis­ual medium and are al­ways try­ing to min­imise the words,” says Sub­baraj, 35, whose silent film re­leased world­wide in the­atres this week. With films like Pizza and Ji­garthanda, Sub­baraj has es­tab­lished him­self as a new voice, mak­ing au­di­ences and the in­dus­try sit up and take no­tice with his un­con­ven­tional treat­ment of un­con­ven­tional themes.

And It isn’t the di­rec­tor’s first brush with silent cin­ema. He once made a short film which had only two lines of di­a­logue. But Mer­cury— a thriller cen­tred on a chem­i­cal poi­son­ing in­ci­dent—comes as a sur­prise. “Though it isn’t in­spired by a sin­gle in­ci­dent, we have heard of cases of chem­i­cal poi­son­ing around the world. There are sto­ries of the people left be­hind and I’ve al­ways been in­ter­ested in those,” he says.

With a tight shoot­ing sched­ule of 30 days, star Prabhu Deva and the rest of the ac­tors went through in­ten­sive train­ing pro­grammes to mas­ter the silent form. “For a film like this, the ac­tors need to be ex­cel­lent, the vi­su­als strong, the edit pre­cise and tech­ni­cians skilled,” he says.

Sub­baraj is now set to di­rect Ra­jinikanth in his next film, the de­tails of which are still un­der wraps. But he has no con­cerns about mov­ing from a trusted cir­cle of ac­tors to the big names in the in­dus­try. “They are all good ac­tors to be­gin with,” he says. “It was a strug­gle ini­tially, but af­ter the suc­cess of Pizza, they agreed to work with me. They trust my style and are will­ing to work my way.”

Prabhu Deva and the rest of the cast went through in­ten­sive train­ing camps to mas­ter the silent form

Karthik Sub­baraj’s silent thriller Mer­cury re­volves around a chem­i­cal poi­son­ing in­ci­dent

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