A film that revolves around a 150 year-old post office

The first part of Pothanur Thabal Nilayam is all set to premiere on Aha Tamil OTT platform on Friday. The crime thriller is set in 1991 that takes place at the 150-year old post office.
A film that revolves around a 150 year-old post office
On Location of Pothanur Thabal Nilayam

CHENNAI: Actor-director-producer Praveen along with lead actress Anjali Rao visited DT Next office to talk about their upcoming crime film Pothanur Thabal Nilayam-Part I that is having its OTT premiere on May 27. They share interesting tidbits about the film and how Praveen’s family reacted when he told them his decision of producing it.

The first part of Pothanur Thabal Nilayam is all set to premiere on Aha Tamil OTT platform on Friday. The crime thriller is set in 1991 that takes place at the 150-year old post office.

“Though the premise of the story is real, the story is completely fictional. It revolves around an aspiring software engineer and a sum of Rs 7.4 lakh in the post office. The only thing that is near to reality is that my father worked as a cashier in the post office,” says Praveen.

He has donned many hats for the film. He is the director, producer, lead actor, VFX editor and the film’s editor.

He laughs and says in detail, “I wanted to get into movies ever since I was in class 10.

However, I wanted to be academically strong and then venture into films. So I studied till M.Sc and then came to Chennai to learn VFX. Then I worked as a VFX editor for a few years before I discussed the idea of Pothanur Thabal Nilayam to my friend.

He said he could give me 10 per cent of the film’s budget. After some time, we were able to bankroll the money needed for the film. Then the art director of the film left the project after working for 10 days. So, I ended up being the art director as well.

I told my family that I will be producing a film and there was a stunned silence for some time before my grandmother said, ‘Only a big person like AV Meiyappa Chettiar can be a producer in Tamil cinema.

Why would a middle class guy like you risk it?’ But yes, the project is complete and we showed it to Passion Studios, who liked the film even as it reached the interval block and agreed to buy it.

Aha too was happy with the product. As much as we would have loved to release it in theatres, there are too many big films releasing in the next few days.”

Actress Anjali Rao, who rose to fame with her roles in Soodhu Kavvum, Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada and Peechankai plays the female lead. “I am conscious in choosing films that are offbeat and have strong content. Praveen is a long-time friend and he wanted me to be a part of the film. I was blown away by the script and agreed to be a part of it. And these are kind of films where you can learn a lot,” says Anjali.

Talking about the preparations to play a Coimbatore girl, she says, “The shoot was postponed twice because I had to put on some weight for the role. And my character to an extent is a de glam one. So, I had to retain my curly hair for the film.”

Praveen says that except for the main characters, theatre artistes were hired to play other important characters in the film. “They play some of the prominent roles in the film,” he concludes.

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