City-based M Manikandan, the director of award winning film Kakka Muttai, talks about unusual scripts and his next
NO, Kakka Muttai is not India’s Slumdog Millionaire. Director and writer M Manikandan is quick to respond when asked how similar his debut feature is to Danny Boyle’s film. Things have changed for the 32-year-old, after Kakka Muttai won two National Awards and opened at the 39th Toronto international Film Festival. The film is about two slum boys and their quest to eat pizza, and Manikandan is confident it will be a hit. “People are emotional and sensitive. We just don’t watch a movie; we get involved in it and imagine it to be our story,” says the city-based director.
Away from the herd
Manikandan entered the industry 10 years ago as an assistant cinematographer. Kakka Muttai is produced by actor Dhanush and director Vetrimaaran. And as far as unusual scripts go, the director—who has also made two short films—says, “People are still warming up to quirky scripts. As a director I need to compete with those who make commercial films. Producers are also not willing to spend as much on unusual films.” Even as the Fox Star Studios’ production is ready to release on June 5, Manikandan is working on his next—where he is trying his hand at a different genre. “I don’t want to be stereotyped. So my next, with actor Vidharth, is a thriller, with music by Ilaiyaraaja. There are several genres to try. However, my favourite is realistic drama,” he concludes.
Kakka Muttai is scheduled to release on June 5.