KUALA LUMPUR – Based on the trailers alone, you know that the locally-produced Tamil movie, The Farm (En Veethu Thottathil), is different from other Tamil language films made here.
While other filmmakers opt for making poor copies of India’s over-the-top dramas and comedies, Karthik Shamalan and his team have presented a slasher horror instead.
This film, with Malay subtitles, is about a deaf and mute woman (played by Jaya Ganason) who grew up in an orphanage.
After a successful treatment that enables her to hear using a hearing aid, she enrols herself into a local college and meets and falls in love with a charming man.
However, one day, she gets kidnapped and ends up trapped and tortured by a twisted serial killer wearing a wolf mask.
The Farm, which is now showing in selected cinemas nationwide, also stars K. S. Maniam, Mohana Raj and Mahessan Poobalan.
Karthik, who not only directed the film but also wrote the screenplay, has previously won awards for his films such as Melle Thiranthathu Kathavu and Muthal Naal Indru.
The idea behind the movie came from his fondness for children’s fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood.
“What I love about the story is that the little girl keeps asking the wolf, who is disguised as the grandmother, so many questions. She can’t even see that he is a wild animal.
“That inspired me to do this movie. In this story, the woman can’t see the real face of the man.”
Karthik says the film is the heroine’s journey of discovery to see the real intentions behind the men she meets.
The Farm is set in a fictional place and there are many elements in the film (including the colour of blood) that are produced in a manner that will ensure they pass the censorship board.
The movie, which wrapped up production in mid-2016, has already been screened at three film festivals abroad.
One impressive scene in The Farm is a maze scene that was shot in a set built at the back of Karthik’s house in Taiping.
Using a 5D camera, he managed to create the image of space in which the heroine at one point is forced to go through many doors during a cat-and-mouse chase with ‘the wolf’.
Undoubtedly, the best aspect of the film is the horror part while the scenes featuring the police come across disjointed at times.
However, some viewers find the police scenes a reprieve from the horrors shown in the film.
“In order to make the story engaging, I wanted the audience to relate what is happening in the farm to whatever that is happening outside it,” says Karthik.
He also points out that it is through the police that we learn the heroine is one of many girls who has been kidnapped.
Karthik’s efforts may not be everyone’s cup of tea and The Farm does have a few flaws, but it also has a lot of positives, one of which is Jaya’s commendable performance as the terrorised heroine. – The Sun