The teaser of 'Nagesh Thiraiyarangam', a horror film set in a haunted cinema theatre (Thirai yarangam), had aroused a lot of curiosity in fans. The stars of the film, Ashna Zaveri and Masoom Shankar along with the director Mohamad Issack dropped by our office and spoke about their movie, which is all set for release on February 16.
The teaser of Nagesh Thiraiyarangam, a horror film set in a haunted cinema theatre (Thirai yarangam), had aroused a lot of curiosity in fans. Aari, who plays the lead couldn’t make it to this rendezvous, but the two heroines, Ashna Zaveri and Masoom who were promoting the film, more than made up for his absence. Ashna plays a fresh-faced graduate while Masoom is a journalist.
Following a tumultuous season in Kollywood, the movie’s release date was pushed to February 16. Mohamad says, "Nagesh Thiraiyarangam is my second film. My first was Agadam, a feature film, which was shot in a single take. Though I had the script of Nagesh ready, I wanted to shoot Agadam first as I wanted to prove my mettle and show people, what I was capable of. It was a proper theatrical release with newcomers. When I started NT, I told myself I am a director starting from scratch."
He adds, "I am aware that there were about 50 horror films released in the past few years. A dozen will be out by the time I release NT. I am confident that the story is not that of your typical spooky flick. Although, this genre has no set conventions, we haven’t taken that for granted and have given our best for the film."
Ashna says, "Manobala plays a broker, and my father in the film. My character detests brokers until she meets Aari’s character, who she initially despises, as he is a broker too. But she soon grows to love him." Ashna goes on to say, "Mohamad is a perfectionist and needs everything to be in place. I had many queries during pre-production, after I came on-board. He would ask me to be patient and tell me that the answers were coming."
Mohamad interrupts to say, "Ashna just keeps going on and on. After a while, even Masoom began asking me about her role and her scenes. I told her to stay focused for a while as even senior actors do not constantly bombard the directors with such doubts."
Masoom says, "The journalist I play is obsessed with the supernatural incidents in the theatre. And it’s an important role." He adds, "Being my debut film, I didn’t want to go wrong anywhere and was being extra cautious. However, the team made me feel comfortable and I picked up the language as well."
Ashna adds, "Everything was in place, once shooting commenced. Not only the film, but even the locales, like an old theatre in Tindivanam, which is the epicentre of the action creeped us out." The locals there have urban legends of the theatre being haunted.
Masoom chips in, "We never knew what time of the day it was, while we shot the film. It was always dark and the only source of light was a moon-shaped prop created by our art director. Sometimes, we experience a chill down our spines, as we exited the sets."
The director remarks that the film was shot in under 3 months, a luxury as most shoots are wrapped in 50 days due to budgetary constraints. Mohamad says, "The producer gave us the liberty to go overtime and deliver a solid product. The CG portions took over six months."
Ashna adds, "I had given four days of my call sheet for the Tindivanam schedule, but I ended up shooting for 15 days." Masoom interupts by saying, "And I had to shoot for one month."
The actress also reveals that the director was a stickler for punctuality and attendance. "I fell sick during the shoot and had to be hospitalised. I had to send him selfies from my hospital bed to convince him I was genuinely ill," she adds.
"Though it’s a horror film, it will still be a complete entertainer. It has comedy, drama and all the flavours a family audience expects for a fun weekend at the movies," Ashna sums up.