Sunday, August 8, 2010

Snakes on a Plain?

The alien and iconic nature of snakes has attracted filmmakers since Adam spent a sunny afternoon making his rather candid video of Eve and a snake tussling over an apple in the Garden of Eden -- and then uploaded it to YouTube.

This year we're expecting quite an invasion of slithery reptiles from Asian cinema. In the Thai film The Scout (dir. Pleo Sirisuwan), the snake is extremely large; in The Intruder (dir. “James” Thanadol Nualsuth and “Ping” Thammanoon Sakulbunthanom), also from Thailand, it's a Cobra spirit and is accompanied by hordes of smaller acolytes. Director Jennifer Lynch's foray into Indian cinema, Hisss!, offers us a snake that is a human-serpent hybrid -- a mythological creature of great antiquity.

Now we can add this one to the list -- Nanjupuram, directed by Charles, a Tamil thriller that is "the first of its kind". Here it's a horde of normal-sized snakes, but in such vast numbers that together they add up to one really big monster.

Teaser Trailers:

Clearly what the cobras in this poster are waiting for is a song from the movie's lead star, Raaghav Ranganathan, who is a big name popstar/rap artist in his home country. He also supplies the music for the film.

Funny how Indian male leads so often look like they've come direct from the set of a 1970s British cop show.


The plot concerns a man who is not at all scared of snakes, which is opportune as he lives in Nanjapuram village where snakes are worshipped as gods. When the village is invaded by thousands of snakes, Raaghav's character must find out what lies behind the strange and frightening events -- discovering in the process that some of the human inhabitants of the village can be more poisonous than the cobras.

Movie starlet Monika plays the love of his life. 

Images from the film concentrate rather heavily on the romantic aspect of the story, which clearly is a significant drawcard. Sites such as Kollywoodzone and way2movies: Tamil are repositories of dozens of them.

Director Charles has also indicated that the snakes used in the film are real ones, used with the permission of the Animal Welfare Board. CGI is not in evidence here (Source). He added:
Although the movie is about snakes, it will not promote the superstitious beliefs usually associated with serpents in Hindu mythology. The movie will also touch upon caste issues. (Source)
If your Tamil is up to scratch, you can hear more about the film and news of its progress here, here and here.

The Music:

Also in the film is South Indian actress Anuya, who performs in one of the musical numbers. She commented: "It’s a song that narrates the outline of this movie and there’s nothing to do with glamour here." (Source)

Addendum: Early Trailer

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