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Debut darkness


THE SUCCESS of Bhoot may have left the Ramsays looking beyond masks and candles but it emboldened a new breed, which wants to thrill audience with sound rather than makeup. Here comes Siddharth Srinivasan, a St. Stephen's College product who toiled through the ways of Bollywood - assisting Mahesh Mathai in Bhopal Express, winning accolades for a short film for Shekhar Kapur's Digital Talkies - to directing his first feature film, Amavas.

Being shot in a month-long start-to-finish schedule in the Delhi, Siddharth says it's the story of two female medical students played by Konkana Sen Sharma and Tara Sharma who face a torrid no moon night at their rented accommodation. With Victor Banerjee and Neena Gupta in the role of landlord and Mahesh Manjrekar playing the interesting character of a plumber called on the fateful night to take care of water problem, the plot sounds intriguing.

"That dark powers get activated only on full moon nights when werewolves take human shape is a Christian concept. In India, mysterious powers are always associated with no-moon nights."

Produced by Shreya Productions, known for tight-budget stylised products like Jism and Paap, Siddharth, who draws inspiration from Mahal and Madhumati acknowledges his is also a very small budget venture but a commercial one meant for audience in the Metros and beyond. "The cast and setting have helped in minimising the budget. We are shooting at night, mostly in a farmhouse in Sainik Farms but I can assure it is going to be a realistic and stylised film with lots of sound and light effects. The building is a character in the film and so is darkness."

Victor agrees, "A murder can appear as the most trivial thing on screen if it is not backed by proper sound effect." Meanwhile, Siddharth is feeling anxious directing Mahesh Manjrekar, who is in turn promising not to force his view upon the debutant director.

Fear indeed has many faces.

ANUJ KUMAR

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