Pandi is a Tamil-speaking immigrant working long hours to make ends meet in the Telugu-speaking region of Andhra Pradesh. When he and his friends are arrested without explanation by local police, they find themselves thrown into a hell of corrupt officials in need of a scapegoat. The men are repeatedly beaten and tortured. Then they receive the bait: if they admit to a recent violent robbery for which the cops have no other suspects, they will be released from jail and the relentless cruelty of its wardens.
Yet this is only one of the many moral catch-22s in VISAARANAI, a brutal, gripping tale of the tentacles of systemic corruption in rural India. The film, which won the Amnesty International Italia Award at the 2015 Venice International Film Festival and was nominated for the festival’s Horizons Award, is directed with visceral power by Vetri Maaran, and centers around an utterly convincing performance by Dinesh Ravi. VISAARANAI will keep audiences enthralled and unable to look away from its hard truths.
- Vetri Maaran
Born in 1975, Vetri Maaran grew up in Ranipet, a small town in South India, aspiring to be a professional cricketer, like many adolescents of the country. After realizing his inclination towards the arts, he took a course on scriptwriting and went on to assist Balu Mahendra, one of the most accomplished Indian filmmakers of his time, who mentored him in all aspects of filmmaking. During Mahendra’s film shoot, Vetri Maaran met actor Dhanush, who would later star in and introduce him to the producer of his debut film POLLATHAVAN. His second feature received six Indian National Film Awards including Best Actor for Dhanush, and Best Scriptwriter and Director for Maaran. VISAARANAI is his third feature.