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Four and funny

"That Four Letter Word" is a light-hearted take on the classic coming-of-age story



FRIENDSHIP AND LOVE From "That Four Letter Word"

The fourth annual Chennai International Film Festival (CIFF) saw the premiere of "That Four Letter Word," an English film by Chennai-based Sudhish Kamath, who is part of The Hindu MetroPlus team.

Written by Sudhish and Murugan Subramanian, the movie is a light-hearted take on the classic coming-of-age story. Four young friends, Sunil (Aashil Nair), Vishal (VJ Cary Edwards), Prashant (Praveen Bharatwaj) and Zebra (Sunil Vishnu K.), try to figure out what they want to do with their lives. Along the way, they get close to two young women, the straightforward Sara (VJ Paloma Rao) and the worldly Isha (Usha Seetharam), whose lives become intertwined with their own.

"The characters are based on real people, a lot of my friends," says Sudhish, "but they are also `real' in the sense that people in the audience can identify with them."

Shot over seven years on a shoestring budget, "That Four Letter Word" comes wrapped in a cool package with comic book credits introducing the characters and BlaaZe rapping the title song, and a surprise cameo by actor Madhavan. Lovelorn Sunil dreams of making a movie, Vishal is a playboy who can't seem to commit or make it to medical college, Prashant is the strait-laced accountant who's never without a five-year plan, and Zebra is the quintessential goofy side-kick who wants nothing but sex. The movie hops between the stories of these four friends and their love lives amidst plenty of ribald humour interspersed with some sweet moments of the characters falling in love or bonding, without really delving too deep beneath the surface.

Filmed entirely in digital, it captures familiar locales such as city colleges and restaurants. "That Four Letter Word" is supposed to be the movie that Sunil makes of his life with his digital camera, which is why they shot in digital, says Sudhish.

"I wanted the feel of the movie to be as if it had been shot by the boy-next-door," he says. "That's why we've made the digital camera a character in the movie, and used `home video' effects throughout."

The premiere was held at the South India Film Chamber of Commerce, with two back-to-back screenings of the movie, the first of which was attended by film personalities, including actor Surya.

DIVYA KUMAR

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