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April 16, 2024
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The First Non-linear Single Shot Film, Iravin Nizhal, Qualifies for Oscars

Even with the popularity of movies like ‘Inception’ and ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,’ non-linear movies are still yet to be a staple in the industry with their complexity and intricate ways of conveying a story. A non-linear movie employs the method of storytelling in which the plot is told out of chronological order. As a result, the film’s plot needs to be compelling and abrupt changes in the scenes and settings must not obscure the message.

With a full-length film shot in one continuous long take, Radhakrishnan Parthiban raised the stakes of producing a non-linear movie. R. Parthiban, a well-respected and distinguished Indian actor and filmmaker, wrote, conceived and starred in Iravin Nizhal. With a crew of almost 300 actors and 150 technicians, the movie became the first non-linear single-shot film in history. The cast and the production team completed it after 90 days of rehearsals and multiple takes. With a plot covering 50 years’ worth of time, the movie was shot on a massive 75-acre land where the production team could build and set up 59 sets. “Despite numerous rehearsals, surprises and challenges propped up during the shoot, the team overcame them with improvisation and creativity. However, many takes were needed to be shot to assure the accuracy of the narrative and ensure the perfect working of mise en scène,” explained R. Parthiban.

The movie is about the depressing, perpetually criminal life of a man named Nandhu, who is on the run. It follows him as he recounts the events he has experienced over the years, the people who drove him into darkness and the glimmer of light that gave him hope for redemption. 

“Iravin Nizhal is a never-before-done cinematic feat for Indian Cinema. The film highlights the best global talent in the entertainment industry,” R. Parthiban. A star-studded cast and production team were assembled for Iravin Nizhal, with the lead being R. Parthiban, a three-time winner of the prestigious Indian National Film Awards who has appeared in over 72 films, directed 15, and produced 12. The music and background score were written by AR Rahman, an Academy Award winner for his work on Slumdog Millionaire and recipient of the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award given by the Indian government. Craig Mann, who won an Academy Award in the category ‘Best Sound Mixing’ for the film ‘Whiplash,’ and Cottalango Leon, an Indian-American computer graphics technician who won a joint Academy Award for scientific and technical achievement in 2016, also joined the roster as the supervising sound designer and VFX supervisor respectively.

After hitting the screens last July 15, Iravin Nizhal has already bagged three awards at the global level, two of which were for the film’s cinematography, while one was for the film itself. Additionally, with its captivating plot and intriguing camera works, Iravin Nizhal is one of the few films from Indian Cinema that qualified as an official submission to the 2022 Academy Awards as a general entry into the Oscars.

According to R. Parthiban, the script has been brewing for the past ten years, waiting to tell a unique story. It truly is a must-see R. Parthiban experimental masterpiece. Luckily for eager film enthusiasts, the movie is now available for streaming on Prime Video.

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