Children’s films help kids dissociate from virtual world: Suriya

Chennai, Dec 22 (IANS) Actor-producer Suriya, who feels children today live in a virtual world, believes the only way to give them a slice of reality is through the kind of cinema that reflects their own lifestyle and makes them think.

“Our regular audience is between the age group of 18-30. Children rarely come to theatre nowadays. I don’t understand why we don’t have enough children’s films and don’t know who needs to be blamed for this,” Suriya told IANS in an interview.

A parent of two children, he says his own offsprings can’t watch his films.

“I can’t show them my films. Other than animation movies, they don’t watch anything else. They hardly go out and play. Everything they’re supposed to experience is unfortunately in the virtual world, and this is not healthy.

“If we want our children to dissociate themselves from the virtual world, then we need more children’s films. While there have been films such as ‘Kaaka Muttai’ and ‘Thanga Meengal’, they’re rarely made,” he added.

With his latest Tamil outing “Pasanga 2”, which comes from his home banner 2D Entertainment, Suriya hopes to bring as many children as possible to the cinemas this Thursday and beyond.

The film deals with children suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and the relationship they share with their parents.

“We’ve tried to show an alternate way of looking at this issue. A lot of people are under the assumption that this film is only for children, but it’s equally important for parents, too,” he said.

The “Singam” star has also played an extended cameo in the film, which is directed by National Award winning filmmaker Pandiraj.

“When Pandiraj suggested I take up a role in the film, I saw it as an opportunity to show people that I’m ready to do parallel cinema and take up unconventional roles occasionally,” said Suriya, who is popular for playing to the gallery in his films.

“He convinced me with a very interesting role, which required me to step out of my comfort zone. Contrary to anything I’ve done before, this role is full of surprises,” he said.

Suriya describes the experience of working with children as fun, but equally tough.

“To even get along with children, you need to get into their world and see everything the way they see it. Regular actors are usually well prepared, so you can anticipate how they’ll perform. With children, it’s different, because they surprise you and it isn’t easy to be on the same wavelength with them,” said Suriya, who is all praise for Pandiraj.

“When we had set up 2D, we wanted to something on the lines of Disney, and around the same time, Pandiraj had come to us with this script and we were lucky to have him on board,” he said.

The story focuses on three families and their kids.

“Pandiraj spent four years on research for this project. He brainstormed with psychiatrists, teachers and parents to get a better understanding of the issue and how it could be portrayed on screen,” said Suriya, and added that the film addresses the issue on a very lighter note.

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