Filmmaker S. U. Arun Kumar is best known to Tamil cinema fans for his films Pannaiyarum Padminiyum (2014), Sethupathi (2016), and Sindhubaadh (2019), and his latest directorial, Chithha, starring Siddharth in the lead role is creating waves everywhere. Released in theatres on September 28, Chithha revolves around the topic of child sexual abuse and the hit director has now in an exclusive interview with National Award-winning film critic Baradwaj Rangan, the Editor-in-Chief of Galatta Plus, opened up on what motivated him to make the film. Speaking about Chithha, S. U. Arun Kumar stated, "I think it's a personal thing. I mean, it didn't happen to me or anybody that I know. A couple of years back, I kept hearing several news stories about this issue. During the COVID-19 time, I began reading a lot and came across a novel called Kolkata Days, which was about the Suryanelli rape case. I also read another novel titled Bitter Chocolate written by author Pinki Virani. I wasn't able to sleep for over a week after reading that book."
S. U. Arun Kumar further explained, "Even at that point, I wasn't thinking about making a film about this topic. I thought about making this into a film at a later stage since there are so many things to be considered. I was thinking about how to make this into a mainstream film that many people can watch. It was after Siddharth and I planned to make a film that I decided to focus on this issue for the story. The hints that are more personal or more creative affected me a lot at the time. In fact, the news we read and hear, they're nothing. It doesn't come close to even five percent. I'm not talking about the intensity of the thing happening. The numbers that we come across are nothing because the ones where FIRs don't get filed are more. There could be any reason behind not filing an FIR such as the family's reputation getting damaged or people viewing the girl in a wrong manner. Actually, it's wrong to relate child sexual abuse only to girls. It's about the child and pertains to both the male and the female, and in the film, we focused on the girl."
Watch director S. U. Arun Kumar in conversation with Baradwaj Rangan in the video below: