Resul Pookutty on his acting debut: ‘It was my dream to record Thrissur Pooram live’

The audio launch of Academy award-winning sound designer Resul Pookutty’s Oru Kadhai Sollattumaa was held in Chennai yesterday amidst...

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The audio launch of Academy award-winning sound designer Resul Pookutty’s Oru Kadhai Sollattumaa was held in Chennai yesterday amidst esteemed personalities from the industry. While director Shankar, Vairamuthu, and AR Rahman graced the occasion as chief guests, the event also witnessed the attendance of Sarath Kumar, Radhika Sarath Kumar, Revathy, Shobana, Bhagyaraj, Poornima Bhagyaraj, KS Ravikumar, Khusbu Sundar, Hema Rukmani, Lissy, Kanika and editor Anthony.

The movie, which will be released in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Hindi, marks Resul Pookutty’s debut as an actor. He plays the role of a sound designer who records the fascinating sounds of India’s famous festival Thrissur Pooram in Kerala.

Oscar award-winning composer A.R. Rahman said, “Resul and I go a very long back. We were just biting our nails to know who’s going to win the Golden Globes and Oscars a few years back. Now, I’m very happy to see that Resul is reinventing himself so much.”

The poster of Resul Pookutty’s debut.

“Resul is a unique technician who knows the nuances of sound designing inside out” 

Director Shankar reminisced how he recreated the popular ‘Thiruvaiyaaru Thyagaraja Aradhana‘ for his film Anniyan twelve years back.

“I have seen the photos of Thrissur Pooram in magazines, but when Resul explained me about the festival, I was in awe. 300 Chenda and Kongu musicians perform for nearly three hours amidst a crowd of 10 lakhs. I tried to shoot the ‘Thiruvaiyaru Thyagaraja Aradhana’ for Anniyan, but I didn’t get the permission from the management. But Resul, after a lot of difficulties, obtained the permission to record the Pooram festival live. It’s a documentary fiction. Resul is a unique technician who knows the nuances of sound designing techniques inside out. He is a person who mostly likes to record sounds in the live atmosphere instead of creating the sounds inside a recording studio.”

“One who values his culture is the one who loves his nation” 

Multiple national award-winning lyricist Vairamuthu showered lavish praise on Resul Pookutty and the film’s composer Rahul.

“This is not a usual event but a unique happening. Resul has done this movie giving utmost importance to his homeland and culture. I love people who do that. One who values his culture is the one who loves his nation. Resul is not just a sound engineer but has graduated to a sound designer. A sound designer is more like a sculptor. Just like how a sculptor removes all the unwanted pieces to bring out a figurine, Resul removes the unwanted noises to give great sounds. Music director Rahul Prasad is a person who can kill you with his humility. Working with him was great. Though the film highlights the culture of Kerala, it will be celebrated all over the nation.”

“Recording the sounds of Thirussur Pooram live has been my long-time dream”

Resul Pookutty revealed how his dream project kicked off and also explained about the greatness of the festival.

“I keep saying that I’m an ordinary man thrown into extraordinary situations in life. In several old interviews, I used to say that my dream is to capture the sounds of Thrissur Pooram live. But, nobody came forward. Years later, Rajeev Panakal from the USA volunteered to bankroll the project, which has been my life-long dream. I’m from the southern part of Kerala and Pooram happens in the middle part of the state. I had no clue. The Shiva temple is a sprawling 70 acres of land, and one million people assemble for the festival. Nearly 300 to 500 musicians just perform in praise of Shiva. And it is trance. To be able to do that the way I had imagined was a blessing. We are a nation of great wealth. And wealth is not money. It’s the tradition, and rich cultural values we have created.”

Resul recalled how he struggled to find the right sound by visiting various temples during his recording process.

“I went to many places and clapped my hands to check if the sound is right. Even in the location where the Pooram actually happens now in Thrissur, it did not sound right. I was fed up. Then, they took me to another temple, which is a look-alike of Thrissur temple. I moved around the premises to check, and again the sound was not right. As I walked out, I went on a small street nearby and clapped there. And I said this is the right sound. Later, Padma Shri awardee Peruvanam Kuttan Marar, the most celebrated chenda artist and the torch-bearer of this tradition, asked me how I found this place. I said I just clapped my hands and realised the sound to be right. He said that this is the place where the Pooram started 1,132 years ago.”

Directed by Prasad Prabhakar and produced by Rajeev Panakal of Palmstone Multimedia, the songs of the film which is narrated in a documentary fiction style, have been recorded in A.R.Rahman’s studio. Sony Music India has acquired the audio rights to the project.


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