Son of veteran actor Prabhu, Vikram Prabhu would soon be debuting as hero in Tamil films with a film titled Gumki. After his record-breaking and much-appreciated Mynaa which released late last year, director Prabhu Solomon has taken up the cause of the many mahouts in the States whose entire livelihood depend on the maintenance and the well-being of their elephants.
Solomon shares his experience in the making of Gumki. “We planned to shoot major sequences of the film in a village inhabited mostly by Tribals and in the backdrop of hills. We chose the Adhikadu village in Theni District where we camped for some time and observed the lifestyles of the locals. Only after doing the preparatory work, we got down to the shooting schedule,” says Solomon.
Vikram, who plays a mahout in the film, brings up an elephant named Manickam and takes good care of it besides showering love and affection on the faithful animal. The crew reportedly chose Manickam from among 50 other elephants who had come for ‘screen-testing’. Thanks to his role in the film, Vikram has now become a trained mahout and can single-handedly manage an elephant on his own.
Prabhu is even aware of a particular smell which emanates from the elephant, its body language, etc. He says that he has become a close friend of ‘Manickam’. The crew is soon planning to leave for Orissa to shoot some more sequences of the film in the dense forests in the State.