Methagu (மேதகு; mētaku), meaning honourable or his excellency, is a feature biopic of the life of Hon. Velupillai Prabakaran (வேலுப்பிள்ளை பிரபாகரன்). It is a political thriller, which folds out the history of how the armed struggle was forced out of a failed non-violent and political struggle of Eelam Tamils for decades. It tells the story of the early years of Hon. Velupillai Prabakaran from his birth (1954) to 1975.
Velupillai Prabakaran formed the militant group, Tamil New Tigers (TNT), in 1972. Then on 5th May 1976, wanting to form a guerrilla organization, he created the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). It became politico-military sustainability for Tamils in Tamil Eelam and ruled the de-facto state of Tamil Eelam (North-East Sri Lanka) from the 1990s to May 2009. Hon. Velupillai Prabakaran is also identified as the national leader of Tamil Eelam or Tamil national leader by the worldwide Tamils. His leadership stood up for the legitimate struggle for the rights of Eelam Tamils against Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinistic oppression in Sri Lanka.
Eelam (īḻam; ஈழம்) is the indigenous/ ancient name for the whole island, known as Sri Lanka at present time.
On 14th May 1976, Tamil United Liberation Front claimed Tamil Eelam (tamiḻīḻam; தமிழீழம்) in the Vaṭṭukkōṭṭai resolution (வட்டுக்கோட்டைத் தீர்மானம்). This is the earliest known politically written form of the term Tamil Eelam. The term refers to the Northeast province of Sri Lanka. Various Tamil militant groups that emerged at the end 1970s envisioned Tamil Eelam.
The biopic, Methagu, was financed through crowdsourcing from worldwide Tamils and produced by the Tamil Eelam Thiraikkalam (தமிழீழம் திரைக்களம்). The feature film was released on 25th June 2021 on the OTT platform BS Value after several times of postponements due to legal/ political issues to release the movie. Theatrical releases and shows were shown around the world where it was possible during the COVID-19 restrictions. The theatrical release and shows in Norway were held in July 2021.
The film is based on factual data and archival materials such as newspaper articles and books. As well as in-person conversations with people who lived and travelled in the freedom struggle at that time. The story is carried out through a storytelling artform (கதை சொல்லும் முறை), where koothu (கூத்து; kūttu) artists (a Tamil art form of street drama) narrate the life of Methagu (Velupillai Prabakaran). Today (06th August 2022) at 06.00 pm Indian time, Methagu (2021) was re-release on the Methagu Thiraikkalam YouTube channel.
Methagu (2021) won the “best actor male – Tamil Diaspora” film award at the 13th Norway Tamil Film Festival in April 2022.
On 19th August 2022, Methagu part II has a worldwide theatrical release, except in India, which has an OTT release. Now as Methagu – II is coming out, Methagu is identified as Methagu – I.
Visit Methagu Thiraikkalam Youtube Channel to watch the full movie and other videos.
தலைப்பு│Title: மேதகு – 1
ஆங்கில தலைப்பு│ English title: Methagu – 1
இயக்குனர்│Director: T. Kittu
இணை இயக்குனர்│Associate Director: Prabakaran
நடிகர்கள்│Cast: Kuttimani, Lizzie Antony, Eshwar Basha, Chandrasekar, Raja, Vinoth Sagar
தெருக்கூத்துக் கலைஞர்கள் │Koothu artists: Rajavel, Perumal
படத்தொகுப்பு│Editing: S. M. Ilangkovan
இசை│Music: A. Piraveen Kumar
தயாரிப்பு│Production: Tamil Eelam Thiraikkalam
இடம்│Location: Tamil Nadu, India
இலக்கியநடை│Genre: Biography, History
பொருட்துறை│Subject: Velupillai Prabakaran, Tamil Eelam, Tamil New Tigers, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Tamils, Eelam Tamils, Liberation, Freedom struggle
The movie titled “Methagu” (His Excellency in English) is a biopic that portrays the early years of Mr Prabhakaran who gave the courageous leadership for the upsurge of the people of the Tamil nation who fought for their lost rights on the island, Sri Lanka. In this movie, the childhood and boyhood of Mr Prabhakaran are portrayed and depict the historical events that had an immense impact on him from the time, he was in infancy. This film pulls us all back into the life of the period from 1954 to 1975 in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Conceptually speaking, this movie is about the history of the birth of a leader who gave birth to the upright history for his people.
The movie is based on the available source of evidence.
வகை│Type: Feature biopic
அணுக்கம்│Access: 06. August 2022
Endnotes and references
Peter Schalk undertook academic work with professor Alvappillai Veluppillai. This is a work of translating the original Tamil publication of «Reflections of Leader» published by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 1995 and 2005. This work includes the original Tamil text as well as translations in German, English, Swedish and Sinhala.
Schalk, P. (2007a). talaivarin cintanaikai. Retrieved from http://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:173420/FULLTEXT04.pdf
Schalk, P. (2007b). Tamil Source in English Translation: Reflections of the Leader. Retrieved from http://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:173420/FULLTEXT06.pdf
Schalk, P. (2007c). Uppsala University Publications. Retrieved from http://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?amp;dswid=contents&pid=diva2%3A173420&dswid=5816