Santhosh Kumar Rangaraj explores the murky world of online puzzles and the dangers they pose in his short film Chakravyuham
It is a familiar premise. A cat-and-mouse game where a serial killer leaves behind a trail of clues. And the cop has to crack the code and pin him down. It is a race against time as the protagonist has to save the next victim before the killer strikes again.
The short film Chakravyuham is set around an online puzzle. “We have seen people addicted to online games. We built a thriller around a puzzle,” says Santhosh Kumar Rangaraj, director. Chakravyuham, released during the COVID-19 lockdown, on behindwoods.com and has already crossed over 25,000 views.
The person who plays the puzzle uses his IQ to reach the final level where he is given a real-time scenario. “We have made the film as engaging as a feature film,” says Santhosh.
Chakravyuham is his fourth film. His first short, Clean Bowled, set in the romance-comedy genre, fetched two million views online. His horror comedy Athyayam won awards for screenplay and music at short film festivals. “We are a team of people who are passionate about films. With short films, we want to build a prototype where we showcase good content and within limited budget. We want to replicate the model while we take the leap into feature films.” The story has an open ending and the conflict is not solved. “ Once we get a producer, we plan to develop the second half from where the short film ends.”
While all his films featured newcomers, in Chakravyuham, actor Vijay Adhiraj plays the cop. “We wanted a celebrity for this role. I pinged the actor on Facebook and he immediately agreed. And, the best part is he acted for free.”
Santhosh says while making a short film is easy, reaching out is tough. He adds, “ Even on social media, we need a celebrity tweet to push the film to limelight. Though romance is a popular genre, a crowd puller, we wanted to experiment with some refreshing content. We have a team in place, including musicians, all we need is producers to back our scripts to make feature films.”
You can watch the film on YouTube