What if a village in the hinterlands of Tamil Nadu, one that is in the southern tail end of the Western Ghats, doesn’t get the message that India has gotten its independence on August 15, 1947? Worse, what if the local British officer chooses to keep villagers in the dark about the biggest news in the history of the country? That’s the premise of Gautham Karthik’s upcoming period film August 16 1947, produced by ace director AR Murugadoss.

NS Ponkumar, an erstwhile assistant director of Murugadoss, has written and directed the film. The trailer of the movie released on Tuesday promises a brutal story about a village that suffers at the hands of a menacing imperialist. The trailer also hints at a love story between the lead character played by Gautham and the daughter of a zamindar, who is not let out of the house by her family.

Earlier, during a media interaction, the director said that August 16 1947 is essentially about freedom. It is not just about the emancipation of the country, it also deals with what freedom means for an individual. The lead character is a brat, who doesn’t bother about the greater good of the country or his village. All he cares about is his lover, and when he realises the ultimate freedom of his whole village will only save his love, he hits back at the white supremacist.

Other than Gautham Karthik, the film also stars Pugazh, Revathy Sharma, Richard Ashton and Jason Shah. Sean Roldan has composed the music for the film.

August 16 1947 will be released on April 7, 2023.