Martin Prakkat says his new film, ABCD, is a delightful tale of misadventures of two American-born confused youngsters who arrive in Kerala.
Going by the laughs that two young actors evoke as they walk into a crowded classroom, director Martin Prakkat’s definition of ABCD as a “fun film” could be spot on. The shooting is inside the Federal Institute of Science And Technology campus near Angamaly, with Dulquer Salmaan and Jacob Gregory facing the camera, along with a group of newcomers. The laughter session continues as the crew gets busy canning the sequences from various angles, before shifting to the lawn.
The crew is in a race with the setting sun to finish filming a few ‘montage cuts’ that will be shown in between the songs. The two lead actors are seen planting a sapling amidst encouragement from a group of students and a couple of teachers.
“We can’t reveal much about the storyline as it will kill the fun. ABCD is the acronym for ‘American Born Confused Desi’,” says Martin Prakkat, director of the Mammootty-starrer Best Actor.
“Johns (Dulquer Salmaan) and Korah (Jacob Gregory), who were born and brought up in the United States (U.S.), arrive in Kerala. The two laidback youngsters have no particular aim in life. The story is mainly about their escapades during their stay in Kerala,” narrates Martin, who has co-written the script with Naveen Bhaskar, based on a story by two doctors, Sooraj and Neeraj.
The original plan was to start the shooting of the film in the U.S. but that had to be changed after it became difficult to get the required permission and the visas.
So the schedules were altered and the scenes in Kerala are being wrapped up first.
When he gets a few minutes to change into new clothes for the next shot, Dulquer has to pose for photographs with quite a number of students. Some of them, who appeared in the earlier scene, get preference and the young hero keeps his smile intact until the whole contingent of guys and girls are finished with clicking pictures on their mobile cams.
“After Ustad Hotel, I am playing another non-resident Indian, which is indeed challenging for me, as I want the character to look different from the earlier one. The story is all about how Johns and Korah are trying to cope with all these interesting happenings here, after coming from the U.S.,” says Dulquer, after completing the shooting for the day.
The final shot is a procession with a group of students carrying placards and shouting slogans.
It is canned in the second take and the director announces ‘pack-up’ for the day.
Jacob Gregory, who shot into fame as the likeable ‘Girigiri’ in the popular sitcom ‘Akkarakkazhchakal’, hails from Alappuzha and has been living in the U.S. for the past 20 years.
“My character Korah is quite different from Girigiri and I hope to do more films in Malayalam, if good roles are offered to me,” he says.
Dulquer raves about his co-star and says that “he is great fun and is a livewire. I have enjoyed watching him in the show and we get along very well.”
Aparna Gopinath, a Chennai-based theatre artiste and dancer, is playing Madhumita, the female lead. Madhumitha befriends the two youngsters at a certain stage in the narrative.
ABCD is being produced by Shibu Thameens under the banner of Thameens Films. Cinematographer is Jomon T. John and music director is Gopi Sundar. Stills are by Anoop Chacko.