Joshiy's new film, ‘Sevens,' which centres on a kind of football popular in Northern Kerala, kicks off in Kozhikode.
The temperature is soaring on Thondayad Bypass Road in Kozhikode on a May afternoon. Since it is a Sunday, the road, one of the busiest in the city, is not as busy as usual, but there are a few onlookers who are eager to catch a glimpse of actors Kunchacko Boban and Asif Ali. The two actors are seated in a jeep, waiting for directions from Joshiy, who is looking at the action on a large monitor in front of him. Cinematographer Ajayan Vincent surveys the field, gives a few suggestions, and everything is ready for the next scene to be shot for ‘Sevens.'
A tense scene
The scene has V.K. Baiju, playing a police officer, stopping the jeep and questioning the passengers. He wants to know what is inside the jeep and is not entirely happy with explanations from Kunchacko and Asif. Also inside the jeep are Rejith Menon, Nivin Pauli and Aju Varghese. It is only after a few takes that Joshiy is happy with the scene and the crew gets ready for the next scene, which is a long shot of the jeep coming slowly down the road.
‘Sevens,' scripted by Iqbal Kuttipuram, is about seven young men, passionate about football – ‘sevens' football to be precise – and how they inadvertently get involved in a crime. ‘Sevens' is a kind of football played in Northern Kerala, especially in Malappuram. It is played by seven players on either side – instead of the traditional 11 – and is extremely popular; it involves huge money too, with big names in Indian football turning out for local sides.
“Yes, we have to play a bit of football in the film and it has been fun,” says Asif, who is excited about working with Joshiy for the first time. “I have always admired Joshiy as a director and consider myself lucky that I am acting in a film directed by him so early in my career. I play one of the seven youngsters, each of whom has a story of his own; I am sure ‘Sevens' will be a racy entertainer,” says Asif.
The cast includes Rima Kallingal, Bhama, Nadia Moidu, Vineeth Kumar, Mamukoya, Manian Pillai Raju and Shivaji. For Nadia, it is the second film in Malayalam after her return to Mollywood after a long break.
Nadia as a cop
“I have been extremely choosy on my return and I decided to do this film primarily because of Joshiy. At the beginning of my career, I had worked with him in films such as ‘Shyama', ‘Vannu Kandu Keezhadakki' and ‘Onningu Vannenkil,”' she says.
In ‘Sevens,' Nadia plays a police commissioner. “It is the first time I am playing a cop and I am enjoying every minute of it; my character, Amala, is pretty important to the plot, as she is the one who helps the youngsters when they get into trouble,” she says.
‘Sevens' is produced by Santhosh Pavithram and Sajai Sebastian under the banner of Pavithram Creations and Zion International Film Factory.
Lyrics by Rafeeq Ahmed and Santhosh Varma have been tuned by Bijibal. Stills are by Rajesh.