Two thrillers are playing at the marquee this week – Priyadarsan’s Mohanlal-starrer Geethanjali and Vineeth Sreenivasan’s Shobana-starrer Thira. Twenty years after Manichitrathazhu, Mohanlal and Shobana, the lead stars of the hit film, clash at the box office with two flicks that hinge on their roles. Here is what Priyadarshan has to say.
A haunted bungalow, a winsome young couple; a wacky psychiatrist with a huge fan following. Priyadarsan has all the right ingredients for an entertaining and spooky tale of a ghostbuster, read Dr. Sunny, and his adventures. As Geethanjali, Priyadarsan’s latest offering in Malayalam reaches theatres this weekend, he says he is tense but excited to see how his fans respond to his psycho-thriller.
“My first one, actually. I have used the best that technology can offer to come with a captivating story on paranoid delusions," says the filmmaker. Making it clear that Geethanjali has nothing in common with Manichitrathazhu, other than its protagonist Dr. Sunny, Priyadarsan says he has taken Sunny from the film and given him an entirely new set of problems to solve.
“It is more of a thriller and a who-dunit. To maintain the feel of the theme, there is no slapstick comedy or forced attempts at humour. At the same time, I have infused humour into some of the scenes to ease the tension," he says.
Priyadarsan has also done away with his customary song sequences that are beautifully filmed. He says he did not want anything to detract from the story line and have used the songs to take the narrative forward. So the songs are an intrinsic part of the movie.
Keerthy Suresh, producer Suresh Kumar’s and actress Menaka’s daughter, plays the female lead. Nishan also has an important role in the movie as Keerthy’s character’s fiancé. Although Innocent and Ganesh, who were there in Manichitrathazhu, have roles in Geethanjali as well, there is nothing common to their roles. “For the first time, I am working with thespian Madhu sir, Siddique and Harisree Ashokan. Seema also enacts a key character,” says Priyadarsan.
Suresh Gopi plays a cameo, appearing as Nakulan, his role in Manichitrathazhu. He comes to advise the troubled hero to seek Dr. Sunny’s help in solving the mystery of the haunted bungalow. And Shobana? “Ah, that is a mystery! See the film,” he says.
Produced by G.P. Vijayakumar, the film has songs penned by ONV Kurup and composed by Vidyasagar. Screenplay is by Abhilash Nair and dialogues by Dennis Joseph.
While Geethanjali touches silver screens today, its filmmaker is already looking ahead and planning for two films – one in Hindi with Akshay Kumar and one in Malayalam with Mohanlal. The Malayalam film is on Kunjali Marikar, with Mohanlal playing the dashing and gallant naval warrior. Research is still on and the casting has not been finalised.
“Akshay’s is a serious film that explores a social subject but I want to keep it under wraps until everything is done. It will be something on the lines of Kancheevaram,” says Priyadarsan. Kancheevaram has depicted the plight of silk weavers of the famed temple town that is also renowned for its silk saris.