An angel is seen talking to a mortal on the top floor of the GCDA complex, near Marine drive in Kochi. As the two walk and talk, a camera mounted on a trolley follows their movements. It is the location for ‘Angel John,’ directed by Jayasurya, with Mohanlal in the lead as the affable angel, John. The scene for the day has Mohanlal teaming up with Shanthanu, son of yesteryear heroine Poornima and actor-director Bhagyaraj, who makes his debut in Malayalam.
A different friend
“We have mixed fantasy and reality in this story,” says director Jayasurya, son of noted playwright S.L. Puram Sadananadan. “A spoilt young man named Maradona (Shanthanu) decides to end his life. Just as he is about to commit suicide, a stranger comes to his rescue. In fact, the stranger turns out to be an angel (Mohanlal), who has taken a human form. From then on life takes a different turn for Maradona and the film narrates that change in his life after he befriends the angel,” explains Jayasurya. “I think all of us come across moments in life when total strangers come to our help when we need it the most. And sometimes, we may never meet them again. Of course, there are also strangers who land us in trouble. Both these aspects are to be seen in this story,” adds the director, as he watches the scene on the monitor.
Cinematographer Ajayan Vincent says: “In ‘Angel John’ we are presenting the visuals in a different style from that of ‘Bhramaram,’ the film that I had last shot for.” Once the shot is canned, Vincent goes for close-ups of the two actors.
Nithya, who was earlier seen in films like ‘Akashagopuram’ and ‘Vellathooval,’ plays Sophie. She lives in Maradona’s neighbourhood, walks with a limp and has a crush on him, but her feelings rarely get reciprocated. Mamta plays Stella, who is studying in Delhi. Jagathy Sreekumar, Lalu Alex and Ambika are also part of the cast.
Meanwhile, the number of onlookers waiting to have a glimpse of the stars grows in number. Shanthanu comes up to Mohanlal along with the director and they all start discussing the shot to be taken next.
“I wanted to be an actor right from my childhood days and it is indeed a privilege to share the screen with Mohanlal so early in my career. I had no problems playing my character in this film, until Mohanlal joined the set. I was intimidated by his presence and all of a sudden I began stammering as I attempted my dialogues. But Mohanlal quickly put me at ease and things fell into place from then on,” smiles Shanthanu, who played the hero in the Tamil film ‘Sakkarakatti,’ last year.
Shantanu is also currently doing a film each in Tamil and Telugu and hopes to have more good roles in Malayalam.
“Maradona, my character in this film, is a totally ‘freaked-out’ guy. He is the cool, easygoing type and runs into trouble after a while. The angel brings about significant changes in his attitude and nature,” says the actor.
‘Angel John’ is being produced under the banner of Creative Team and will be completed in two schedules.
Lyrics by Subhash and Saseendra Varma have been set to tune by Ouseppachan. Still photographer is Jayaprakash Payyannur.