Vinay Govind’s debut movie Kili Poyi, which releases today, has Asif Ali and Aju Varghese playing employees of an advertisement firm who find themselves in a mess after an impromptu holiday in Goa.
There’s a famous Jagathy Sreekumar dialogue in Boeing Boeing where he says something to this effect: ‘You wanted something modern…it is the same story that has turned like this when it has been narrated in a new style.’
As the credits of the film Kili Poyi roll to an end, this dialogue is used as a punch line – a clear statement about what the film is all about. The film makes a veiled barb at the so-called ‘new generation’ cinema, which, according to the makers of Kili Poyi, is actually the same old, perennial story, tweaked a little bit.
Kili Poyi is director Vinay Govind’s first independent venture. Vinay has been an associate to V.K. Prakash in various ad and feature films. Interestingly, he has, along with his college buddies Joseph Kurian and Vivek Ranjit, written the story and script.
“We were together in the same class at Loyola College, Chennai, for our graduation. Joseph went on to work in an ad agency, in the film department, while Vivek assisted Prakash in a couple of features and ad films. Though we went on to specialise in our fields, we were in constant touch, with Joseph’s house in Bangalore being our meeting point. The story of Kili Poyi was born on one such occasion,” says Vinay.
Latching on to the present trend they decided on the title, which is a local, colloquial term that means ‘going mad’. “It’s often used when you are in a pressure-cooker kind of a situation. The story is about two youngsters Chacko and Hari, played by Asif Ali and Aju Varghese, working in an advertisement firm in Bangalore. Their hopes of chilling out end when they are forced to work 24/7 by a tyrannical boss. When they feel the pressure getting to them, they decide to bunk work and land up in Goa. Chacko meets a beautiful foreign woman there. They have a great time but return with a whole lot of trouble.”
The two youngsters do not realise the mess they have got into. In between all this, they come across a few characters who play significant roles in their lives. There is a Goan police inspector called Rana (played by popular Tamil actor Sampath), Disco Douglas (Ravindhar, who makes a comeback), Peter (Sreejith Ravi), a Malayali cop from Bangalore, IBM (Mridul Nair), an auto driver, Rachel (Sabreen Baker), a foreign woman, Joe alias Jomol (Samata Agrawal) their friend, and Tony (Joju George), a gangster.
“We did a lot of scouting before the casting was done. After Prakash sir, the next person with whom we shared our story idea was Asif Ali and he was the first actor to come on board. We zeroed in on Aju for the second lead. This young actor really impressed in Thattathin Marayathu. Initially, Prakash sir had agreed to direct the film but he became busy with Natholi Oru Cheriya Meenalla and Poppins and that’s how I was given this job.” Sampath plays an important role and so does Ravindhar.
Talking about his comeback as villain, Ravindhar says: “After Pappayude Swantham Appoos, I get to play a pivotal role. Disco Douglas, the character I essay, is different from all that I have done. Dressed like Elvis Presley, guarded by his henchmen, Disco Douglas is a kind of don. But there is a strong comic touch to his movements, his characteristics. The film moves through this character. I think this will surely mark a huge comeback for me into mainstream cinema.”
Samata Agrawal, a Mumbai-based model/actor plays Joe, the female lead. And another Mumbai-based French-Canadian actress Sabreen Baker is cast as Rachel. Sandra Thomas, producer of films like Friday, plays the tyrannical boss.
Mridul Nair, one of VKP’s assistants and the executive producer of films such as Poppins and Natholi… and our close friend, plays IBM, an auto driver.
Sreejith Ravi and Joju George also have significant roles,” says Vinay.
Pradeesh Varma cranks the camera. He was the associate cinematographer of the National Award-winning film Aaranya Kaandam and also other films such as Game (Hindi), Annan Thampi, and so on. He made his debut in Malayalam with Pithavinum Puthranum Parisshuddhathmavinum that is awaiting release. The movie, produced by Siby Thottupuram and Joby Mundamattom, has songs and background score by Rahul Raj.
“We are a young team who enjoyed every moment of making the film. It is a breezy, fun, comic thriller. We don’t indulge in any sort of moralising. Characters speak their own language such as Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam depending on the sequences. It took us around 30 days to complete the shoot in locations at Bangalore, Chennai and Goa,” says Vinay.