Saji Surendran is back with another all out comedy, Husbands in Goa.
It is, supposedly, the era of ‘new-generation’ cinema. Yet Mollywood’s biggest hit of the year was a no-holds-barred slapdash comedy! “It just reinforces the fact that Malayali audiences have always and will always favour humour,” says filmmaker Saji Surendran, who struck the jackpot with the rom-coms Ivar Vivahitarayal (his debut) and Happy Husbands. Saji’s latest ‘family entertainer’ Husbands in Goa, produced by UTV Movies, hits the screens today.
Despite the poor show of his last two films – Four Friends and Kunjaliyan, the five-film-old director is hoping that Husbands in Goa emulates the gleeful run at the box office of his first two films. Perhaps that is why, for the fifth time running, the director has brought back his “winning combo”, unofficially ‘Team Saji’, namely actor Jayasurya, scenarist Krishna Poojappura, cinematographer Anil Nair and editor Manoj, all of who have been fellow travellers on his Mollywood journey since Ivar Vivahitarayal. “I’m a sensitive person and I need a certain level of comfort to work with a person. My team and I share the same wavelength. I’m very comfortable with Jayasurya. That’s why I’ve cast him in the lead in all five of my films and in my sixth and seventh films, both of which will go on the floor next year. He is very dependable. He is passionate, dedicated and committed to cinema; one who takes joy in our success and is a pillar of support when it comes to failures, which he always says is a part of life,” says Saji.
The director insists that Husbands in Goa is not a sequel to Happy Husbands, despite the premise sounding a tad familiar. “I’ve just retained the flavour/texture of Happy Husbands,” he says. Husbands in Goa tells the tale of three bosom buddies advocate Jerry (Indrajith), chartered accountant Govind (Jayasurya) and fashion designer Arjun (Asif Ali) who feel that they are in a rut. If Jerry’s wife Tina (Rima Kallingal) is lazy and spoilt, Govind’s wife Abhirami (Bhama) spends all day in the temple, forcing him to take part in all sorts of rituals. Meanwhile, Arjun’s wife Veena (Remya Nambheesan) is the studious kind who teaches students taking the civil services examination. She makes her husband attend the classes. Fed up, the trio decide that they need a break and on the spur of the moment hop on a train to have some fun in the sun in Goa. On the journey they meet a fun-loving cameraman named Sunny Abraham (actor-director Lal), whose marriage is on the rocks, and what follows is mayhem.
“It’s a pure, clean comedy sans any of the base humour that’s been popular in Malayalam cinema of late. I have nothing against ‘new generation’ cinema – though I prefer to call them ‘new thoughts in cinema’ more than anything else. I only make films that I would like to watch and, as far as possible, try to make my films colourful, using the existing treatment styles, technology and infrastructure we all share,” says Saji, who has landed a sort of a coup with UTV Movies.
“Be it manpower, money, publicity, distribution… UTV already has a solid network in place. That means that on the day Husbands in Goa is released in Kerala, it will be released across the world, wherever there is a significant population of Malayalis.” Happy times ahead, it seems.