A gentle breeze of freshness has swept through the Malayalam cinescape. With the experienced filmmakers trying out new subjects (Pranchiyettan & The Saint, Apoorva Raagam) and the young generation making their way into the industry, the average movie buff can now heave a sigh of relief. Bombay Mittayi, slated to be released on October 29, is in the news for the same reasons.
Have you heard of the ‘No: 2 businesses’? You might have heard of it in your colloquial language with a different name. The hunt for snake poison for witchcraft, and alchemy are well-known. Those who run after such possibilities for quick money often land in the clutches of this social menace. Bombay Mittayi portrays this issue vividly. Like poverty and spirituality, superstitions of a third world country also arouse a great deal of interest in the West. This, in turn, has proved to be a magnet for many foreigners who are lured to these mysterious, often magical-sounding subjects.
In Bombay Mittayi crores are being offered for a Mystic Nagamani or snake pearl, which is said to be found on the hood of a cobra. The possession of this pearl, it is believed, brings great fortunes. Suresh (played by Vinu Mohan) and Sulaiman (played by Harisree Ashokan) are after this business. As part of their efforts to make a good fortune, they also try to find this pearl to sell to a millionaire.The story unfolds as the duo gets into trouble one by one, and reach a point where they get entwined in a cold-blooded murder.
”We have tried to portray the problems facing youth as in the movie Nadodikkattu by Sathyan Anthikkadu. Twenty-three years ago, when it was released, all the frustrations were due to unemployment, but now a job is not enough, they (the youth) want more money, more comforts. Though most of them are innocent, inevitably they end up in problems,” says Director Ummer Karikkadu.
Amar Singh and Dimple Kapadia
One of India’s most-talked about politicians Amar Singh and Bollywood actor Dimple Kapadia make their appealing presence in the film. “The characters of Mallika Mansoor, a legendary musician played by Amar Singh and his wife Noora Banu, played by Dimple Kapadia, are vital elements in the story,” explains U.Pradeep, the producer of the movie. The search for a Bollywood actor to give life to Mallika Mansoor finally ended in Amar Singh. “We were surprised when Amar Singhji expressed his willingness to act in a Malayalam movie,” says Mr. Pradeep.
“I acted in this movie with a lot of enthusiasm. The film crew was hardworking and the actors were really good. This is the first time I am acting in a full-length role. I am a north Indian. But last time, I acted in a Bengali movie. It is good to promote regional movies,” says Mr. Singh.
The politician says he is ready to accept offers from Malayalam cinema if the characters are ‘really good’. .“I am ready to act , I love the people of Kerala. But I don’t want to compete with Mammootty and Mohanlal,” laughs the kingmaker of Indian politics.
“I have an emotional bond with that land. I had a kidney transplant and the donor was a Keralite. I am now surviving because of him,” says Mr.Singh. He expressed hope that the film would do well at the box-office.
Neelambari Perumal, the daughter of Varadaraja Perumal, former Chief Minister of North East Provincial Council in Sri Lanka, is equally excited about the release of the movie. “This is my first film and is something special for me. In fact, I am a bit worried also,” she says. She plays a scribe who is trying to unearth the mystery behind a murder. “My family is right now in Sri Lanka. They ask me about the release of the movie, whenever they call. They too are eagerly waiting,” says the young actor.
Well-known musician Paris Chandran who has been associated with Shakespearean theatre has scored the music. “There are five songs including one in Qawwali-style. “It is for the first time that I am doing songs for a Malayalam commercial movie,” says Chandran. Lyrics are penned by Rafeeq Ahmed. And Lal Kannan cranks the camera.