Director Vysakh’s Sound Thoma, starring Dileep in the lead, speaks about a guy who draws strength from his speech impairment.

It’s a blitz of orange on the set of Vysakh’s new flick Sound Thoma, the shooting of which is progressing inside an old godown at Aroor, Alappuzha district. Everywhere you look there’s orange – an ‘orchard’ of orange, walls painted in bright orange, a huge cut-out of a slice of orange….

In the midst of it all are actors Dileep and Namitha Pramod, who play the leads in the film. In contrast to all the orange, the two are dressed in black and white. They are jiving to a peppy tune along with a bunch of back-up dancers. Dileep sports a different look in the film with a cleft lip and a curved nose.

“This film narrates the story of a wealthy but miserly money-lender named Plapparambil Paulo (Sai Kumar) and his son Thoma (Dileep). Thoma has a speech problem because of his cleft lip. However, Thoma doesn’t think it’s an impairment and herein lies the central theme of the film – what is the perfect sound? The story is a philosophical take on society’s perception towards people with impairments,” says Vysakh, the director of Pokkiri Raja, Seniors and Mallu Singh, all of which raked in the moolah at the box office.

Moving away from the wheat fields of Punjab where Vysakh had filmed his previous movie Mallu Singh, the director has set Thoma's story in a village in Kuttanad. Thoma was born with the impairment but it has never affected his confidence. He has for long nursed a crush on Sreelakshmi, a radio jockey (Namitha), the daughter of a classical musician.

Thoma is not that well- educated but is pleasant and funny and has a positive outlook. Mathai (Mukesh) and Joykutty (Shiju) are his brothers. Dileep seems excited about playing another “different role”.

“In Kunjikkoonan, Chanthupottu, Mayamohini and so on I experimented with body language and complete makeovers. Here my experiments are limited to the face and my voice, which actually requires a lot of effort on my part. Thoma is a virtuous guy, who is not a bit concerned about his handicap and even dreams of becoming an RJ. In fact, I am singing a song for the film as well,” says Dileep.

Namitha Pramod, who debuted as a heroine in last year’s Puthiya Theerangal, is adding more curls to her hair during the break for the next shot. “I have studied dance but have not been practising it for a while now. So I have to work hard to perfect the steps,” she smiles. Namitha feels that Sreelakshmi is quite different from Thaamara in Puthiya Theerangal.

Sound Thoma is being produced under the banner of Priyanjali by Anoop. Scenarist is Benny P. Nayarambalam and cinematographer is Shaji. Gopi Sundar is the music director. Stills are by Abhilash Narayanan.