Anil Radhakrishnan Menon’s Saptamasri Taskaraha is a light-hearted, heist film, the tale of seven men who strike up a friendship in jail.
“Saptamasri Taskaraha’ literally means seven gentlemen thieves and that’s exactly what the movie is about. It is the tale of seven men who meet up in jail; seven ordinary people who get-together for an extraordinary feat. It’s a fun film,” explains the film’s writer-director Anil Radhakrishnan Menon. The ad-executive-turned-filmmaker shot to fame with his debut film North 24 Kaatham last year, which was a critical and commercial success.
The location for the day for Saptamasri Taskaraha, is a house near Thiroor in Thrissur district. Prithviraj and Reenu Mathews, who play a couple in the film, are inside a bedroom, canning a song sequence.
Krishnanunni (Prithviraj), Shabab (Asif Ali), Noble Chettan (Nedumudi Venu), Leaf Vasu (Sudheer Karamana), Marty (Chemban Vinod Jose), Narayanan Kutty (Neeraj Madhav) and Salim Pasha (Salam Bukhari) are the seven inmates who strike up a friendship.
“The narrative is in a non-linear pattern, which keeps going to and fro throughout the length of the movie,” says Anil, before switching his attention to the monitor to watch Prithviraj’s and Reenu’s conversation. “Saptamasri Taskaraha is essentially a heist film. But unlike action-filled, gun-slinging heist dramas that we come across in Western cinema, this one happens on a much smaller scale and on a native platform. It’s a very light-hearted film and just about the only serious thing in the film is the back-story of my character,” says Prithviraj, in between posing for photographs with fans who have come to observe the proceedings.
“I am used to working under stress. On Anil’s set it’s completely different. He’s so calm, cool and composed, which rubs off on us too. It’s a refreshing change.” The hero is simultaneously shooting for Major Ravi's Picket 43 and Dileesh Nair's Tamaar Padaar. “The three films were not supposed to happen all together. But, I had to invest almost six months for 7th Day and as a result these projects got postponed,” he explains.
As the crew set up the next shot, Reenu too joins in the conversation. “My character is called Sara and she is Krishnanunni’s wife. She is a working woman who is bold and not afraid to speak her mind,” says the actor.
This is the airhostess-actor’s third full-length feature film after Emmanuel and Praise the Lord. In both the films she was paired opposite Mammootty and she played homely roles. “Mammootty is undoubtedly one of the finest actors in the business. I barely knew Prithviraj when I signed the film and I was tense. But now I feel comfortable as he is such a wonderful co-star. As for homely roles, I guess it’s because I started off playing a homemaker in Emmanuel and people seem to like the nightie-cotton sari image,” adds Reenu.
Saptamasri Taskaraha is being produced under the banner of August Cinemas. Jayesh Nair wields the camera, while Rex Vijayan scores the music. Stills are by Sreeram.