Martin Prakkat’s ABCD, which releases today, tracks the ups and downs in the lives of two Malayalis who were born and brought up in the United States.
“Two youngsters born and brought up in the United States (U.S.) come to discover their roots in Kerala. They are left to deal with certain issues, some politics… It is a satire combined with loads of humour,” says director Martin Prakkat, about ABCD, his second movie, which hits the screens today.
The plot was inspired by a newspaper report, adds Martin.
If the photographer-turned-filmmaker had Mammootty as the hero in his maiden venture, Best Actor, in ABCD, the acronym for ‘American Born Confused Desi’, Mammootty’s son Dulquer Salmaan plays the male lead, Johns. He, along with cousin Korah (Jacob Gregory), joins a college in Kerala and the story unfolds there. Aparna Gopinath, a Chennai-based theatre artiste and dancer, plays the female lead, Madhumita, studying in the same college.
“The two youth are in a fish-out-of-water situation in Kerala,” says Dulquer, who has sung a song ‘Johnny mone Johnny…’, the video of which has become hugely popular. “It was music director Gopi Sundar’s idea and Dulquer agreed,” says Martin.
Dulquer, in turn, prefers to limit his comments on the song to a hearty grin. “Though I was so nervous during the making of my earlier films, I have definitely made some progress. Nowadays I feel that I am able to focus , even in the presence of a crowd around me,” he says. 5 SundarikalNeelakasham Pachakkadal Chuvanna Bhoomi.
He is all praise for his co-star Jacob a.k.a. Girigiri of the TV sitcom Akkarakkazhchakal and says that “he is genuine and is an easily likeable guy.” Sajini Zachariah, who plays Dulquer’s mother in the film, too was part of the sitcom.
“Korah is totally different from Girigiri,” says Jacob , who has lived in the U.S. for several years and has taken up acting more seriously now. “Most people who have seen me in the programme think I am actually like the character, that too with a stammer,” he laughs.
Talking about the delay in shooting the movie, Martin explains that it was mainly due to the unfavourable weather in the U.S. “Contrary to what was reported, we never faced any issues due to technical snafus from the U.S. authorities. Not too many from our industry have gone for shooting in the U.S. and we had to learn several things on our own,” he says.
So, who is easier to work with, Mammootty or Dulquer? “I find their attitudes interestingly similar. Both are really involved in the making of the film, asking doubts about anything that they need to clarify, which is helpful for any director,” says Martin.
Vijayaraghavan, Tovino Thomas, Sreekumar, Chembil Asokan, Kalpana and Molly Kannamaly play supporting characters in the film. Filmed by Jomon T. John, it has been produced by Shibu Thameens.