Madhu Kaithapram's ‘Orma Mathram,' reaching cinemas on Friday, is an attempt to explore issues relating to nuclear families, children and society.
‘Orma Mathram,' which reaches cinema today, is about a little boy who does not return home. Director Madhu Kaithapram also addresses a couple of social issues while telling that poignant tale.
“Through this film, I am trying to focus on problems a nuclear family might face in a grave crisis. There is also the issue of safety of our children in our society today,” says Madhu. Three years ago, he had won a National award for the best debutant director for his film ‘Ekantham.'
‘Orma Mathram,' based on a story by Rahim Kadavathu, is about a public prosecutor's young clerk, his wife and their only child. Dileep and Priyanka, who was last seen in ‘Ividam Swargamanu,' play the lead roles, while Sidharth makes his debut as their child.
“Ajayan (Dileep) and Safiya (Priyanka), who belong to different communities, are happily married and everything is fine until tragedy strikes,” says the director.
The tragedy is the disappearance of their child. “The world of Ajayan and Safia is shattered. They try to return to religion to find solace,” says Madhu.
The director feels the highlight of the film is Dileep's performance. “It is so different from what he has done in films so far,” he says.
“Ajayan goes through some unexpected setbacks in life and Dileep has brought out those emotions with subtlety. The audience will not see Dileep the star in this film; instead they will see Dileep the actor. I have often felt that Malayalam cinema has not utilised Dileep's skills fully,” adds Madhu.
C.V. Balakrishnan, who has penned the script, too is impressed by Dileep's act.
Balakrishnan is returning to cinema after Sathyan Anthikad's ‘Kochu Kochu Santhoshangal.' “I write screenplays only when I feel comfortable with the director. And the plot should excite me. ‘Orma Mathram' is one script I have enjoyed writing,” says the author of ‘Ayussinte Pusthakam,' one of the best Malayalam novels.
“When Madhu told me about the basic plot of the film, I felt there was potential for a good film. And I could relate to the story on a personal level too; there was a similar incident of a missing child in my neighbourhood. A few years ago, a man had lost his son on a journey to Manipal, and the poor man committed suicide, while his wife and relatives searched in vain for the boy who never returned home,” says Balakrishnan.
“You read newspapers reports about incidents like that almost every day. It is a serious issue that needs to be discussed. And what is a better medium than cinema for that? I believe films should speak about social realities. A film should not just be a tool for escapism,” he says.
Dileep says ‘Orma Mathram' is for those who love good cinema. “This is a film that makes you think. It is true that my audience expects me to do films that are fun to watch, but there are people who often ask me why I am not doing something entirely different and ‘Orma Mathram' is an answer to that question,” he says.
‘“Orma Mathram' is close to my heart, as I was involved with its making right through and I am delighted that it has come out rather well. The film was shot in varied locations and that has added to its visual appeal. Though it deals with harsh social realities, it should not be dismissed as an art house film. It makes for enjoyable watching too,” says Balakrishnan.