Fun with the fivesome

Five friends are celebrating the dawn of a New Year, inside a neatly furnished room in an apartment. Amidst animated conversations, somewhere in between, they hear a knock on the door and the attention suddenly shifts to the door. As director Shajoon Kariyal okays the take, all the faces at the location brighten. It is business as usual inside Navodaya Studio at Kakkanad, where the interiors of an apartment have been set up for the shooting of the film, Chettayees.

The next shot has them all lined up in a joyous mood and the camera is mounted on a trolley to get the right frame. As technicians get busy with their chores, Shajoon gets some time to narrate the story line. He says: “The whole story happens over two days, when five friends get together to celebrate a New Year's Eve.”

The friends are John (Lal), a lawyer, Kichu (Biju Menon) a percussionist, Roopesh Krishna (Suresh Krishna), an actor, Bava (P.Sukumar), a chef, and Babumon (Sunil Babu), a government employee. “They are having a blast at John's apartment on the last day of the year. The rest of the occupants in the apartment complex are also having a celebration at the same time. Just as everyone is ready to welcome the New Year, an interesting event happens at night and that is where the twist in the tale happens,” says the director.

According to scenarist Sachi, who is riding high on the success of Run Baby Run, “this is an 'event-based movie', narrated mainly in a lighter vein. The camaraderie that exists among them all is amazing and, in fact, friendship has great importance in the making of this film as well.”

Chettayees is being produced under the banner of the newly-formed Thakkaali Films. The production house has been begun by a group of friends – actors Biju Menon and Suresh Krishna, cinematographer P.Sukumar, scenarist Sachi, and director Shajoon.

“Some of my friends were spending more time with me and after a while, their wives started saying that actually their husbands should have married me. That prompted me to come up with the storyline. Some of the characters’ traits have been adapted and inspired from the habits of some of our own friends,” explains Sachi.

“That is quite true,” agrees Sukumar, director of Swantham Lekhakan, and co-producer of the blockbuster Mayamohini. “I am unmarried, spend most of the time with my friends and am a foodie, just like my character. Lal's character John is a lawyer like Sachi, and Suresh Krishna and his character Roopesh Krishna are TV heroes who become baddies on the big screen,” he says.

Meanwhile Biju Menon, whose flair for comedy seems to have been discovered quite recently, says: “I am enjoying this phase. Of course, I will do only the kind of humour that suits me and not the clichéd ones.”

Chettayees has camera by Vinod Illampilly and music by Deepak Dev. Still photographer is Giri Sankar.