Aattakatha, directed by Kannan Perumudiyoor, is a journey through the cultural landscape of Kerala. The movie has songs composed by the late composer Raveendran.
Few composers in Malayalam cinema have had as big a fan following as Raveendran did. Eight years after his death, his songs continue to delight. The new film Aattakatha, which has six songs composed by the late legend, reaches cinemas today.
“This, I think, will be the last film to release that contains Raveendran’s songs. Aattakatha is very much a musical film,” says Kannan Perumudiyoor, director of the film
Incidentally, five of the songs were written by Gireesh Puthencherry, the late lyricist who had forged a successful partnership with Raveendran. M.D. Rajendran has penned the other. K.J. Yesudas, Chithra, Vijay Yesudas, Biju Narayanan, Radhika Thilak and Asha Menon have sung the songs.
Aattakatha is Kannan’s debut as a director but he has made a name for himself in the industry as the producer of Ee Puzhayum Kadannu, a love story starring Dileep and Manju Warrier in the lead. “Aattakatha is a love story. I would say it is an old-fashioned love story. The film is based on my novel Cholliyattam. It is about cultural conflict. The main plot of the film involves a French woman, played by German actor Irina Jacoby, who comes to Kerala to study Kathakali, and her relationship with a Kathakali actor called Unni (Vineeth). Meera Nandan plays the other prominent role of Sethulakshmi, a student of music,” says the director.
Malavika Wales also has an important role. “The film is actually narrated from her character, Meleena’s point of view. She is searching for her mother. The film is a nostalgic trip through Kerala’s culture and art,” he says.
Another highlight of the film is Vineeth’s performance.
“Since he is a talented dancer, he could carry off the role of a Kathakali actor quite well. In the climax, I was planning to use bits of Kathakali, but since Vineeth was so good, we decided to focus on him alone,” says Kannan.
Vineeth says Aattakatha was a nice experience for him as an actor.
“I am glad that such a film, which is so rooted in our culture is still being made. Songs by Raveendran are a reminder of our rich music tradition,” he says.