In Praise The Lord, Mammootty plays an affluent farmer who gets a new perspective of romance from a young couple.

Newbie Shibu Ganghadharan can certainly tell a story. He is able to tell it straight and yet hold your attention. It is evident as he narrates the story of Praise The Lord, his first directorial venture that reached the marquee this Thursday. The movie is the cinematic adaption of Paul Zachariah’s eponymous novelette in Malayalam.

Mammootty has given life to a number of memorable characters from the world of letters. And he does it again in Praise The Lord. Mammootty plays Joy, a wealthy farmer in Pala who is happy to see the world go by from his favourite arm chair in his house. His bucolic understanding of the world gets a jolt when his friend Sunny, enacted by Mukesh, persuades him to give shelter to a runaway couple from Delhi.

“Till then Joy’s world revolved around his property that he had inherited. His only concern was to pass it on to the next generation without destroying it. Joy had only read about romance and seen love blossom in a few movies. So when he sees a couple in love he is startled to find out that his notions of romance are not quite in tune with reality. That brings about a change in his life and in his relationship with his wife, Ancy, as well,” says Shibu. Scriptwriter T.P. Devarajan transformed the literary work into the cinematic language without changing the basic premise of the story.

“Zacharia has seen the screenplay and he had no problems with the few changes that we have made in certain situations and characters. Some minor characters in the book had to be given more space and some situations tweaked to ensure that the narrative was smooth,” says Shibu.

According to the director, the tale is about Joy discovering romance in his own life as well.

Mammootty is acting again with Reenu Mathews, his co-star from Emmanuel. Mukesh, Ahmed Sidhique, Akanksha Puri, Shajon and Joy Mathew are also in the cast. Ahmed Sidhique and model Akanksha Puri enact the couple who change Joy’s idea of romance.

“Ahmed, who put in a sterling act as K.T. Mirash in Salt n Pepper, has come up with another good act in this film as Samkutty, while Akanksha is Annie,” adds Shibu.

Shaan Rahman has composed the songs in the movie that also includes a Hindi number, written by Shailender Singh Sodhi, the lyricist of Dev D and Gun Murugan. The Hindi number has been sung by Shaan Johnson, the late Johnson Master’s daughter, and Kavya Ajith. Malayalam lyrics have been written by Rafeeq Ahamed.