Mammootty and Suresh Gopi reprise their roles as bureaucrat Joseph Alex and top cop Bharath Chandran for Shaji Kailas' ‘The King and The Commissioner.'

Firebrand district collector Joseph Alex (played by Mammootty) in the 1995 film ‘The King,' the bureaucrat who dared to ruffle feathers in his journey to establish peace in a territory torn apart by strife, is a memorable character in Malayalam cinema. So is the character of macho cop Bharat Chandran (Suresh Gopi) from the 1994 film ‘Commissioner,' who spews fiery dialogues as easily as he tears apart baddies. Dialogues and background scores from both the films have acquired cult status. Joseph's one-liner about defining India with “sense, sensibility and sensitivity” and Bharat Chandran's emphatic “just remember that,” rank among the most popular dialogues in Malayalam cinema.

What would happen when these two rebels meet? Get set for fireworks as these two iconic characters come together in Shaji Kailas' new film ‘The King and the Commissioner.' Mammootty and Suresh Gopi reprise their roles in the new film.

“The story is set in Delhi where both Joseph Alex and Bharath Chandran are currently posted. They get-together for an investigation when national security is at risk,” says director Shaji Kailas, who teams up with scenarist and director Renji Panicker, after a gap, for the film. The duo had earlier joined hands to make hit films such as ‘Dr. Pasupathy,' ‘Thalasthanam,' ‘Ekalavyan,' and so on.

Not a sequel

“‘The King and the Commissioner,' is not exactly a sequel. Like in a James Bond film, the same characters come back for another mission,” says Renji, who is watching the shoot at the location for the day – a tennis court inside the Udyogamandal Club near Eloor in Kochi.

“People often get worked up when it comes to issues of national security and attacks on Indian identity. However, investigations into such cases are often stymied for narrow political gains. The film discusses such a topic,” explains Renji, who directed ‘Bharat Chandran IPS,' the sequel to ‘Commissioner.'

The scene being canned has actor Devan, who played a corrupt cop named Shankar in ‘The King,' in conversation with the two heroes at the tennis court. The director goes for some close-up shots of Devan playing tennis, from various angles. The crew is having a tough time getting the right frames, without being hit by the tennis balls, as the camera captures Shankar sweating it out with the racquet.

“Shankar is one of the most popular characters in my career and it's great getting back into his shoes. Just like the heroes, Shankar's nature hasn't changed much,” says Devan.

Says Shaji: “Viewers are well aware about the two characters – their signature style, their attitudes and their mannerisms. Of course, the audience can expect all that and more in this film too. It is indeed a great advantage having these two well-known characters on screen once again, but expectations will be high and living up to those will be a challenge.”

Veteran Marathi theatre artiste and actor Mohan Agashe dons a guest role in the film. The cast includes Janardhanan, Sai Kumar, and Samvritha Sunil.

‘The King and the Commissioner' is being produced by Anto Joseph under the banner of Emperor Cinema. Cinematographer is Bharani K. Dharan. Still photographer is Ajit V. Sankar.