Shafi’s 101 Weddings is yet another film helmed by him that tries to tickle the funny bone. The movie is out in theatres today.

Comedies of different kinds have always had a faithful following in Kerala. A handful of film directors in Mollywood made their mark at the box office with slickly directed comedies that catapulted them into the big league. Director Shafi is one of those who has had a successful run at the marquee with his comedies. Shafi, who has made slapstick comedies such as Pulivaal Kalyanam and Kalyana Raman in the past, is ready with a new one titled 101 Weddings, which releases today. Kunchacko Boban, Biju Menon and Jayasurya play the lead characters in the movie that narrates the eventful days that precede a ‘mass marriage’.

“People always like to watch romance and weddings on screen. The film is colourful, with lots of dramatic moments and happiness. There is scope for characters of different shades and for events that convey various emotions. This film is an out and out comedy meant for the whole family,” says Shafi.

Krishnakumar (Kunchacko Boban) or Krish, as he calls himself, is the son of a staunch Gandhian named Munshi Sankara Pillai (Vijayaraghavan). Krish is completely different from his idealistic father. And worse, he is a fraudster. Antappan (Biju Menon) is a local goon and has come for the wedding with his gang of cronies. Natanakalarathnam Jyothish Kumar (Jayasurya) is a dance teacher, whose mannerisms make him a bit effeminate. The actor is riding high with back-to-back hits and this role of his will be keenly watched by his fans.

Abhirami (Samvrutha Sunil) hails from a wealthy family but is involved in social work. She is part of the organising committee and is one of the brides. Rukhiya (Bhama) is another bride and she comes from a rather modest background.

“A pre-marital session is being held for the applicants for 15 days before the wedding. Interesting events unfold during that period and the wedding is the climax,” explains Shafi. He says that organising a wedding involving 101 couples is never easy and that were a lot of artistes involved. “I have attended many weddings in the past but none this huge,” he smiles.

Known for his grandiose films Shafi believes that only successful directors get a chance to go in for such big-budget movies. “The advantage about such grand movies is that even if they don’t do well at the box office, it will still garner a certain amount of money, especially as initial collection and collect a reasonable profit. For instance, although my film Lollipop was not that well received, it still managed to do some business. However, it is the story which decides the film’s budget. I love watching well-made movies made within a limited budget and I have plans to experiment with some,” he says. He believes that good cinema cannot be categorised as ‘new generation’ or ‘old generation’, as it is often done now. In fact, he feels that his hit film Chocolate would have been tagged as a ‘new generation’ film, if it had been released now!

Talking about his previous film, Venicile Vyaapari, a Mammootty-starrer that was a damp squib at the box office, he says: “We thought a story set in the 1980s could be attractive but I think the feel of the story was not conveyed in the right way and it looked dated in the end,” he says. Shafi will be directing a film with Mohanlal as the hero , which will be scripted by Salt N' Pepper writers Shyam Pushkaran and Dileesh Nair.


Malayalam Cinema ReviewsOctober 18, 2011