After a lull, three Malayalam films reach theatres this week.
Three Malayalam films go head-to-head at the marquee today. All three of them – Anil C. Menon’s London Bridge, Abrid Shine’s 1983 and Manoj Kana’s Chayilyam, zoom in on the individual’s quest for space in a conformist world and his/her efforts to live life on his/her terms. It is also about their interactions with the social environment to which they belong to. London Bridge is essentially about connecting ambition and happiness, on lessons learnt by a young man during his quest to make money; 1983 narrates how cricket influences the dreams of a youngster; Chayilyam is on the plight of a hapless woman as she battles against the orthodoxy.
The directors and the lead actors talk about the films…
Finding the connection
In London Bridge, Prithviraj plays an ambitious youngster caught in a romantic dilemma between two women. “It is a love story that takes place in London, and narrated in a non-linear pattern. Vijay Das (Prithviraj) has made money after reaching London on a student visa but he aspires for more. As fate would have it, two women come into his life at almost the same time, which leaves Vijay in a predicament,” says Anil C. Menon, director of films such as Malsaram, Ben Johnson and Rashtram. Masters
Andrea Jeremiah plays Pavithra Nambiar, the daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur, C.S. Nambiar (Pratap Pothen). Nandita essays the role of a nurse, Merin, the breadwinner for her family in India.
“Pavithra and Merin come from two entirely different backgrounds. The story is about how Vijay’s life changes after he becomes close to them. The effort has been to make the story real and believable,” says Prithviraj. “We had extensive shooting schedules in London and the grandeur of the city has been captured in the visuals as well,” he adds.
London Bridge is being produced by Satish B. Satish under the banner of Ordinary Films. Jithu Damodar wields the camera. Music directors are Rahul Raj and Sreevalsan J. Menon.
For the love of cricket
In debutant director Abrid Shine’s 1983, Nivin Pauly plays the lead. The film has cricket as the backdrop.
“It is the story of a village cricketer, Rameshan, who is emotionally attached to the sport. He and his friends have grown up playing cricket with limited facilities. Yet, they live with the hope of making it big as professional cricketers. But at a certain point they have to come to terms with some startling ground realities,” says Abrid.
“Most Indians follow cricket quite religiously. But there are not many films with the sport as the genre and I thought it would be an interesting premise,” he says.
Rameshan is good at studies, but cricket always comes first with him. “Rameshan is overwhelmed by India winning the cricket World Cup in 1983 and his life is never the same again. It is the eventful journey of a man through various phases in his life. And all along, cricket is a part of the story. It was my toughest role till date, though, right now, I cannot reveal the reason why it was so. All I can say is that it is a de-glamourised role. I have not used any make-up,” says Nivin.
Newcomer Nikki is the heroine. Anoop Menon plays an important role as a successful cricketer-turned-coach.
1983 has been produced under the banner of Shams Films by T. R. Shamsudheen.
Pradeesh Varma wields the camera and music has been composed by Gopi Sundar.
The ritualistic art form of Theyyam forms the backdrop for Chayilyam, directed by theatre activist-turned-director Manoj Kana.
The film has won many awards and wowed critics and audiences alike at several film festivals across the globe.
“The story deals with a woman’s struggles against society at various stages in her life. She has to cope with the diktats of the world around her, literally right from menarche to menopause. The people around her make a Goddess out of her, but she craves to lead the life of a normal woman. Usually, a woman who goes through such ordeals would, after a while, become weak. But not Gauri, the protagonist, played by Anumol. She decides that she must rise to the challenge,” says Manoj.
The director says that the film took almost seven years to make and was crowd funded. “Gauri is shown as a daughter, lover, wife, mother, widow and finally she is perceived as Goddess. She goes through severe mental and physical struggles on account of societal pressures,” says Anumol, who feels that her knowledge of Kathakali helped her in performing the character.
Chayilyam has been produced under the banner of Neru Films. K.G. Jayan is the cinematographer and Chandran Vayyattummal scores the music.