Punyalan Agarbathis, directed by Ranjith Sankar and starring Jayasurya in the lead, is about a small-time entrepreneur who dreams of making it big.
Inside the drawing room of a bungalow at Anchery in Thrissur, director Ranjith Sankar is busy canning a sequence for his latest film, Punyalan Agarbathis. Jayasurya, who plays the protagonist Joy Thakkolkkaran, is all ears as Innocent, who stars as Joy’s grandfather John, makes his point clear.
“Joy (Jayasurya) is a wannabe entrepreneur, who is never afraid to dream big. However he fails in seeing his ventures to its completion. For instance, seeking a cure to balding, a plan to revolutionise the transportation sector and so on were all his attempts to strike the big time. His latest venture is making incense sticks from elephant dung and he calls his brand, ‘Punyalan Agarbathis’. An old building owned by his grandfather becomes his factory but he faces a crisis when some of the newly elected board members of a local temple refuse to provide the raw material,” says Ranjith, director of movies such as Passenger, Arjunan Sakshi and Molly Aunty Rocks.
The story is set in Thrissur and almost every character talks in the dialect peculiar to the region. “Joy believes in the Punyalan (saint) and is on a quest to find his presence. He does sense the presence of the Lord in some of the people he closely associates with, but the search never ends,” explains Ranjith.
Nyla Usha, who recently made her debut in Kunjananthante Kada, plays Joy’s wife, Anu. In the next scene, after talking to Lishoy, who plays his relative, Joy speeds away from the frame on his scooter with Anu riding pillion.
“The incense stick industry in India is big business, said to be worth a few thousand crores. Joy feels that making incense sticks would open the doors to great wealth. In the mean time, he has no issues about living off his wife’s salary,” says Jayasurya.
Thanks to his stint as a mimicry artiste at the beginning of his acting career, rendering the dialogues in the Thrissur accent is a piece of cake, says Jayasurya. The actor is also co-producing the project with Ranjith Sankar.
“I have not done a humorous film for the past year and it took only a few minutes to say yes when Ranjith came to me with this offer. Although, I don’t think of myself as the producer while facing the camera, I am actively involved in the film once I am done with my shots,” he adds.
Nyla, meanwhile, says that her character is Joy’s pillar of support. “When the marriage proposal came, Joy had made it clear to Anu that he would either become wealthy like an Ambani or become mad! Now he has reached neither here nor there. He relies on her a lot,” says Nyla.
Punyalan Agarbathis is being produced under the banner of Dreams N’ Beyond. Aju Varghese, T.G. Ravi, Sunil Sugatha, Sreejith Ravi, Edavela Babu, Rachana Narayanankutty and Thesni Khan are also part of the cast. Sujith Vasudev is the cinematographer, music is by Bijibal. Still photographer is Sinat Savier.