Friday Review

Underbelly of politics

Aju Varghese, Mohanlal, Vijay Babu and Baburaj in a still from Peruchazhi, directed by Arun Vaidyanathan.

Aju Varghese, Mohanlal, Vijay Babu and Baburaj in a still from Peruchazhi, directed by Arun Vaidyanathan.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Film director Arun Vaidyanathan says Mohanlal-starrer Peruchazhi is a satire on Indian politics.



P eruchazhi, according to director Arun Vaidyanathan, is a political satire with humour, action and romance. The shooting of the film, which will be Mohanlal’s Onam release this year, has been completed in the United States and Kerala.

“The term Peruchazhi obviously refers to a bandicoot but I can’t discuss the relevance of the title right now, as there is some suspense involved. A bandicoot has it’s own instincts. For instance, we have no idea where it comes from and where it vanishes to. It just appears and takes what it wants in the process. Jagannathan, the character played by Lal Sir (Mohanlal), is like that. He will do anything to win,” says Arun, director of Tamil films such as Achchamundu! Achchamundu! and Kalyana Samayal Saadham.

He believes that a script has a destiny too. “I was not planning to make a Malayalam film as such, but I had a bound script in English with which I went to meet Lal sir and the project happened. But then, it’s a pan India film. There are so many elements that commonly drive Indian politics and it tends to cut across boundaries. Of course, there are some nuances that are exclusive to politics in Kerala, which we have added with the help of dialogue writer Ajayan Venugopalan and the producers Vijay Babu and Sandra Thomas,” he says.

Although he has not seen Sathyan Anthikad’s Sandesham, a classic Malayalam film that is a satire on politics, Arun is fascinated by the classic 1971 Tamil socio-political satire comedy Muhammad Bin Tughluq by Cho Ramaswamy and also by several other foreign movies in the genre. But, he points out that what he has written is an original concept and has not been inspired from any film.

Peruchazhi is about a feud between Jagannathan (Mohanlal) and Francis Kunjappan (Mukesh). The whole mood changes as the story moves ahead after the initial moments and it is a fun-filled entertainer. How they reach the U.S. and what they do there are all zealously guarded to be revealed on the screen.

Ragini Nandwani plays the female lead, Jessy, who is settled in the U.S. Among the other important characters, Baburaj plays Jabbar Pottakkuzhy, while Aju Varghese is Varkey.

Arun rubbishes the controversy that surfaced about some of the portions to be shot in the United States actually being shot in a set created at Kollam. “I don’t know why it should become news when it is obvious that any film is actually make-belief. If you are making Titanic, you don’t have to build an entire ship and make it sink. The news of us shooting in the U.S. got lesser prominence in the media than the shooting in Kerala, which was there for three or four days. There are certain things that we thought would be better if we shot it here. What matters in the end is the content on screen and not these aspects, right?” he says.

Peruchazhi, produced under the banner of Friday Film House, has camera by Arvind Krishna and music by Arrora.

What should the viewers expect from Peruchazhi then? “Just grab your popcorn and be ready to enjoy a laughathon,” says Arun Vaidyanathan.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 12:22:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/underbelly-of-politics/article6217112.ece

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