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Beneath the façade

Vijay George
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At the scene Debutant director A.V. Sasidharan’s Olipporu, starring Fahadh Faasil in the lead, uncovers the real persona of a mysterious blogger. Vijay George

The lush green of the huge paddy field, the muddy road that cuts right through its middle, the pond that brims with water, goats roaming around and so on, make for a particularly picturesque rustic backdrop. It’s here, in the village of Adat, near Thrissur, that debutant director A.V. Sasidharan’s film Olipporu is being shot. Fahadh Faasil and Kalabhavan Mani are facing the camera.

“A group of software professionals who are active on social networking sites and blogs strike a chord. But most of them barely know each other outside the virtual world. They all meet up during a book release function and decide to conduct a show in Bangalore, based on the poems written by of one of them, Ajayan (Fahadh Faasil), a blogger who writes under the pseudonym ‘Olipporali’. But during the final rehearsal of the show, Ajayan goes missing. That is when the rest of them realise that they really don’t know the man other than what can be perceived from his blog posts. Ajayan’s life story unfolds as the bloggers-turned-friends start their search for him,” says Sasidharan, about the basic premise of the movie.

Aju Varghese, Arafat, Deepak and Basil, who blog under the names Gear, Brake, Clutch and Pachakkuthira, respectively, play the friends.

“The scene that we are shooting shows a glimpse into Ajayan’s life, where he happens to meet Kumaran (played by Mani), an old acquaintance who comes from a modest background,” says the director.

Fahadh, who is still riding high on the success of Amen , says: “I was hooked to the film’s script, which, incidentally, has been inspired by real events.” Is he on a signing spree? He seems to have had quite a few releases in the first quarter of the year and there are a few others in the pipeline too… “Not at all. Only a handful of my films released last year. But I was working all the time. That’s why there are so many of my films this year,” says the actor.

Kalabhavan Mani, meanwhile, says that he is thrilled to be at this particular location, which is pretty close to his hometown, Chalakudy. “I have been told to perform in a style different from my usual one and it is refreshing for any actor to experiment with new styles. I have been offered quite a few supporting roles of late and I am enjoying all of them. For the time being I have decided not to go for any lead roles,” he says.

Poet P.N. Gopi Krishnan has written the screenplay of the film. “The stories of Ajayan and Kumaran run on parallel tracks, though they meet each other at a particular juncture much later.”

He adds that a young poet named Naveen George, who wrote under the pseudonym Jonavan, was the inspiration for this story. “We used to be in regular touch through the social networking sites and blogs. But when he died in an accident, I realised that I barely knew the man outside his virtual persona,” says Gopi Krishnan.

Tamil actor Subhiksha plays the female lead, Vani. Olipporu is being produced under the banner of Round Up Cinema. Manoj Mundayat is the cinematographer and John P. Varkey is the music director.


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