`Chotta Mumbai' is being directed by Anwar Rasheed who made waves with his debut movie `Rajamanikyam.'
As one gets closer to Fort Kochi, it's like getting into a different world altogether. Old buildings, narrow congested lanes and even the lifestyle there has a different tempo. Director Anwar Rasheed has chosen to make his `Chotta Mumbai' in these surroundings. "Chotta Mumbai is a locality near Fort Kochi, where such areas with strange names do exist. A small group of youngsters, dressed in loud outfits, wile away their time doing virtually nothing, and spending their miniscule earnings on inanities. "My film's hero, Vasco, is the leader of such a group. Although they do indulge in illegal activities, it would be difficult to brand them as hard core criminals," says Anwar who is the director of the blockbuster `Rajamanikyam.' Mohanlal is the protagonist of `Chota Mumbai.' Indrajith, Siddique, Manikkuttan and Bijukkuttan are his chums. Bhavana, the heroine, drives an auto rickshaw for a living. The day's shooting is in a modest house at Calvathy, where Vasco lives. A huge group of onlookers throng the place to have a glimpse of Mohanlal, as cinematographer Azhagappan zooms in on the hero. A couple of shots later, the crowd goes into raptures as Mohanlal waves at them. "The film moves on with some interesting incidents and has been treated in a humorous way," says Benny P. Nayarambalam, who has written the screenplay and dialogues. Post-lunch, a hilarious scene is shot that shows Bijukkuttan being caught by Bhavana and her friends for not returning some money that he had borrowed from her."It was quite tough for me to learn driving a two-wheeler during the shooting of `Swapnakkoodu.' Now it was like going through the whole process all over again this time with an auto rickshaw," says Bhavana. According to Anwar, "Although people in Kochi do speak in a local dialect, it has not been emphasised in `Chotta Mumbai.'" `Chotta Mumbai' is being produced by Maniyanpillai Raju, Ajayachandran Nair and Reghuchandran Nair under the banner of Sreebhadra films and will reach theatres on April 7. Lyrics by Vayalar Sarat Chandra Varma and Santhosh Varma have been set to music by debutant Rahul Raj. Stills are by Sunil Guruvayoor.