Cinema A peek at the Onam releases. Vijay George

Mollywood has got a veritable feast of films up at the marquee this Onam.

From crime thrillers to rollicking comedies, the spread has something to entice all kinds of viewers. The battle begins as high profile films featuring big stars take on some bold experiments. Hariharan’s Ezhamathe Varavu , G. Marthandan’s Daivathinte Swantham Cletus , Jos Thomas’ Sringaravelan , Anil Radhakrishnan Menon’s North 24 Kaatham and

M. Padmakumar-Diphan-Vinod Vijayan team’s portmanteau flick D Company are the major Onam releases. “At the end of the day, it’s the good films, rather than the names involved, that will conquer the box office,” says Fahadh Faasil, who has got two films in the running this week. Here is a look at the top five.

Man and the beast

EZHAMATHE VARAVU

Director: Hariharan

Hariharan and M.T. Vasudevan Nair have scripted several landmarks in Malayalam cinema. As the dream duo teams up again, expectations are high about the film that stars Indrajith, Bhavana and Vineeth in the lead. Raw emotions, subtle expressions and tempestuous passions define the film that unfold in the wild in Wayanad. “M.T. and I had been planning to make a film on the conflict for space between man and animals. This is a complex socio-psychological thriller that will plunge the viewer into the thick of action and ardour. Indrajith essays the powerful planter Gopinath Muthalali while Bhavana plays the role of his wife. Vineeth’s character is an archaeologist who comes to the area for some research,” says Hariharan.

Both Indrajith and the filmmaker say the jungle is also a character in the film. “It is a film that is bound to go places on account of its riveting narrative and memorable characters,” says Indrajith.

Lyrics and music are by Hariharan himself. Cinematography is by S. Kumar.

Seeking refinement

DAIVATHINTE SWANTHAM CLETUS

Director: G. Marthandan

“The film has theatre as the backdrop. Scenarist Benny P. Nayarambalam came into films via theatre but it is for the first time that he is writing a script based on the stage. There is a bit of suspense in the film, but it is essentially about how an art form helps Cletus to refine and reform his character,” says debutant director Marthandan. Mammootty plays Cletus, who comes to a village and becomes part of the local drama troupe. The character that he plays on stage has a significant effect on his personal life as well.

“I have worked as an associate director in several films with Mammootty playing the lead and it is a dream come true to start my first film with him as the hero. His character has a peculiar getup, the reason for which will be revealed on screen,” says Marthandan. Honey Rose, the heroine, acts as a tailor. Siddique, P. Balachandran, Suraj Venjaramoodu and Rejith Menon are in the cast. Daivathinte Swantham Cletus is being produced by Faisal Latheef under the banner Achappoo Movie Magic. Pradeep Nair wields the camera.

Aiming high

SRINGARAVELAN

Director: Jos Thomas

Hot on the heels of the entertainer Mayamohini , director Jos Thomas, scenarist-duo Siby K. Thomas and Udayakrishna and actor Dileep are back with another comedy. “Dileep plays Kannan, a weaver from Kuthampully. He has eschewed family tradition to become a fashion designer and is out to make a quick buck. His plans are scuttled when his father sends him to a manor to deliver a handloom sari and he gets stuck there for 15 days,” says Jos. Tamil actor Vedhika stars opposite Dileep as Radhu. Lal, Baburaj, Joy Mathew, Nedumudi Venu and Kalabhavan Shajon are part of the cast.

Sringaravelan is being produced by Jaison Elamgulam under the banner of RJ Creations. Cinematographer is Shaji.

All about the journey

NORTH 24 KAATHAM

Director: Anil Radhakrishnan Menon

According to debutant director Anil Radhakrishnan Menon, North 24 Kaatham is a happy, feel good entertainer. Harikrishnan (Fahadh Faasil), a techie working in Kochi, has to travel to Thiruvananthapuram on the day of a hartal, only to stop the journey midway, and proceed in the opposite direction to Kozhikode instead. During the trip, he befriends Gopalettan (Nedumudi Venu) and Narayani (Swati Reddy).

“More than the destination, Harikrishnan realises that it’s the journey that matters. The journey turns out to be an eye-opener for him,” says the director. He feels that Fahadh, who has not done any comedy roles thus far, will make the viewers laugh with his “crazy behaviour”. With the film being pitted against tough competition this Onam, is he tense? “Not at all, we have done our best. In fact, I was so excited when Nedumudi Venu called me up, a few days after we completed the dubbing, to say that his character refuses to go away from his mind,” says Anil. North 24 Kaatham has been produced under the banner of E 4 Entertainment. Cinematographer is Jayesh Nair.

Facets of crime

D COMPANY

Directors: M. Padmakumar, Diphan, Vinod Vijayan

Three directors team up for D Company , an anthology of three films, linked by a common factor – crime.

M. Padmakumar has directed Oru Bolivian Diary , starring Asif Ali, Samuthirakani and Ananya, which is a political thriller. Diphan’s Gangs of Vadakkumnathan stars Anoop Menon and Jayasurya in the lead. Vinod Vijayan’s Day of Judgement features Fahadh Faasil, Bhama and Tanusree Ghosh.

“We had planned the anthology more than a year ago but it took a while for it to come to fruition due to a variety of factors. It is a big budget production and we have not compromised on its quality. It can be called an action trilogy that is sure to thrill the viewers,” says Vinod .

D Company has been produced under the banner of D Cutz Film Company. Bharani K. Dharan, Vinod Illampilly and Pappu are the cinematographers.