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‘Thriller' on the cards

Saraswathy Nagarajan
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Cinema B. Unnikrishnan says his ‘Thriller,' releasing on November 17, is a racy, investigative story of a highway murder and its aftermath. The film features Prithviraj in the lead. Saraswathy Nagarajan

M aster of thrillers B. Unnikrishnan is back with a racy film that has been inspired by a sensational highway murder that rocked Kerala. In fact, the writer-director made his name (and won several awards in the process) as a writer and director of taut, investigative telefilms that did not test the viewers' intelligence or logic. Eventually he graduated to the big screen and worked with the reigning superstars of Malayalam cinema.

Although his previous film, ‘Pramani,' did not exactly lord it over the box office, his latest movie, ‘Thriller,' has him returning to what he is best at – scripting contemporary investigative stories that takes viewers on a breathless roller coaster ride of suspense and intrigue.

After working with veterans like Suresh Gopi, Mohanlal and Mammootty, Unnikrishnan teams up with youngster Prithviraj who plays the tough and canny cop who is investigating the murder.

“This is the first time I am acting as a police office who is tracking a killer. It is an out-and-out suspense thriller,” says Prithviraj. He adds that although he has donned the khaki in several films, he is yet to play a role that has him investigating a specific case. His role of Deputy Commissioner of Police Niranajan has certainly impressed Unnikrishnan who has only good things to say about his leading actor as he gushes about his dedication and commitment to the film and the role. And the admiration is mutual.

Logical conclusion

“Since the movie hinges on the investigation of a murder, each sequence had to eventually lead to a logical conclusion. It was apparent that the director had put in a lot of homework to come up with a watertight script that does not meander off the main storyline. Each scene in the film reveals a new dimension and it is a multi-layered mystery that is bound to keep viewers on tenterhooks. Each incident is examined from several perspectives with fresh information being garnered at each instance, which adds to the complexities of the case,” says Prithviraj.

Unnikrishnan says he spent several months studying similar case and the investigative methods of the police, including the working of the cyber cell to come up with a logical narrative. A fact corroborated by Tamil actor Sampath Raj who is all praise of the director for his planning and excellent screenplay. “My character speaks only Tamil and English and on the very first day of the shooting, Unni told me: ‘I will just tell your lines and you know what you have to do.' That shows the director's confidence in an actor and that is such an important morale booster for an actor,” says Sampath.

The director has also cast several new faces in the film who plays important characters in this whodunit. While Prajan plays the young entrepreneur (Simon Palathingal) who is mysteriously found dead on the highway, Katherine and Mallika Kapur play female leads in the film. Sampath has been cast in a negative role and he “rocks,” says Unnikrishnan.

“Supporting these youngsters are some of our veterans such as Lalu Alex, Siddique and Vijayaraghavan. The cinematographer is Dharani,” says Unnikrishnan who has gone in for a debutant composer and music director. “Both music director Dharan and lyricist Harinarayanan have done a good job. Of the three songs in the films, Mamta Mohandas sings the sizzling title song and appears in a cameo role. It has been filmed a la James Bond films where a snazzy signature song introduces the cast and crew,” explains the director.

The film has been produced by Sabu Cherian who was a “model producer” says Unnikrishnan and Sampath.

Tales of crime busters have a faithful audience in Kerala and if they are thrilled by this ‘Thriller,' then Unnikrishnan has a winner on his hands.

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