A feature film based on Koodiyattam
Feature films based on temple art forms are few in number in Malayalam. Rarely do directors dare to make movies based on classical art forms, which often may not do well commercially.
After noted director Shaji M. Karun's Vanaprastham, a movie based on the lives of Kathakali performers, now it is the turn of director Sashi Paravoor to come out with a feature film Nottam based on Koodiyattam, said to be the sole surviving Sanskrit theatre art form of the State.
Nedumudi Venu, noted Koodiyattom artist Margi Sathy, Jagathy Sreekumar and T.M. Gopakumar play the main roles in the film. Nedumudi Venu, who excels in his lead role as Vasu Chakyar (Vasuettan), once more he proves his talent and versatility.
The story unfolds through the ups and downs of Vasu Chakyar's personal life. At first, he hesitates in compromising with modern trends, but later he accepts the situation. Margi Sathy plays the role of lover and co-performer of Vasu Chakyar. This is her debut film.
Director Sashi Paravoor told mediapersons that he did some research and had long discussions with Koodiyattam experts before making the film. "My first feature film Kattu Vannu Vilichappol was based on a social theme. I made this film with a different theme to create awareness about our temple forms among the common people."
He pointed out that Koodiyattam is a complicated form of art as most of the expressions are conveyed to audience through eye movements. This was the reason why he gave the film the name Nottam.
Nedumudi said that even though he had played the roles of musician and art performer earlier, he had to study a lot to perform the role of Vasu Chakyar .
Margi Sathy said she had to prepare a lot to face the camera with confidence. It was quite different from performing on the stage. "The character I got was a good one and Venu sir, who is a Koodiyattam performer himself, helped me a lot," she said.
She added that she was ready to consider similar character roles in future. Nottam is slated for release in January.