Movies

‘Chilappol Penkutty’ attempts to explore vulnerabilities girls face in contemporary society, says Prasad Nooranad

Kavya Ganesh and Avani S Prasad in a still from Chilappol Penkutty

Kavya Ganesh and Avani S Prasad in a still from Chilappol Penkutty   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Malayalam film, which releases on July 19, is also a take on growing up and looks at how the society acts and reacts towards matters involving the reputation of a girl or a woman, says the director

“We live in an age when anything can happen to any girl any time. My film attempts to capture this vulnerability, this sense of insecurity in our contemporary society through the story of friendship between two schoolgirls,” says Prasad Nooranad about his directorial début Chilappol Penkutty, set to release on July 19.

Having made his mark in the television industry for over two decades, Prasad, who has directed TV serials such as Nombarapoo and Mayamohini apart from popular programmes, says he chose the “shorter” medium of celluloid to tell such a story for “an instant impact.” Describing Chilappol Penkutty as “meeting midway between art-house and commercial film”, the 41-year-old from Kayamkulam, Alappuzha, says the movie aims to spread awareness about “staying safe” among girls and parents in “such troubled times.”

“It’s also a take on growing up and looks at how the society acts and reacts towards and, sometimes, connives at matters involving the reputation of a girl or a woman,” he says over phone.

Prasad Nooranad

Prasad Nooranad   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The story starts in Jammu and Kashmir, touching upon the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua last year, an incident that shook the nation’s conscience, before shifting the focus towards contemporary Kerala. The narrative then moves forward through the friendship between the protagonist Nithya (Avany S Prasad) and her classmate Vandana (Kavya Ganesh). “The two Class 10 girls share a code language known only to them for communication, whether to poke fun at friends or teachers,” explains Prasad.

But Nithya’s life takes a sudden turn when Vandana goes missing one day. A local chap with a questionable background had been following the girls, and soon rumour spreads that Vandana may have eloped with the youngster. Not willing to buy that argument and unable to trust any elders around, the rest of the story revolves around how Nithya virtually goes on an “investigation” on her own in her desperate attempts to trace Vandana. “The focus then shifts towards Nithya’s innocent quest borne out of pure love for her friend,” says Prasad, adding that the film packs in elements of mystery and suspense.

Scripted by writer M Kamarudeen, Chilappol Penkutty is shot mainly in Alappuzha and Vagamon, with portions filmed in some picturesque locales in Kashmir. Others in the cast include Aristo Suresh, Krishnachandran as Vandana’s father Suneesh Samuel and serial actors Dileep Shankar and Priya Rajeev. It also features five tracks, with a Hindi number, ‘Oh Meri Sajiniyare’, crooned by Vaikom Vijayalakshmi that serves as a title song set in Kashmir.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 5:22:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/chilappol-penkutty-is-a-take-on-growing-up-and-looks-at-how-the-society-acts-and-reacts-towards-matters-involving-the-reputation-of-a-girl-or-a-woman-says-director-prasad-nooranad/article28505721.ece

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