Movies

‘Vikrithi’ is inspired by a true incident: Emcy Joseph

Emcy Joseph   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Emcy Joseph is still in a state of disbelief when he realises that he has directed two of the acting powerhouses in Malayalam cinema, Suraj Venjaramoodu and Soubin Shahir, in his debut film, Vikrithi, reaching theatres today. “They are two of the finest actors in our industry. I was being ambitious when I thought of bringing them together!” says an ecstatic Emcy over phone from Kochi.

“This is a small film by a small team. We are bringing a story that needs to be told,” says Emcy, an ad filmmaker. Vikrithi is inspired by a true incident that happened inside a carriage of Kochi metro in 2017. Speech- and hearing-challenged Angamaly-native Eldho was trolled and ridiculed after a photo of him sprawled inside the metro was widely circulated on social media. The assumption was that he was in an inebriated state. However, later, it was revealed that he was upset after spending time with his critically ill brother in hospital and was lying down due to uneasiness. “When Ajeesh P Thomas, scenarist and post production animation artist of my ad films, came up with the story, I felt this was the right time to present such a relevant topic,” he says.

Suraj plays Eldho married to Surabhi Lakshmi’s character. Soubin enacts Sameer, who is on a 30-day leave from West Asia, during which he lands in trouble.

So was Sameer responsible for the video that gave the impression that the person was drunk? “I don’t want to reveal that. The film is about how an innocent man bears the brunt of a false news by an unknown person and its far-reaching consequences. His family, job, social status…everything gets affected,” Emcy says.

Social menace

The narrative looks at the dark side of social media and how a certain section of society blindly trusts whatever is posted on such platforms. “Neither the one who puts up the post nor the one who forwards it bothers to check the veracity of the matter. A public trial follows. These posts might be short-lived, but within that period it might have done irreparable damage to the victim,” he adds.

Emcy says that it was not easy to kickstart the project because both the lead actors were busy with their respective projects. “I had narrated the story to Soubin even before Sudani from Nigeria was released. He was excited about the role. But soon his career hit a new high and as he went from strength to strength as an actor, we had to wait for his dates. However, we didn’t want to replace him because even when the story was in the embryonic stage, we wanted only him to do the role. Suraj too was caught up in several projects. It took some time for us to work around their available dates,” he explains.

However, the wait was worth it, he points out. “They gave me more than what I wanted. It was amazing to watch their involvement and dedication. They gave valuable inputs as well. That’s why they are such terrific actors,” he avers.

He recollects how Suraj and Surabhi prepared to play speech- and hearing-challenged characters. The team had sign language interpreters and speech- and hearing-challenged persons on the set to help the actors. “After a point Suraj chettan was seen using only sign language on the set! Surabhi spent time with speech- and hearing-challenged people to get into the character,” he elaborates.

The film has new faces such as Vincy Alosyious, a find from the reality show, Nayika Nayakan on Mazhavil Manorama, and Gracy, a theatre artiste. Sudhi Koppa, Baburaj, Irshad, Bhagath Manuel and Jaffer Idukki are also in the cast.

Emcy Joseph was working in Dubai Media City as the creative director of a corporate company before he moved to Kerala and started his own ad production house, Peraka Media. “I picked up the nuances through ad filmmaking, which is also a form of storytelling. Being an ad filmmaker has its advantages. We focus on making the scenes sharp because in an ad we’ve to tell the story in 30 seconds. Visual sense is another strength that we are expected to have. Also, since I have been into directing and producing ads, I understand the predicament of a producer as well,” he says.

Vikrithi is produced by AD Sreekumar, Ganesh Menon and Lakshmi Warrier. Music is by Bijibal and Alby is the cinematographer.

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2020 8:53:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/emcy-josephs-vikrithi-is-based-on-a-true-story/article29584055.ece

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