Movies

‘Kuruthi’ is a fast-paced socio-political thriller, says director Manu Warrier

Manu Warrier on the set of ‘Kuruthi’   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

 

With a tagline that says ‘A vow to kill… an oath to protect’ Prithviraj-starrer Kuruthi has been making waves ever since its teaser was released on April 3. Veteran actor Mamukoya’s narration in the trailer hints at a story of revenge and retribution.

Naturally, Manu Warrier, director of Kuruthi, is thrilled about the film; it boasts a stellar star cast and is produced by Supriya Menon under the banner of Prithviraj Productions. Says Manu, of his début film, “It is a fast-paced socio-political thriller set in contemporary Kerala, and it has well-shot action scenes.”

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The filmmaker, who made the indie movie Coffee Blooms previously, recalls that he became involved with the story when Anish Pallyal sent him a script and asked for feedback. Both Anish and Manu are die-hard fans of Malayalam cinema, having grown up on a staple of Malayalam films in Mumbai.

“We have been working as scriptwriters in Bollywood. When Anish came up with the story of Kuruthi (ritual sacrifice), I was intrigued. Since the story had a strong Malayali background, it could only be done in Malayalam and in Kerala. We sent the script, written in English, to Prithviraj. He responded and, eventually, agreed to produce it too. He had some suggestions and after another round of discussions, the script was locked by November and we moved on to casting,” says Manu.

Prithviraj, Manu says, even lent a helping hand in landing the best cast to play other roles in the film. Kuruthi also stars Mamukoya, Murali Gopy, Roshan Mathew, Manikandan Rajan, Shine Tom Chacko, Nawaz Vallikunnu and Srindaa among others.

Manu Warrier with Prithviraj Sukumaran on the set of ‘Kuruthi’

Manu Warrier with Prithviraj Sukumaran on the set of ‘Kuruthi’   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Manu is keen to keep details of the characters under wraps for now, so he lets on very little when we ask about the visuals we see in the film’s posters and trailer. He says each character has a definite storyline and a place in the film. “Even Srindaa, the only female actor in the film, has a different kind of role,” he says. The filmmaker insists that the script and story play the lead in Malayalam cinema and he believes that is the reason why Malayalam movies are going places and catching eyeballs.

Filmed in the verdant locations of Erattupetta, in Kottayam district, and the misty hills of Vagamon in Idukki district, the crew began work in December 2020 and wrapped up shooting in less than a month. Manu adds that the cast and crew went through filming as if they were all “in a bio-bubble”, adhering to filming restrictions put in place by the Kerala Government. Even the mist in Vagamon, which can envelope the place with no notice, did not play spoilsport during the shooting of the movie.

Manu feels that the highlight in his film would be the frames canned by cinematographer Abinandhan Ramanujam, and the score and sound design by composer Jakes Bejoy. “With Prithviraj being the producer, we did not have any problems shooting. It was a wonderful experience to be working in a Malayalam film,” he says. On the sets, everyone, including the stars, worked as a team and were ready to put up with all kinds of hardship. Their dedication was amazing to watch, maintains Manu.

Manu adds that he is looking at scripts in Malayalam as well as in Bollywood, but is yet to finalise his next project. Meanwhile, as the second wave causes a surge in COVID-19 cases, the team of Kuruthi are keeping their fingers crossed over its release; it is scheduled to hit cinemas on May 13.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 11:27:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/filmmaker-manu-warrier-on-his-first-malayalam-film-kuruthi-starring-prithviraj/article34384200.ece

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