Mahesh Narayanan’s ‘Ariyippu’ goes to Locarno

Director-editor Mahesh Narayanan

Director-editor Mahesh Narayanan | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Film director-editor Mahesh Narayanan is on cloud nine. His latest film Ariyippu, titled ‘Declaration’ in English, has been selected to the competition section of the 75th edition of the prestigious Locarno Film Festival. An Indian film is being screened in the competition section after 17 years and it is the first time a Malayalam movie will be participating in the competition after Shaji N Karun’s Piravi in 1989.

To be held from August 3 to August 13, Ariyippu will be screened on August 4, says Mr. Mahesh. “Till now, I have never sent any of my films to any international film festival and this is a certainly a high for me. We make films with an audience in mind and I am glad this film has struck a chord with viewers,” says the award-winning director.

Kunchacko Boban and Divya Prabha in 'Ariyippu'

Kunchacko Boban and Divya Prabha in 'Ariyippu' | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGMENT

The Kunchacko Boban-Divya Prabha-starrer narrates the story of a couple from Kerala who go to Delhi to work in a glove manufacturing factory in Noida. Eventually, they hope to migrate abroad. A manipulated video clip creates unrest among the workers in the factory and emotional and social problems between the couple, Hareesh PV and Reshmi. Mr. Kunchacko is also one of the producers of the film. Mr. Kunchacko posted on his facebook page: “And as it coincides with the 75 year legacy of Udaya Pictures, it indeed is a personal honour for me as well and a tribute to my Grandfather and father”.

“The pandemic strikes and they are caught in a dilemma as to their next course of action. There are other layers to the narrative as well. My films have been on migrants of different kinds. Ariyippu is also about them,” says Mr. Mahesh, director of much-discussed films such as Take Off, Malik and C U Soon.

Sets had to be put in Noida to shoot the film as no factory owner would have agreed to have their work disrupted during the shooting duration, explains Mr. Mahesh.

Kunchacko Boban and Divya Prabha in 'Ariyippu'

Kunchacko Boban and Divya Prabha in 'Ariyippu' | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGMENT

“The film has the cast speaking both Malayalam and Hindi and the shooting was quite strenous for the cast as well because it was mostly shot in the factory,” he adds. Lovleen Misra, Danish Husain, Kannan Arunasalam, Faisal Malik, Kiran Peethambaran, Sidharth Bhardwaj and Dimpy Mishra are also in the cast of the film that has been shot by Sanu John Varughese.

According to Mr. Mahesh, he has remained completly true to the story and “has not added any kind of flavouring for a commercial entertainer. I do plan to release it in theatres but only after screening it in the festival circuit.”

The last Indian film to be screened in the competition section was Rituparno Ghosh’s Antarmahal in 2005, starring Abhishek Bachchan and Soha Ali Khan. Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Nizhalkkuthu was the last Malayalam film to be screened in Locarno in 2011, said a release from the makers of the film

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2022 9:30:11 am |