Movies

Mammootty is back as an IPS officer in ‘Abrahaminte Santhathikal’

Mammootty in a still from the film.

Mammootty in a still from the film.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Shaji Padoor’s directorial début releases on Saturday

For someone whose directorial début carries an immense weight of expectation, Shaji Padoor sounds calm and composed. As his Mammootty-starrer Abrahaminte Santhathikal is all set to hit theatres on Saturday, the 46-year-old filmmaker affirms that the audience will get to see a “different image” of the star who’s back as an IPS officer.

Having known Mammootty for over 20 years, Shaji had no inkling of doubt about casting him in the lead when director and scenarist Haneef Adeni (of The Great Father fame) approached him with the script. Calling Abrahaminte Santhathikal a “crime-cum-stylish thriller,” Shaji, in a phone interview, says the film is about “the obstacle-ridden journey of Derick Abraham, an IPS officer, who faces certain personal hurdles and how they impact his professional life.”

Choosing not to disclose more about the “suspenseful” plot, Shaji says the film, set in and around Ernakulam, revolves around how the beleaguered protagonist fights the odds to push forward.

Shaji Padoor

Shaji Padoor   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“Unlike how it is portrayed in common police stories, Abrahaminte Santhathikal does not present the main character as a larger-than-life figure displaying super-heroism. Here, he’s very much human, with his own inner conflicts and tries to deal with them in the most human of ways. However, these shades of emotions have been shot and conveyed with a dash of flamboyance,” reveals Shaji, who hails from Guruvayoor.

About the eponymous, biblical title, the director says “it is significant for the story as the settings and the events are, in fact, hidden in it and you’ll decipher that when you watch the film,” stopping short of divulging the details. The movie bears the subtitle ‘A Police Story.’

Having previously worked with directors such as Joshiy, Shaji Kailas, Renji Panicker, and Vysakh among others, Shaji says he learnt the craft of filmmaking through years of experience and felt the time was ripe to launch his own project.

“For over 12 years, all the while when I was assisting and working in other films, I have been having an open date for a movie with Mammookka. He fully trusted me to helm Abrahaminte Santhathikal despite this being my début,” says the director.

So, having known the actor for a long time as a friend, how was it to see Mammootty through the lens for his own film?

“Normally, you can sort of predict how an artiste would behave in front of the camera when you have given him or her instructions about a particular shot. But Mammootty is unpredictable, because he makes it better. He can mesmerise you with his improvised performance,” Shaji says.

Others in the line-up include Kanika, Renji Panicker, Siddique, Suresh Krishna, Kalabhavan Shajon, Tamil actor Yog Japee, Anson Paul among others.

The director says the audience can expect the movie to showcase several highlights on the technical side. “Each and every department complements the other in making the film a thoroughly enjoyable experience,” says Shaji.

He has a particular word of praise for cinematographer Alby for “effectively capturing the backdrop of Ernakulam” on the screen and Gopi Sundar, who composed the film’s three tracks. Ask Shaji how well would songs find a place in a crime thriller, he says “they come in only when the situation demands it and there are indeed some in the film.”

Expectations are naturally sky-high but Shaji is willing to let the audience “be the ultimate judges.”

“I’m fully confident that Abrahaminte Santhathikal will not disappoint the viewers,” he says.

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Printable version | Mar 23, 2020 11:50:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/mammootty-plays-a-cop-in-shaji-padoors-directorial-debut-abrahaminte-santhathikal/article24161277.ece

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