Nivin Pauly back in cinemas with ‘Mahaveeryar’, a genre bender

Nivin Pauly on his new Malayalam movie Mahaveeryar, a courtoom drama that combines elements of time travel and fantasy, directed by Abrid Shine

Updated - July 21, 2022 04:40 pm IST

Published - July 21, 2022 03:08 pm IST

Nivin Pauly in a still from Mahaveeryar 

Nivin Pauly in a still from Mahaveeryar  | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Nivin Pauly and Abrid Shine have never shied away from experimenting. If Abrid’s debut directorial venture, 1983, saw Nivin play a father with aplomb, Action Hero Biju saw the actor don khaki and also turn producer. The two come together after six years for Mahaveeryar. The film is based on a short story written by M Mukundan and is produced by Nivin.

Nivin says it was the script that enthused him and the “comfort I feel while working with Shine ettan”. According to Nivin, the film is “a court room drama that is also a fantasy film with elements of time travel. It is a genre bender. ”

Nivin Pauly has successfully escaped being saddled with an image

Nivin Pauly has successfully escaped being saddled with an image | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

He believes that Abrid has the ability to make films that stand the test of time. Confident that Mahaveeryar would be a film with a different narrative, Nivin agreed to act in it without a second thought. “While it is a fun-filled film, it talks about a global phenomenon,” says Nivin.

Returning to the big screen after a break of three years, Nivin says that he is willing to wait for characters and themes that are not run-of-the-mill. After making a mark as a chocolate hero and campus heart-throb in blockbusters like Thattathin Marayathu, Premam and Ohm Shanthi Oshaana, Nivin broke out of his comfort zone with Shyamaprasad’s English: An Autumn in London, Ivide, Hey Jude, Geetu Mohandas’ Moothon and Rajeev Ravi’s Thuramukham and so on.

Thuramukham, in which Nivin plays a pivotal role as Mattancherry Moidu, has been waiting for a release for more than two years. “Rajeev ettan had told me that the film would take time and that it might be delayed. I wanted to do that role as I believe that it is a landmark film that maps an important milestone in the history of Kerala. I hope the producer releases the film at the earliest.”

Nivin Pauly in Thuramukham, directed by Rajeev Ravi

Nivin Pauly in Thuramukham, directed by Rajeev Ravi | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Talking about his spectrum of characters, he adds: “Every actor wants characters that challenge him and are as different as possible from his previous roles. I have been lucky to be offered a plethora of characters. My character in Mahaveeryar, a Sadhu named Apoornanandhan, promises to be one of the those interesting ones,” he asserts.

The cast includes Asif Ali, Major Ravi, Lal, Lalu Alex, Siddique, Mallika Sukumaran, Shanvi Sukumaran, Vijay Menon and Sudheer Karamana among others. The trailer of the film showed snippets of a court proceedings, interspersed with Nivin in the costume of a godman and Asif as a warrior (Veerabhadran) from another world. The story unravels over two time periods. However, the “time travel is not like a sci-fi but narrated as a gripping story. Shine ettan has that eye for detail and viewers who watched 1983 would remember how effortlessly he showed the passage of five years.”

Shot extensively in Rajasthan and Kochi, Mahaveeryar’s cast and crew had to cool their heels for some time because of the lockdown.

Nivin Pauly in Padavettu

Nivin Pauly in Padavettu | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

After a lull, Nivin in back in the thick of action with Rosshan Andrrews’ Padavettu and a Tamil film directed by Ram. In the meantime, Abrid and Nivin are planning a sequel for Action Hero Biju. “It is being written and planned as a big-budget and pan-India project, which is the trend now. Shoot is likely to start by the end of this year.”

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