I write what is needed for the screen, says Midhun Manuel Thomas

The scenarist-filmmaker on finding his place in Malayalam cinema and his upcoming release, ‘Argentina Fans Kattoorkadavu’

Published - February 20, 2019 03:11 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Midhun Manuel Thomas

Midhun Manuel Thomas

With his forthcoming release Argentina Fans Kaattoorkadavu , writer-director Midhun Manuel Thomas hopes to create the euphoria in a football stadium in cinemas. Aadu 2, his last outing, had done well and and there are plans for another addition to the franchise. He has also announced a sequel to the yesteryear hit Kottayam Kunjachan , starring Mammootty. Edited excerpts from an interview with Midhun:

How did Argentina Fans Kaattoorkadavu happen?

When Kottayam Kunjachan 2 got delayed, we started searching for other stories. It was then that I read a story titled ‘Argentina Fans Kaattoorkadavu’ by Asokan Charuvil. Just like many Malayalis, I religiously celebrate the football World Cup. This story also narrated a romantic tale against the backdrop of fan fights. I have co-written the script with John Manthrickal.

What about the characters played by Kalidas Jayaram and Aishwarya Lekshmi?

Kalidas and Aishwarya are the love birds. While Kalidas plays Vipinan, leader of the Argentina fans in Kaattoorkadavu, where the story is set, Aishwarya is Mehrunnisa Kadarkutty, a die-hard supporter of Brazil.

Are you an Argentine fan yourself?

I have always been an ardent Argentina fan and maybe that is why the story struck a chord with me. I believe once you are a true-blue fan of a particular team, you will remain so, regardless of the team’s ups and downs.

You have a master’s in social work and worked in the Middle East for a while, before you turned scenarist with Ohm Shanthi Oshaana . How do you look back at this journey?

I wanted to be a part of movies but all I had to project was my achievements as an orator and my passion for watching movies. I am not an organic writer. I write what is needed for the screen. I met Jude Anthany Joseph, narrated a few storylines and he chose Ohm Shanthi Oshaana .

What went wrong with your directorial debut, Aadu Oru Bheekara Jeeviyanu ?

I am yet to find it out because its sequel, Aadu 2 , made in the same pattern, became a blockbuster. I had made Aadu... as a nonsensical comedy, a genre that was used with great success earlier by filmmakers such as Priyadarsan. But we failed to connect with the audience, who were, perhaps, expecting an action comedy after watching the trailer. The non-linear pattern of storytelling also could have affected the fate of the movie.

So, were you not sceptical about a sequel?

Every sequel is a risk. If Aadu 2 had flopped, we would have become the laughing stock of the industry for making a sequel of a flop movie. I had thought about changing the storyline of Aadu 2 but by then, it had become a cult hit among online viewers. So, director Lijo Jose Pellissery told me to repeat what the viewers had liked. I had no doubts thereafter.

Kalidas Jayaram and Aishwariya Lekshmi in ‘Argentina Fans Kattoorkadavu’

Kalidas Jayaram and Aishwariya Lekshmi in ‘Argentina Fans Kattoorkadavu’

How important was the success of Ann Maria Kalippilaanu then?

Ann Maria Kalippilaanu was my do-or-die film after Aadu questioned my abilities, both as a writer and director. Even after the script was completed, I felt it lacked something. The idea of an angel from Meesappulimala solved that issue and by taking up the role of that angel, Dulquer Salmaan turned out to be an angel for me as well.

Why do you think Alamara failed at the box-office?

It had a storyline that everyone liked. But the script and the execution went wrong. It should have been directed by a more experienced director.

How do you handle success and failure?

I was devastated after Aadu. But, in a way, it was a great learning experience. I have become better prepared to face setbacks. I may not go into depression if I have a failure in future. Meanwhile, Aadu 2 has taught me how to handle success as well. All said and done, the ups and downs affect you, no matter how prepared you are.

You have announced Kottayam Kunjachan 2 , Aadu 3 and Turbo Peter .

The script for Kottayam Kunjachan 2 is almost ready and we are planning to approach Mammookka (Mammootty) soon. Aadu 3 is being planned in 3D and the technicalities are being worked out.

Do you have plans to try out other genres?

I am eager to attempt themes other than comedies and it could happen any time.

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