Freedom at midnight

Tinu Pappachan says Swathanthryam Ardharathriyil, his directorial début, is an action thriller

Published - March 29, 2018 01:01 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

 Antony Varghese and Chemban Vinod Jose in a still from Swathanthryam Ardharathriyil

Antony Varghese and Chemban Vinod Jose in a still from Swathanthryam Ardharathriyil

High-end action sequences, thumping background score, powerful cast, monochrome frames... the trailer of Tinu Pappachan’s Swathanthryam Ardharathriyil (Freedom at Midnight) has all the ingredients to bring in viewers to theatres. Appreciation came from Suniel Shetty and Jackie Shroff as well. Obviously Tinu is mighty excited as his debut film reaches theatres on March 31.

Antony Varghese (after his memorable Antony Pepe from Angamaly Diaries ) plays the lead in the movie, which has Vinayakan and Chemban Vinod Jose playing significant roles. “As you might have gauged from the trailer, it is an action thriller. The premise is a sub-jail and the story revolves around remand prisoners. The narrative unfolds in Kottayam. Jacob (Antony) works in a finance company and his life changes overnight. The movie is about how he survives the odds,” Tinu says.

In the jail, he strikes a friendship with Vinayakan’s character, Simon. Chemban’s character, Kallan Devasia, comes in later. “Devasia provides the laughs in the movie,” Tinu adds.

 Tinu Pappachan

Tinu Pappachan

The jail sequences were shot at a set put up in Thiruvananthapuram. “There are a lot of night shots and it was not possible to shoot those in a real prison. So our art director, Gokul Das, made the sets in the capital city,” he says.

 Rajesh Sarma and Vinayakan in a still from Swathanthryam Ardharathriyil

Rajesh Sarma and Vinayakan in a still from Swathanthryam Ardharathriyil

Tinu is quick to add that there is no violence in the movie. “There is raw action but nothing that will upset the audience. The realistic feel is brought in by some amazing technicians in the crew,” he adds. Not surprising when the credits include cinematography by Gireesh Gangadharan, sound design by state film award winner Renganaath Ravee and background score by Deepak Alexander.

On his mentor

Tinu, who was an associate director of Lijo Jose Pellissery, admits that he has been influenced a lot by the latter. “After all, I have worked with him from City of God till Ee. Ma. Yau . But I have not copied his style,” he stresses. Lijo is playing a lawyer in the movie.

Aswathy Manohar, a classical dancer, makes her début, playing the female lead. The film has many other newcomers. B.C. Joshi is the producer, with Lijo and Chemban as co-producers. The one-off song is composed by Jakes Bijoy and sung by Shreekumar Vakkiyil. A native of Kottarakara, Tinu says he has been nursing directorial ambitions for a long time. “Films have been my passion since childhood and I was resolved to become a director. Dileep Kurian, who has written this movie, is a close friend and we had planned a film with Mammootty in the lead. But that project got postponed. That’s when he told me this story and when I took it to Lijo and Chemban, they got excited. Having seen Antony’s talent, I thought he is perfect for the role,” he says. As for the title of the movie, he mentions that it is a suspense. So over to the cinemas!

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