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Malayalam short film ‘Villain’ looks at what parents abandoned by children go through

Raghavan, Vinod Kovoor and Srikant Murali in a still from the short film, ‘Villain’   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

A son comes to meet his parents after 41 years. The aged father is not enthused about his arrival. Neither is the mother, bed-ridden for many years. She prefers silence to conversation. A caretaker lives with the couple. The premise of the Malayalam short film, Villain, might seem familiar in that it explores the scenario where grown-up children abandon their parents. But a twist at the end takes viewers by surprise.

Directed by Bengaluru-based photographer-cum-ad filmmaker Sarath Chandran R J, the heart-warming film is based on a short story by G R Indugopan. “It is a universal theme and I was hooked by the way in which the writer has developed it,” says Sarath, a native of Thiruvananthapuram.

Sarath Chandran R J, director of the short film, ‘Villain’

Sarath Chandran R J, director of the short film, ‘Villain’   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

“It is a tale of abandonment, fading memories, intransigence, and family ties,” states a brief note about the short, which chronicles how the son is distraught about being the reason for the mother’s illness. The son has been searching for his parents for many years. As the scenes unfold we learn that he is now settled abroad with a foreigner wife and kids. He tries his best to bond with his parents but in vain. He leaves with a heavy heart. And the suspense is revealed later.

One of its highlights is the return of yesteryear actor Raghavan, who shines as the nonagenarian father. Srikant Murali plays the son. Roslin is the mother and Vinod Kovoor is Suku, the caretaker.

Raghavan and Rosalin in a still from the short film, ‘Villain’

Raghavan and Rosalin in a still from the short film, ‘Villain’   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

“In the short story, the father is 90 and the son is 70. Raghavan sir, now 80, was the best choice for the film. It was exciting to work with him. He was a bundle of energy on the set. Srikant immediately came on board when I narrated the story,” adds Sarath, whose wife, Pooja, has scripted the film. “Although we have remained faithful to the short story, we added a few scenes as required by the narrative,” he says.

So who is the villain? Sarath says that he has left it for the audience to decide. “It could be the father because he has hidden a truth. Or probably the son, since there might be an ulterior motive behind his arrival after four decades,” says Sarath, who has also done the cinematography. The film was shot over two days at Kuttikanam when lockdown restrictions were in place. Produced by Edward Antony, the film has music by Bijibal. Editor is Sreeraj Ravi.

Watch it on YouTube.


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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 4:58:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/villain-malayalam-short-film-sarath-chandran-raghavan/article37804211.ece

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