Music

Musical short ‘Ila’ salutes the spirit of health workers

BK Harinarayanan and Aparna Balamurali in ‘Ila’   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Service before self. That has been the motto of thousands of health workers in their fight against the pandemic for the last one-and-a-half years. Ila, a musical featurette (a short film in which music takes predominance), tells the story of a doctor, Ila, played by Aparna Balamurali.

Conceptualised and directed by lyricist BK Harinarayanan, the 10-minute musical has composer Bijibal and Kathakali artiste Peesappilly Rajeevan in the cast.

Aparna Balamurali in the musical featurette ‘Ila’

Aparna Balamurali in the musical featurette ‘Ila’   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

 

Ila, working at a CFLTC (COVID First Line Treatment Centre), is shattered that the love of her life (Manu, played by Harinarayanan himself) has walked out on her and is getting married. Although she stays strong and focusses on her job, she gets infected and succumbs to COVID-19, but not before recording a video message about taking care to prevent being infected by the virus.

Inspired by true stories

“Ila’s story is inspired by several true incidents I have heard or read about. Statistics say that 1,500 doctors, 200 health workers and 120 nurses have died due to the pandemic. This is a tribute to all the health workers. We have seen them only in PPE kits and have little idea about their sorrows,” says Harinarayanan.

Lyricist BK Harinarayanan

Lyricist BK Harinarayanan   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

‘Shalabha hridayame’, the song, is composed by Mithun Jayaraj and sung by Mithun and Sithara Krishnakumar. “I had written a song with the same introductory lines. Rest of the lines were different. Mithun had composed and sang it. We shot the film taking that composition as reference. After the shoot, I wrote new lines keeping in with the theme,” he adds.

He adds that the project is the coming together of a group of like-minded individuals under Vybes Media, a platform to promote fresh talents. Among those associated with it is Kunnamkulam MLA AC Moideen, Harinarayanan says.

Aparna Balamurali and BK Harinarayanan during the shoot of ‘Ila’

Aparna Balamurali and BK Harinarayanan during the shoot of ‘Ila’   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Once he discussed the storyline with cinematographer Manesh Madhavan and editor Praveen Mangalath, they approached Aparna. “When she listened to the story, she agreed to be on board, despite her busy schedule. After a day’s shoot wearing the kit, she felt uneasy and had a headache. She was talking about how difficult it must be for the people who wear it every day, that too for hours on end.”

BK Harinarayanan with composer Bijibal during the shoot of ‘Ila’

BK Harinarayanan with composer Bijibal during the shoot of ‘Ila’   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Having worked with Bijibal in films and independent projects, Harinarayanan says that he was the obvious choice to play the soft-spoken brother to Ila.

Rajeevan, a state award-winning actor, plays Ila’s patient. “I have seen his plays and needed his acting skills as a Kathakali artiste. Especially in that scene where he requests Ila through a gesture and expression to remove her mask so that he can see her face before he goes home,” he adds.

Aparna Balamurali in the musical featurette ‘Ila’

Aparna Balamurali in the musical featurette ‘Ila’   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Produced by Shaju Simon for Vybes Media, Ila was shot in parts of Thrissur district such as Malankara Hospital and YMCA at Kunnamkulam and a few houses in Chavakkad. “Velur panchayat helped us with equipment for setting up a CFLTC. There were subject experts such as Dr Binitha Renjith to guide us in certain scenes. We also have a nurse and Rapid Response Team (RRT) volunteers reprising their roles.”

“I wish at least one person can empathise with the health practitioners after watching this,” he signs off.

Watch Ila on YouTube.


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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 10:34:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/ila-musical-featurette-bk-harinarayanan-health-workers/article36664975.ece

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