Throwing light on a burning issue

Sudhir Karamana, Thampu Wilson and Nevin M. Johnson in a still from Veyilum Mazhayum.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Mixed talents, many generations come together in Veyilum Mazhayum that is set to hit theatres this week. And this is what makes this film interesting and, perhaps, a landmark in Indian cinema.

The film, directed by debutant Shaiju N., a School of Drama graduate, has Sudhir Karamana (son of actor Karamana Janardanan), Shobi Thilakan (son of actor Thilakan), Harikumar K.G. (brother of actor Murali), Vijayakumari (actor Mukesh’s mother) and Harindranath (P. Padmarajan’s nephew) in important roles. The script and screenplay is by Babu Pallassery, brother of scriptwriter J. Pallasserry. Ashokan Arjunan, son of M.K. Arjunan, makes his debut as music director, while singer Rakesh Brahmanandan (son of singer K.P. Brahmanandan) completes the list.

“This just happened. And all of them are there because they fit the roles so well. Now, I think this, perhaps, is going to be the USP of the film. Apart from this, let me assure you Veyilum Mazhayum will be different in its treatment of a burning social issue: violence against women,” says Shaiju.

The film that took two painstaking years to complete has been shot on locations at Kottarakkara and Adoor. “It tells the story of a nomadic group of sculptors. They set up their tents right outside a high-rise apartment. Their lives, their sufferings, are in stark contrast to what happens around them and inside the box-like apartments. These nomads do not have walls around them. And the story progresses through the eyes of Aparna, played by Manasi, who lives a walled-in life in one of the apartments.”

The film revolves around Ram (Sudhir Karamana), his wife Durga (Thampu Wilson) and their son (Nevin M. Johnson). Durga gets killed and this triggers off a series of events leading to an unexpected end. “Ram is a character who once had roots in Kerala. He returns, but not to stay forever. He waits till all the sculptures are sold. It is one of the best roles that have come my way so far and many sequences called for detailed acting. The film has been well conceived and created. Moreover, it is one of those rare films in which different generations have been involved,” feels Sudhir.

For Harikumar and Ashokan, both immensely talented, it has been a long-awaited break. Strongly influenced by Murali, his elder brother, Harikumar followed him in his theatrical pursuits and even worked as assistant director to Sibi Malayil in many films. “In the beginning it was work behind the stage. Those were the chances I got. In the 1980s I worked with Murali annan at Natyagriha. For his famous ‘Lankalakshmi’ solo performance I did the music. He used to take me along to all the Chalachitra Film Society screenings. So by the time I was 15 or 16 I had watched a lot of classics, though I did not really understand them completely. The director insisted that I do the role of the policeman in this film,” says Harikumar, who is a policeman in real life. “This policeman,” he continues, “is not the kind one usually sees in Malayalam films. I play a sub-inspector who appears tough outside but is actually good at heart. He does not rave and rant, but is helpless, bound by rules and the pecking order.”

There are two songs in the film. And Ashokan, who had earlier composed for devotional albums, has put his heart and soul into the compositions. The lyrics are by Pramod Payyannur and Harikumar. Vishwajith provides the background score. “A duet sung by Sithara and Ganesh Prabhu, a talented newcomer, is one and the other is a solo by Rakesh. Listening to the compositions, my father, who is very reserved in his comments, said that ‘it was not bad.' I consider that a great compliment,” says Ashokan. Produced by Sreerajan R., the film has cinematography by Mingle Mohan. Anoop Chandran, Madhu Kovoor and Feroz Khan play important roles.

Harikumar believes Veyilum Mazhayum tackles a sensitive issue that will be debated.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 7:31:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/veyilum-mazhayum-has-an-interesting-cast/article6356762.ece

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