Getting the right equation

March 17, 2006 12:00 am | Updated March 26, 2012 12:14 pm IST


After 12 years, Mohanlal acts in a Sathyan Anthikkad film, 'Rasathantram.'

'Rasathantram' has been creating ripples of excitement ever since it was announced that director Sathyan Anthikkad and Mohanlal would be working together after 12 years. 'This interval was not intentional. We had been interacting with each other and there were discussions, but a film didn't materialise for such a long period for several reasons,' says Mohanlal during a break in the shooting. The film, which is being shot at Thodupuzha and Moolamattom areas of Idukki districts, has become the cynosure of the media and film aficionados for another reason as well; this is the first time that Mohanlal and Meera Jasmine are acting together in a film. And Bharat Gopi too has a major role in the film. It is perhaps for the first time that three national film award winners - Mohanlal, Bharat Gopi and Meera Jasmine - are working together in a Malayalam movie. 'It has been a nice experience to act with Mohanlal,' says Meera about her first film with the veteran actor. 'He is very encouraging. His acting and delivery of dialogues do not stick to conventional methods and so it encourages his co-actors to reciprocate ; I feel it brought out the best in me. Merely observing his acting is an experience and a lesson. Also, I feel I am very lucky to act with a consummate actor like Bharat Gopi,' adds Meera.This time around too, like the down-to-earth characters of his other films such as Gopalakrishna Panicker of 'Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam,' Balagopalan of 'T.P. Balagopalan M.A.' and Murali of 'Varavelpu,' Sathyan Anthikkad has cast Mohanlal as the down-to-earth Premachandran. Although two of his siblings are wealthy, circumstances force Premachandran to earn his living as a carpenter. No superman

Are we getting back the down-to-earth Mohanlal of the 1980s and early 1990s, typically portrayed in the Sathyan Anthikkad-Sreenivasan-Mohanlal hits? 'I cannot say that but like our earlier films he will be portraying another down-to-earth character in this film too and not a super man. It is for the viewers to decide,' replies Sathyan.'Rasathantram' centres on Premachandran and Kanmani, a Tamil girl in an interior hilly village of Kerala. Meera Jasmine dons the role of Kanmani. Certain incidents in the life of Premachandran and Kanmanimake up the storyline of the film, which bears the unmistakable Sathyan Anthikkad touch. 'It is the essence of the chemistry of the duo's life that develops with the rasas (humours) and little thantras (techniques) played by them to earn their living. In general, it delves into the meaninglessness of relationships and the ultimate values of human love,' he explains. Bharat Gopi acts as Balan Master, Premachandran's father. Sidhique acts as his eldest son. Invariably, a Sathyan Anthikkad film exudes humour too. His blend of realism, sentimentalism and humour is one of the major factors that make his films a hit with families. In 'Rasathantram' veterans like Mohanlal, Innocent, Oduvil Unnikrishnan, Mamukkoya and KPAC Lalitha pep up the film with their brand of humour that is characteristic of Sathyan's films. Innocent acts as Manikandan Aasari and Mamukkoya as Kunjoottan Aasari. Oduvil Unnikrishnan's Ganeshan Chettiar and KPAC Lalitha's Seethamma join hands with them in taking the story forward. Jagathy Sreekumar acts as Sundarapandi, a Tamilian from Salem in search of Kanmani. Mukesh appears as a guest artiste.

Meera as a boy

In several scenes, Meera Jasmine appears as a boy called Velayudhankutty. A television crew that landed at the location to interview Mohanlal and Meera Jasmine returned after interviewing Mohanlal as they could not recognise Meera who was dressed in a lungi and shirt. 'I really enjoyed acting as a boy. It was indescribable. The saddest part is that, emotionally, I find it difficult to return soon as a girl. Perhaps, as a child, I might have wanted to be a boy so that I could have more freedom to do many things that are usually proscribed for girls from orthodox families. So, as an artiste I thoroughly made use of this opportunity, thanks to Sathyan uncle,' she explains. Alagappan, who has proved his mettle as a cinematographer, absorbs the verdant greenery in his frames. Ilayaraja has composed the music for the four songs written by Girish Puthencheri and sung by K.J. Yesudas, Madhu Balakrishnan, Vineeth Srinivasan and Manjari. The film, scripted by Sathyan Anthikkad, is produced by Anthony Perumbavoor under the banner of Ashirward Cinemas. Central pictures will bring it to the theatres as a Vishu release.

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