Malayalam film industry is all set for its closeup with Hollywood as DAM 999, a high-profile Hollywood project, features an impressive list of talent from Mollywood in its cast and crew. An emotional thriller, the film is based on the ancient concept of `navarasas’ or the nine human expressions, represented by an assortment of actors from India and Hollywood.
Drawing heavily from the ongoing Mullaperiyar dam issue, the film revolves around a century- old dam built in colonial days and a bunch of mariners whose life is entangled in the impending threat from the illbuilt dam.
The first schedule of the film starts in March first week in the scenic locales of Alappuzha.
“From Alappuzha we move to Ootty and from there to Dubai and Hong Kong where the onboard portions will be shot. Some portions will be shot in Hyderabad and we will be back in Kerala for the final schedule during monsoon,” says Roy.
Thilakan, Rajit Kapoor, Ashish Vidyarthi, Vimala Raman, Vinay Rai and Tulip Joshi form the Indian brigade play six key roles in the film, along with Linda Arsenio, Barry John, Jaala Pickering and Josua Fredric Smith. “We overlooked the commercial element when the cast was finalised. In the film, Thilakan plays an ayurveda doctor and astrologer who represents the emotion `shanta’ (peace) and he was the first and final choice for that role,” said the director. The film is being canned using sync sound technique.
“Language was the only other criteria we used for selecting the cast. If the actors cannot handle English that would be a handicap as we are using sync recording. Vimala Raman’s role was first offered to Aiswariya Rai and she had accepted it too.
But she couldn’t make it due to date problems. Later, Vimala was roped in considering the fact that she was brought up in Australia and has an international accent,” he says.
Ajayan Vincent (director of photography), Sreekar Prasad (editor), Thotta Tharani (production designer), Ouseppachan (music), K S Chithra (singer), P Jayachandran (singer) Shajith Koyeri (sound designer), Pattanam Rasheed (make-up) and S B Satheesh (costume designer) are part of the crew which also features Hollywood names.
DAM 999 is the first project by Marine BizTV, the first global maritime TV channel dedicated to the maritime industry.
The 10-million dollar film is slated for release in 2010.