The general trend among debutant filmmakers in Mollywood is to keep away from literary classics, simply because it poses a bigger challenge and requires one to walk the extra mile to do justice to the work. One has to go into the details, the background, the settings and what not to convey the plot perfectly well to the audience.
But it is not so with Shibu Gangadharan, who is all set to make his debut as an independent director this year. For him the challenge of working on a renowned work is something irresistible which has spurred him to explore Zacharia’s novella - ‘Praise the Lord ‘ for his first outing. The movie will have Mammootty playing the lead role.
“While reading ‘Praise the Lord’, I realised the cinematic potentials of the plot. The village life depicted in it, the satirical elements, subtle humour and the innocence of the characters can contribute to a vibrant movie experience,” says Shibu who started his career as an assistant director to Rajeev Nath in Janani(1999), which was also based on Zacharia’s story.
“‘Praise the Lord’ is my gurudakshina to Rajeev sir and Zacharia sir. I spoke to Zacharia sir and he gave me the green signal. I always wanted to make ‘Praise the Lord’ and now it is a dream come true. Along with my friend and script writer T P Devarajan I started working on a one-line. Once we felt confident on the one-liner, Devarajan started the scripting,” Shibu recollects.
When he got the chance to meet Mammootty, he read the one-line. Mammootty liked the subject and inquired about the script. “The screenplay was completed only till half time and Mammukka (Mammootty) liked the way it progressed. That is how the project took shape,” Shibu says.
‘Praise the Lord’ revolves around the life of a Pala-based farmer Joy. Though he is immensely rich, Joy is not aware of the happenings outside his little territory in Pala. But the entry of a boy and girl, who are love birds, changes Joy’s outlook on life. Mammootty portrays Joy in the movie. The movie is produced by Manoj Menon under the banner Reels Magic and is likely to go on floors by this year-end.