It’s one film where the map is as important as the script. Knitting together a string of places and people is Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi, Sameer Tahir’s much-anticipated road movie canned across a location stretching 4,000 kms. Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi is basically a biker film. It maps the trip of two friends who journey from Wayanad to Nagaland covering the entire eastern coast. More than being a regional film, NPCB has a pan-Indian appeal,” says Sameer.
Two dapper heroes slinging a backpack and setting off has everything to fire up your imagination. So is it about two bear-swinging buddies on a high-adrenaline adventure? “Not really. It’s more of a love story, a journey that celebrates romance and friendship. The film delves into the world of 20-something youngsters and the way they handle life. Both the characters are engineering graduates just out of college and their trip is a quest, not an escape,” says the director.
The film starts as the duo hit the winding and endless road on two bullets. Dulquer Salman and Sunny Wayne play the biker buddies Kasim and Suni while Manipuri starlet Surja Bala plays Assi, the female lead. “Kasi is the idealistic one while Suni is more of a freewheeling type. Assi is a Nagaland girl who comes to Kerala to study under the north-east quota,” Sameer introduces the lead characters.
Other than Surja, the female front features three other actors among whom Paloma Monappa plays a surfer-girl from Orissa. “Sunny is paired opposite Ena Saha, a character who appears on a sequence set in rural Bengal. Avantika appears as Fatima, whom Kasi’s parents want him to marry,” Sameer elaborates. The film also stars Bengali actor Dhritiman Chatterjee, Joy Mathew and Vanitha in key roles.
Sameer says that being a road movie doesn’t mean it’s a simple and straightforward trip from A to B. As Kasi and Suni vroom past Indian heartlands, they come across a host of intriguing characters. “And from their interaction arises a string situations that range from alarming to hilarious. Through following the characters, the film tries to unravel the reason behind their trip.”
Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi will be perhaps the first Malayalam film to freeze on screen the far-flung corners of north-east. But Sameer insists he had no hitches while filming at the so called ‘unsafe’ region. “There will be a bunch of challenges when you plan a film in an unfamiliar terrain. More than that there were no particular difficulties while filming in north-east. Nagaland is generally considered an area of insurgency and unrest, but we had a totally different experience. We found the locals gentle and kind,” he says.
Sameer, whose ‘Chappa Kurishu’ introduced a new sensibility to Mollywood, says he invested nearly two years on his latest. “Finetuning the script and zeroing in on the locations took a lot of time. The locations of the film are spread across more than 4,000 kms. So checking out the places before the shoot and fixing a proper travel chart was a time-consuming affair. At the same time it was one part I enjoyed the most,” says Sameer. The film, which has Rex Vijayan scoring the music and Gireesh Gangadharan cranking the camera, hits the screens this weekend.