What the new-age netizen logs into is a convoluted maze of blogs, friend requests and status updates. The billion-member megasite will let you interact while guarantying limitless anonymity. Cloaked behind an avatar is the real you, now completely immune to the messy intimacy of real-life relationships. It’s this two-dimensional world and its puzzling ambivalence that form the backdrop of A V Sasidharan’s debut film Olipporu. “The film zooms into the cyber space probing the identities forged there. We have a whole generation who is lost in the labyrinths of social networking sites and there is only a thinning borderline between real and virtual. You cannot predict whether online allies are for real as their friendship and identities are valid only at the virtual space,” says the filmmaker.
The film, starring Fahad Fazil in the lead, has an intriguing storyline. Olipporu chronicles the life of a group of Bangalore-based Malayali bloggers, most of them techies. Fahad plays Olipporali, a popular blogger who charms an entire range of readers through his idyllic pieces. “The bloggers decide to conduct a show and they start the work, but Fahad’s character goes missing midway. He is the one who masterminds the programme so everything comes to a standstill,” says Sasidharan. At this point the others realise that they are clueless about his real identity as they know him only by his virtual name. The plot thickens as they gather shreds of information and desperately try to locate his whereabouts. “The characters are familiar with each other’s blogger profiles. Online they are called Olipporali, Clutch, Gear, Brake, Pachakuthira and Vani. But once they log off, they are total strangers. The film is all about an unsettling search for a person’s identity and the repercussions it create,” he adds. The film has its script penned by poet P N Gopikrishnan.
Kalabhavan Mani plays a key role in the narrative as Kumaran. “He belongs to the downtrodden class. He works as a gardener at the school where Fahad is a lower primary student. Later, when Fahad’s character joins a multinational in Banglore, he also relocates to there as a construction worker. But they come face to face only at a crucial moment,” says the director. Subhiksha debuts into Mollywood through the film while Thalaivasal Vijay and Zarina Wahab appear in important roles. Aju Varghese, Basil,Deepak, Arafat and Sunil Sughadha are also part of the cast.
The film weaves music into the main narrative and features poems by Pablo Neruda, Rabindranath Tagore,Sree Narayana Guru ,K G Sankara Pillai and P N Gopikrishnan. “The songs in the film are a blend of rock music and Malayalam poetry,” he adds. John P Varkey has scored the music for the film while Manoj Mundayat is the cinematographer. The film produced under the banner of Round Up Cinema by Sheikh Afsal, Sunil Kariattukara and Sudheer Cotton, has Bangalore and Thrissur as the major locations.