It’s his first attempt at a whodunnit-cum-paranormal thriller. But Priyadarshan assures his latest has everything to keep the viewer stuck to his seat - a suspense stimulating script, characters stalked by eerie forces and a rush of shiver-giving reels. And the USPs of ‘Geethanjali’ don’t end there. Dr Sunny, the maverick psychiatrist from ‘Manichitrathazhu’, makes a reentry through the film. “The film is more on the lines of a Sherlock Holmes or James Bond series where Dr Sunny is out on another mission,” says Priyadarshan.
The film is woven around a haunted house and the havoc it wrecks in the lives of a handful of people. “This is not a story-based movie, ‘Geethanjali’ is more of a suspense-packed psychological thriller. Basically it’s about a girl who is supposed to be dead years back, but her body is yet to be found. Suddenly she starts appearing in the house and what follows is an endless string of dreadful incidents. The situation worsens when the Mumbai-returned Anjali, Keerthi’s character in the film, lands there,” he says.
Into this grim and ghastly scene walks in Dr Sunny, the smart shrink who gives two hoots to ghosts. Along with Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi also reprises his role as Nakulan playing a small cameo in the film. Apart from Keerthi and Nishan who play the lead pair, Swapna Menon, Nassar, Siddique, Madhu, Innocent and Ganesh Kumar are also part of the cast.
From day one the film has been branded as the second part of ‘Manichitrathazhu’, but Priyadrashan insists his film is no sequel. “I have just borrowed two characters from the film and the common points end there. The theme, setting and the style are mint-fresh with hardly any resemblance. The film draws its narrative from a theme least-explored in Malayalam cinema. It’s a psycho-thriller with a rare and unusual twist,” says the director.
Though ‘Geethanjali’ is high on horror quotient, it’s styled in such a way that all types of audience can enjoy it. Priyadarshan agrees the film is spiked with humour, but he adds the focus is more on the mystery part this time. “There are many laughable moments in the film, but I have tried to keep humour low-key.” He says that the highlight of the film is its spine-chilling suspense. “The film doesn’t follow the conventional pattern of horror thrillers. Even those who are familiar with the genre will find it difficult to guess what comes next. It goes way beyond your craziest expectations,” he adds.
Another highlight of the film is its impeccable technical detailing. “Cinematography and graphics are ravishing and on par with international standards. If not anything, technical brilliance will make this film stand apart. We actually wanted to do the film in auro sound, but no theatre in Kerala was equipped for that. So we had to drop that idea,” he explains.
The director adds that he is totally content with the way his first psycho-thriller has shaped up. “I know the suspense remains only till first day first show. But ‘Geethanjali’ is the kind of film that keeps you on the edge of your seat despite the spoilers.” The film produced by G P Vijayakumar under the banner of Seven Arts International will hit the marquee this weekend.