Amidst the cacophony of cuss words and macabre comedies, comes Philips and the Monkey Pen - a film that celebrates childhood and nostalgia. The debut outing of director duo Shanil Muhammed and Rojin Thomas, it promises to be everything Malayali audience has been missing for a while. “It’s a clean film you can sit back and enjoy without any uneasiness. It’s a total entertainer that recreates the fun and frolic of childhood,” says Shanil.
Though smart and brilliant Ryan Philip has a problem - he cringes at the sight of his maths book. He tries several methods to shake off maths lessons and assignments, but nothing seems to work. It’s when he gets hold of an age-old pen and what it does is nothing short of a miracle - it starts doing Ryan’s homework. “The pen which dates back to another century has some magical powers. It also has some mysterious connection with the three Philips in the film - Ryan Philip, Roy Philip and Richard Philip,” Rojin explains.
Children-oriented films are few and far in between in Mollywood but the filmmakers say since it’s their debut attempt they wanted something fresh and uncliched. Though Monkey Pen is woven around a fifth grader, it’s a movie meant for all age groups. “Kid's don’t take over the show and it’s more like wholesome entertainment aimed at family audience,” assures Rojin.
While master Sanoop appears on screen as Ryan the prankster, Jayasurya and Remya Nambeesan play Roy and Sameera, his parents in the film. “They had an inter-caste runaway marriage following a plus-two romance. And before they are barely out of their teens, Roy and Sameera became parents. Since the parents themselves are quite immature, they hardly knew how to raise a kid. They don’t know how to tackle his naughtiness or sort out the havoc he creates,” says Shanil.
Despite being a delightful blend of comedy and fantasy, Monkey Pen also comes with a strong social message. “You will be laughing your hearts out, but it’s a kind of film that makes you think. It explores a very relevant social issue and leaves behind a message for each and every parent,” Shanil adds.
Monkey Pen also marks the entry of a handful of newbies including the lead child artist Sanoop, brother of actress Sanusha. “The music is scored by Rahul Subramanian, Remya Nambeesan’s brother. Nidheesh Boban, son of director Boban Samuel and actress Reshmi Soman, and Mathew Joy, son of director-actor Joy Mathew are also part of the cast,” says Rojin. The film produced by Vijay Babu and Sandra Thomas under the banner of Friday Film House will hit screens in early November.