For them, their love was not a fleeting emotion, but their life itself. It never withered, even when the deep waters took him away. The poignant tale of Moideen and Kanjanamala, that one can hear only with a heaviness of heart, bowled over R S Vimal years back. The youngster helmed a documentary named Jalam Kondu Murivetaval, which fetched him accolades aplenty. But the life story of the evergreen lovers refused to leave him, and it was then that Vimal decided to recreate it on a larger canvas.
The film, Ennu Ninte Moideen, starring Prithviraj and Parvathi Menon, will go on floors this month, against the backdrop of Malabar, the site of the real love story. The director, for whom this movie has been a dream for last eight years, says the story came to him over a period of time through various sources. “While working with a channel, I came across an article on Moideen and Kanjanamala in a popular magazine which I found interesting like any other love story. But the anecdotes of a friend of mine, who lived in Mukkam, Kozhikode, where the actual incidents happened, took me to their world. It was amazing! The lives of Moideen and Kanjanamala were eventful enough to be made into four feature films!” gushes an excited Vimal. Eventually the director met Kanchanamala and completed his documentary.
“The charismatic persona of Moideen enticed me the most, and motivated me to divulge more,” says Vimal. “It was the early 60s and Moideen lived in a small village, but he walked ahead of his times in many ways. Moideen was a leader in many ways. He had visited many countries, and was well versed in many languages, had befriended the likes of Sanjay Gandhi, V V Giri and Anitha Bose. He was a football champion and started a magazine ‘Sports Herald’. The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi inaugurated the library that he started at Mukkam. Moideen had also produced three movies. His father, Unni Moyeen Sahib, was a staunch Congress activist, but the rebel son revolted against him, and made his own house the hub of socialist activities,” narrates the director.
“The cat-eyed handsome man was the dream man of every girl of the time. But Kanchanamala was a perfect match for him. She was a firebrand who actively took part in the social issues in her college. They were in love from a young age, but had several barriers in front of them, including religion,” narrates Vimal.
The film recreates the nostalgic 60s, bringing to life the language, lives and politics of those days. The landscape of the regions of Malabar like Areekode, Mukkam and Cheruvadi will be recreated too. “It was Iruvazhinji river that took Moideen away. The film will have the river, rain, music and every other element that brought the two love-smitten souls close to each other,” he says.
It was Kanjanamala who suggested Prithviraj as Moideen to the director. “She felt he had the looks and the heroics of Moideen. Parvathi is also a brilliant actress who has already proved her mettle,” he says.
The digital story board is one of the unique feature of the film. Every shot of the film has already been prepared with dialogue bubbles, which will make the job a lot easier for the actors.
Lal, Bala, Thalaivasal Vijay and Lena don the other major roles in the film. Numerous fresh faces are also part of the project, all of whom were selected through audition. Ramesh Narayan and M Jayachandran are the music directors of the film which will have seven songs. Shreya Ghoshal, Vijay Yesudas, Sujatha, Madhusree (Ramesh Narayanan’s daughter) have rendered the songs.
A team of proficient technicians is working to recreate the retro world to perfection. While T John cranks the camera, Mahesh Narayanan is the editor of the film. Sabu Ram has done the art work, Ranjith Ambady will do the make-up and Kumar Edappal, the costume.
The film is produced by Suresh Raj and Binoy Shankaranth.