Rohit V S
The debut of director Rohit VS, Adventures of Omanakuttan is one of the most polarising films ever made. Those who loved it praised its experimental narrative and formed their own little cult, while the others found it to be one of the most excruciating films ever made. Now he is back with his second, a fantasy film titled Iblis. The film sees him reuniting with his Omanakuttan star Asif Ali.
Just like Omanakuttan, Iblis is an experimental narrative, but with a different approach, says Rohit. "The world in this film is a far away, sort of utopian land completely detached and different from our own. There is nothing relatable about its characters. It's set in a village where people make emotionless puppets. It deals with life politics."
Though he isn't sure how audiences are going to respond to this one, Rohit hopes that the relatively shorter duration of Iblis will be more helpful this time."It's a small film shot in a limited space with a short runtime (2 hours). It will be a more fast-moving and more entertaining film compared to Omanakuttan. The music and visuals, which play a big part, are more apt for big screen viewing."
When asked if he wrote the script with Asif Ali in mind, Rohit says: "Asif was part of the film's conception right from the beginning. We discussed the whole thing while filming Omanakuttan.
It's the same team from Omanakuttan -- me and Asif, my co-writer Sameer Abdul and cinematographer Akhil George. As Asif had contributed to the script, I couldn't think of casting anyone else other than him as the male lead."
Madonna Sebastien plays the female lead. Apparently, it took some convincing on his part to get her on board. "I couldn't picture anyone else other than Madonna in this role, and she was busy with other projects. But then we were able to convince her after the second round of discussion. She is perfect for this role."
Rohit likes to think that no one has attempted something like this before. "I'm not fully sure, but I believe this is a novel concept. There are elements of magical realism. It was completely created from scratch with no references to draw from -- be it in cinema or literature. I see it as a fresh, genuine attempt."
He credits ICHAIS Productions for providing their full, unwavering support. Iblis is the company's first production venture. "I loved the fact that they didn't make any compromises whatsoever. In fact, everything got better once they came on board." Iblis comes out on August 3.