It looks like director-scenarist Babu Janardanan has been drawn to his first love. After calling the shots for films like God for Sale and Lisammayude Veedu that dealt with serious subjects, the scriptwriter of Chandranudikkunna Dikhil is penning a love story next. Directed by Shajoon Karyal, the film titled Mayaseethankam is a humorous take on the life of the potter community. Biju Menon plays a pivotal role in the film, while other characters are yet to be decided.
“I have a long association with Shajoon. It was in 1999 that we joined hands for the first time for the Mammootty-starrer Thachiledathu Chundan, which was a smashing hit then,” reminisces Babu, who also did Dreamz along with the director in 2000. He says that he wanted a change from the socially and politically laden themes that were discussed in his last movies. “This film is an out-and-out entertainer, a genre that I wanted to explore for some time,” Babu says.
“Mayaseethankam is originally an old play written by Vedavyasa. But in the film version, Maya and Seetha are two women characters around whom the story revolves,” says the scenarist.
He says that the film is on a par with Chandranudikkunna Dikhil which was noted for its colourful costumes, song sequences and breezy love story. The story takes place in a picturesque village in North Malabar. “The people of the village have a unique language sans any script. The language is similar to Malayalam and therefore can be understood,” he explains. There will be four to five songs in the film.
The shooting of the film will begin by January 2014. Since the story demands rustic charm, we are in search of serene locales, says the scenarist. Meanwhile, he is already engrossed in the work of his next film, Shivaganga Cinema Factory that has hit the headlines for its connect with the yesteryear actor Jayan.
“The film set in Kodambakkam, the place which was once the hub of Malayalam film industry, is an ode to the actors of the Eighties. Fahad Fazil plays the lead role of Kunjikannan who sets off to Kodambakkam from Kannur with the aspiration to be an actor. He joins the sets of a film in which Jayan is supposed to act. But Jayan’s unexpected death changes the fate of the film. Later, Kunjikannan becomes Arun Raj, a busy actor, who takes the place of Jayan. But the film takes a turn when the actor goes missing,” explains the director.
“This film is a journey through the period in which Jayan’s helicopter mishap happened. His death affected the industry in many ways. While some say the talented actor’s place remains a vacuum, there are opinions that some others flourished due to his absence,” says Babu who adds that some real-life incidents that took place during that time has been included in the film. We have cast actors like Raveendran, Maniyan Pillai Raju, who were there at Kodambakkam then, he says. The shooting of the film will begin by mid 2014.