They’re shooting like hell at Varikkassery Mana

PALAKKAD: The proposed film city in Ottapalam being contemplated by the State government undoubtedly has been conceived from the numerous films being shot on the banks of Nila, ‘tharavadus’ an

Published: 29th May 2012 03:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2012 10:35 PM   |  A+A-

PALAKKAD: The proposed film city in Ottapalam being contemplated by the State government undoubtedly has been conceived from the numerous films being shot on the banks of Nila, ‘tharavadus’ and at the lush green paddy fields in the Ottapalam-Shoranur belt. The one preferred location in Ottapalam is the Varikassery Mana near Manissery here.

For the past five years, no one lives in the mana except the caretakers. It is exclusively let out for film shootings and is also considered a “lucky mascot” by select directors and superstars, especially Mohanlal.

The mana struck a chord in the minds of the Malayalee cinegoers in 1993 as it was converted into the Mangallassery house and the arrogant feudal landlord Neelakantan was depicted by Mohanlal in ‘Devasuram’.

“When myself and Renji Panicker went to meet Mohanlal on the sets of ‘Devasuram’, I felt a positive vibration which has ever since attracted me to the mana. Any story which has a feudal background naturally will be shot here. When I sit in this house, I feel relieved and peaceful,” says director Shaji Kailas whose Prithviraj-starrer ‘Simhasanam’ is his 10th film being shot at the mana.  “I have also shot the Tamil film ‘Jana’ here,” added Shaji. “It was only after ‘Devasuram’ (directed by I V Sasi) became a hit that producers and directors began to queue up for this location. Until then only one film was shot here,” says Murali, one of the managers of the mana. “When traditional houses were being dismantled due to the costly maintenance expenses, especially the replacement cost of wood, some members of our family decided to retain the mana which is around 110 to 120 years old. There were 25 heirs to this mana and 15 heirs sold their share to outsiders. The purchasers and the remaining members formed a Trust. It rents out the house for film shootings and the revenue is used to maintain the mana which is located in 4.20 acres,” said Unni Thampuran who lives in Keezhur around 20 kilometres from Manissery.  Film buffs in the vicinity point out that more than 50 to 60 films would have been shot here till date including a Hollywood film, Flames in Paradise. The rent border around Rs 15,000 per day which is reduced for long shootings, say insiders even as the owners are not willing to discuss the charges.

“The traditional houses were being demolished. The people here are also not star struck. Therefore there is no crowd and the atmosphere is peaceful. I can’t afford lavish sets for my films. The large rooms here could be converted for various scenes. I put up a ‘padippura’ and the scenes came out well,” said award-winning director Priyanandanan who shot the film ‘Sufi paranja Katha’ here based on the novel of K P Ramanunni. “The mana is  an art director’s delight as it can be converted in any way. The ponds, temple, ‘sarpakaavu’ etc combine to provide a perfect ambience,” said film journalist Das Mattumantha.

Read more

Irrigation Dept to allot land for film city at Ottapalam

Stay up to date on all the latest Kerala news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

facebook twitter whatsapp