When was the last time Mammootty’s local simpleton send you into peals of laughter, evoked that achy-breaky sensation and stayed with you for a while? Well, we all love when the man slips into his naive avatar ditching overblown potboilers and G S Vijayan’s ‘Bavuttiyude Namathil’ is definitely one such outing. The film penned by Ranjith has the actor in title role striding onto the screen as an easy-going chauffeur.
Bavutty is an orphan who basks in the lightness of his no-strings-attached status. Sethu, his boss played by Shankar Ramakrishnan, is a shrewd businessman lost in the rat-race to grow richer. “Bavutty and Sethu represent the two poles of Kerala’s male population forming an incredible contrast. Vanaja, Sethu’s wife played by Kavya Madhavan, is the typical housewife you are familiar with. With the entry of a stranger, there erupts a storm in their seemingly calm world and the film is woven around that. Despite his orphanhood, Bavutty is aware of the emotional ties people share and is immensely concerned about his master’s life,” says Ranjith about the film.
Director G S Vijayan says ‘Bavuttiyude Namathil’ has no extremely drastic storyline nor does it involve any earth-shattering twist. “It’s basically a family drama which zooms into the life of a bunch of people. It’s a simple tale spiked with humour, which easily strikes a chord with the audience. I think Mammootty is playing a chauffeur for the first time in his career,” he says. Rima Kallingal has a short cameo, as a Malabari Muslim school teacher while Kaniha appears as Vanaja’s domestic help in the film.
Despite the universality of its subject, the film is deeply embroiled in the cultural ethos of Malabar.
“Kavya Madhavan will be speaking in her own native Neeleswaram slang, another novelty of the film. There is certain music to that local parlance and it’s really interesting listening to it,” Vijayan adds.
Ranjith says though the lead actors belong to two different strata of the society, the film is more about the contrast in attitude than class. “It’s about the value system we follow and our inability to tackle delicate situations. We have seen small sparks flaming into gory tragedies as Keralites hardly know how to quell domestic chaos,” he says. Manoj Pillai has cranked the camera for the film while Rafeeq Ahamed and Shahabaz Aman are in charge of the music department. The film produced by Ranjith under the banner of Capital Theatre will hit the screens on December 21.
All his films released in the recent past bore a strong and conspicuous message and Ranjith says Bavutty is no exception. “The film discusses the maladies of man-woman relationship and the rift it creates in the domestic space. Our newspapers are strewn with suicides and murders. Most of the times Malayali’s hypocrisy and ego stop him from conceding or pardoning. So instead of talks we have crimes in our families. The film will be an eye-opener in that sense,” he says.