Though he made his debut through Kollywood, his boyish smile and sturdy features readily impressed the Malayali audience too. Keralites wholeheartedly accepted this actor for his characters in Mammootty starrer ‘Big B’ and ‘Puthiya Mugham’. We are talking about none other than Bala, who is now donning a director’s hat with the upcoming flick ‘Hitlist’. “‘Hitlist is a bilingual movie which will be released in both Malayalam and Kannada,” says Bala who hails from Tamil Nadu. Asked why he didn’t plan his first directorial venture in Tamil, he says, “It is Malayalam film industry which gave me a grounding and even being a non-Keralite, people love me. And my new film is my way of giving back to the industry.”
Direction is often like a forbidden kingdom even for actors who have years of experience in the industry, ask Bala what took him to direction and he says, “I know I’ve taken a huge risk but I always wanted to do and prove something more. And what has happened through ‘Hitlist’ is pure destiny.” For Bala direction is in his blood. “My grandfather was a famous director. My father and brother are also into direction so I think direction is in my blood,” says Bala who learned the nuances of direction from the family. His father Jayakumar is a famous director who directed over 350 movies and documentaries, while brother Sivakumar worked in several films including ‘Manasellam’ and his grandfather A K Velan owns the Arunachala studio.
Along helming the movie he will also be seen playing the lead character, ask him which is more challenging, he says, “Direction is definitely hectic. I have completely immersed myself in this project for the past eight months. From the moment I started penning down the story till its release I can’t rest.”
About the movie he says: “It will be a out an out commercial movie and it will be the kind that Malayali audience has never seen before. Seeing the trailers one can expect an action thriller but it has lot more to offer in terms of emotional content.” Bala who is also producing this movie says, “While investing for the movie, it is not the profit I looked for...this movie helped me to work with good technicians and develop a friendship with them.”
While watching the trailers, another striking thing one will notice is the voice over by Mohanlal. “The voice over for the Malayalam version is done by Mohanlal which will be a unique feature. And audience who watch the trailer will get a stronger notion that the film deals with a powerful theme. In Kannada, Sudeep has given the voice over,” adds Bala.
Bala promises to take cinema to the next level with this film which will see Unni Mukundan and Narain making guest appearances. Kannada actor Dhruv and Aishwarya Devan will be playing key roles in the film. “The film will hit the screens by November and the audio launch is fixed for October 21,” says Bala.