It’s raining angry, young comrades. We were so regaled with romaticised left politics in Sakhavu and Oru Mexican Aparatha that you just can’t help the bout of deja vu as CIA arrives next week. But if you thought the film is all about lofty socialist ambitions and a hero caught in the cloak-and-dagger game, you got it wrong.
A jaded formula film is the last thing expected from Amal Neerad and the director says his Dulquer-starrer is no true-blue political drama. “Comrade in America is not a political film, but a coming-of-age romance,” says the director.CIA follows Aji Mathew, Dulquer’s central Travancore hero, as he sets off on a trip of self-revelation. “The film invariably chronicles his life, politics, romance and travel. There is also a social situation or political unrest that’s part of the narrative,” he adds.
Amal says CIA went on floors much earlier, before all the recent hardcore political films were announced. “It was expected to hit the marquee by the second half of 2016. America is another main location of the film and there was some delay in getting the visas. We are not trying to fit into any trend and Aji Mathew was not expected to land in the middle of all leftist heroes,” he says.
Iyobinte Pusthakam, his last film also had a strong thrust on left politics and Amal says CIA is more like a continuation. “Iyobnte Makkal has a specific personal storyline, but politics is what sets the backdrop. In both Iyob and CIA there is a story that’s happening in the foreground,” he says.
Think CIA and what first comes to your mind is a slew of heavy-duty US spy thrillers. Getting another acronym for Central Intelligence Agency, the most venerable member of America’s Intelligence Community, was no coincidence, says Amal. “Taking the familiar initials and giving it another expansion was an absolutely conscious act. America and its politics are also part of the film and to decode the connection you will have to watch Comrade in America.”
The film has debutant Karthika Murali playing Dulquer’s lady love along with Chandini Sreedharan, Soubin Shahir, Dileesh Pothan and Jinu Joesph in key roles. Despite having an A-list star on board and its foreign schedule, CIA is not a film with colossal budget. “It’s a normal Malayalam film made with a normal budget, there is nothing over-the-top about the money part,” he says. DQ as the dashing young hero is the USP, and then there is sassy music by Gopi Sundar, he adds. “It’s also a film in which me, Dulquer, Gopi Sundar, Soubin and Dileesh Pothan are coming together after Kullante Bharya.” Comrade in America, bankrolled by Amal Neerad Productions, will hit the marquee on May 5.