Amal Neerad has assembled some of the most incredibly talented names for Varathan, his follow-up to last year's Comrade in America. The film sees Fahadh Faasil and Aishwarya Lakshmi teaming up for the first time.
Cinematographer Littil Swayamp — who became an instantly recognisable name after his critically acclaimed work in Soubin Shahir's directorial debut Parava and Anjali Menon's Koode — has photographed the film. And Maradona fame Sushin Shyam is the composer.
Varathan is written by two newcomers Suhas and Sharfu, close friends who met each other four years ago and decided to become writing partners. It was Facebook that brought them together, says Sharfu. "It was a time when anyone interested in cinema was into making short films, and we got involved in that too. We used to discuss different subjects and write together." Suhas hails from Ernakulam and Sharfu from Kozhikode.
Both bonded with Amal Neerad over their mutual love for cinema. "Initially we approached Amal to do another script but then it was decided that Varathan's script would be more ideal, as it was a small subject and can be filmed quickly." Naturally, the nature of their script doesn't allow them to give out many details. However, they don't mind saying that Varathan belongs in the thriller genre. "It's based on real-life incidents that we hear about all the time. Survival thriller would be a more apt description. It's a family-oriented story," says Suhas.
From the initial scripting stages to the shooting, Suhas and Sharfu were with Amal throughout the entire process. "We were part of the entire process throughout the day sharing inputs back and forth. Though it will be different from other Amal Neerad films, his signature will be intact," says Sharfu.
Suhas and Sharfu are also writing Aashiq Abu's next Virus along with Sudani from Nigeria co-writer Muhsin Parari. It's based on the Nipah outbreak.
Varathan also stars Sharafudheen, Master Chethan Lal, Dileesh Pothan, and Arjun Ashokan. The film is jointly produced by Amal Neerad and Nazriya Nazim. Varathan is Fahadh's third collaboration with Amal Neerad. They last worked together on Iyobinte Pusthakham. The film has been cleared with a U/A certificate and has a runtime of 2 hr 20 min. It hits theatres today.