After playing and excelling in notably intense characters in films like Kismath, Eeda, and Parava, Shane Nigam will be seen in a relatively lighter and relaxed character in today’s release, Kumbalangi Nights.
“My character is someone who leads a responsibility-free life. He takes it one day at a time, and doesn’t have any serious, long-term plans,” says Shane.
Set in Kumbalangi, Kochi, the film, Shane says, is a tale of four brothers and has brotherhood as its primary theme. There is also a love story involving the characters of Shane and newcomer Anna Ben. “It has that realistic pattern of filmmaking we have come to associate with filmmakers like Dileesh Pothan and Syam Pushkaran. It’s a simple, small film narrating a fresh idea,” adds Shane.
Kumbalangi Nights is helmed by debutant Madhu C Narayanan, a former associate of directors Dileesh and Aashiq Abu. Dileesh and Syam’s banner Working Class Hero is jointly producing the film with Fahadh Faasil-Nazriya’s Fahadh Faasil and Friends. Shane, who finds it more comfortable working with familiar faces, is joined by Soubin Shahir, Sreenath Bhasi, and Matthew Thomas in the film. His association with Soubin goes back years.
Shane was in the 10th grade when Soubin called him to do a small part in the Prithviraj-starrer Anwar, directed by Amal Neerad, whom Soubin was assisting at the time. While Shane was in the 12th grade, he was cast as the younger brother of Andrea Jeremiah’s character in Rajeev Ravi’s Annayum Rasoolum.
Fahadh is playing the film’s principal antagonist, whom Shane calls a very prominent character. “Fahadh plays the husband of Anna’s sister. He hasn’t done anything like this before. It’s a peculiar character with negative shades,” he informs excitedly. Fahadh had previously worked with Dileesh in Maheshinte Prathikaram and Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum.
Syam, who penned the film’s script, had also been involved with both Maheshinte Prathikaram and Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum in a writing capacity. Kumbalangi Nights is the first script to have Syam as the sole writer since Maheshinte Prathikaram. Shane calls both Madhu and Syam remarkably perceptive filmmakers who are “good at communicating with actors and effectively conveying the details of the script and characters.”
“They remain with the actors all the time, understanding everyone’s personalities, and making sure that they’re as comfortable as possible on set,” he adds. A cinematography aficionado, Shane counts Rajeev Ravi and Shyju Khalid among his favourite cinematographers. He is all praise for Shyju’s work in Kumbalangi Nights. “Shyju has captured Kumbalangi’s natural beauty in the best way possible,” he says.
Shane’s upcoming projects are Ishq, Valiya Perunnaal, and Painkili — directed by newcomers Anuraj Manohar, Dimel, and Jeevan respectively. The shoot of Ishq, which according to him is an unconventional story, is almost done while Valiya Perunnaal is set to release sometime in the middle of this year.