After a seven-year hiatus, television veteran KK Rajeev is making his comeback to feature films with Evidey. Featuring Asha Sarath, Manoj K Jayan, Shebin Benson, Baiju Santosh, and Prem Prakash, the film sees Rajeev collaborating once again with storytellers Bobby-Sanjay, who recently wrote the Parvathy-starrer Uyare. Krishnan C, a cousin of the late Rajesh Pillai (Traffic), penned the screenplay and dialogues.
Evidey marks the first work of Bobby-Sanjay that Rajeev is directing outside of television. The duo had previously penned the scripts of three serials helmed by Rajeev—Avicharitham, Aagneyam, and Eshwaran Sakshiyayi. “I’ve always wanted to do a feature film written by Bobby-Sanjay but never got the chance until now. I was actually supposed to direct their Classmates but things didn’t go as planned,” reveals Rajeev, who made his feature debut with the Jayaram-starrer Njanum Ente Familiyum. He attributes the seven-year break to the unavailability of a good script he was really passionate about.
Evidey, he says, is a “suspense thriller”. Asha plays a woman looking for her missing husband (played by Manoj K Jayan). “Though the police initiate a search operation, the woman and her son (Shebin Benson) do some parallel searching of their own,” Rajeev adds. “The missing husband is an old-fashioned singer who only communicates through letters. One day, the letters stop coming and that’s when they realise that something has gone wrong. Moreover, he doesn’t show up at this church event which doesn’t happen without his presence. When a friend of his appears one day to tell them about the possibility of him being alive, they set out to look for him. Along the way, they learn something about him that they never knew before.”
Rajeev agrees that Asha is an underrated actress who is capable of remarkable transformation, as evidenced in her recent film, Bhayanakam. “Her character in this film is similarly rustic. But the casting happened much before Bhayanakam came out. I initially wasn’t very convinced about moulding her into the character of our story. But when I saw Bhayanakam, all my doubts were put to rest,” recalls Rajeev.
Also appearing in sympathetic roles are Suraj Venjaramoodu and Baiju Santosh. On the latter’s character, a police officer, Rajeev says, “It’s a terrific character. There is a history between him and Asha’s character. This man was supposed to marry her but then her family members pulled the plug after learning that he is a police officer.”
Rajeev tells us that the relationships in this story are compact. “Each character in the film has a significant connection to the other. There are no irrelevant scenes.”
Known for making award-winning television soap operas that deviated from the norm, Rajeev doesn’t find the use of digital format for filmmaking intimidating. “As I’m already familiar with digital technology, I find it more comfortable to work with it.
Things have now come full circle. I sometimes jokingly tell people that I’m a ‘senior’ to the veteran filmmakers who are now shifting to digital,” he laughs.
On asked about the differences between working in television and cinema, he says, “There is more narrative freedom in television. But at the same time, you had to deliver the maximum result with minimum resources. In cinema, you are working with advanced technology. However, the limitations of television are helpful when making a small-budget film.”
Evidey is backed by three production banners—Jubilee Productions, Maruthi Pictures, and Prakash Movie Tone. “They have been very supportive. They know the business side very well,” says Rajeev.
Prakash Movie Tone belongs to Prem Prakash, who has worked with Rajeev in the aforementioned serials. The father of Bobby-Sanjay, the actor has a supporting role in Evidey.
The film, certified with a ‘U’, will hit the screens on Thursday.