Ittymaani: Made in China is all set to release on Friday. The film will see Mohanlal in a fun avatar once again after a relatively serious turn in Lucifer.
The film is being touted as a feel-good entertainer with a strong humour quotient. In a digital media interaction, Mohanlal revealed that his character Ittymaani was born in China, as the title suggests. “His parents and grandfather used to be in China. When he turned 10, he returned to Kunnamkulam, Thrissur. After his father’s demise, he shouldered the responsibility of his family. The film is about the strong bond he shares with his mother. They occasionally converse in Chinese (presented with subtitles). It’s a film that praises motherhood. There are a lot of emotional moments in the film, but we have narrated the story in a humorous manner.”
On shooting a segment in China, he said, “Given Ittymaani’s birth in China, we had to film those portions there. But then the rest of his life takes place in Kunnamkulam. I believe this is the first Malayalam film shot in China.”
In Ittymaani, Mohanlal will be seen speaking in a Thrissur dialect once again. However, he added that the characters don’t maintain the dialect throughout the film and that some lines and characters may evoke Thoovanathumbikal, which was the makers’ intention.
Among the film’s highlights is a song crooned by Mohanlal along with Vaikom Vijayalakshmi and a big Margam Kali sequence featuring Mohanlal alongside around 500 artistes. “It’s a fun portion that’s in the tail end of a song sequence,” said the actor.
He went on to praise filmmakers Jibi and Joju, who are making their directorial debut with Ittymaani. “When they came and narrated the story to me, it felt like something worth doing. Since they also wrote it, they had spent a lot of time improving the material before filming. They have conceived the film really well. They are so passionate about cinema, and if they find a good future through Ittymaani, we would be very glad.”
Mohanlal also shared some thoughts on Priyadarshan’s Marakkar. He called it a “proud achievement”. “Since Kunjali Marakkar was a naval commandant, we want to dedicate the film to the Indian navy.” He went on to say that the big-budget film is different from the older cinematic interpretations.
“It’s a technologically superior film. In terms of craft, it can be placed in the league of films like Iruvar, Kalapani, Vanaprastham, Lucifer, or Manichithrathazhu. I hope it does well. It’s possible that the film will give everyone the push to make more great films. I believe this film will help in creating a market for Malayalam cinema internationally.”
The actor also gave an update on the status of the Lucifer sequel, Empuraan. “There is plenty of time for it. The scripting is in progress -- it’s almost done -- and then we have to find the actors, locations, and so on. We are planning to start filming by the end of 2020.”
Ittymaani also stars Radhika Sharathkumar, Siddique, KPAC Lalitha Salim Kumar, Madhuri Braganza, and Honey Rose among others.