For the ’90s kids, the short film Pettikada Madhavan is a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Starring Malayalam actor KTS Padannayil, the recently-released short draws a rather unexpected and unintentional parallel to his life.The film opens in a ‘pettikada’ (a shop with knick-knacks) manned by KTS who plays the role of Madhavan. Madhavan is a small-time actor who is satisfied with supporting roles. He has a small fanbase - customers who are eager to hear about the life of actors. Fast forward to the present, an aged Madhavan realises that he is dissatisfied with his career. This angst has made him philosophical.
Reese Thomas, director of the film, said the philosophical dialogues in the film were a part of his conversations with KTS. There are many references to ’90s. From ‘naranga mittayi’ to the posters of Jayaram and Biju Menon starrer ‘Adyathe Kanmani’, the elements give more credibility to the shift in time.
“We chose the poster of Adyathe Kanmani specifically because it had Padannayil sir in a key role, one that he is remembered for. We secured the posters from a poster collector in Pathanamthitta,” said Reese. The other references are excerpts and experiences from the director’s life.
“The pettikada in itself was an image imprinted in my childhood. I’ve only seen the owner inside the pettikada, never outside. During my travels, I have seen Padannayil sir in his shop near Tripunithura. I also wanted to bring together Vavachan and Padannayil sir in one frame and I am glad I could achieve it through this work,” said Reese.
Asrith Santosh was the cinematographer while Bibin Pious recorded the sound. The nine-minute short film was edited by Ashish Joseph and produced by Abhilash S Warrier and Shinaj Ali. Pettikada Madhavan is available onYouTube.