Tovino Thomas, Madonna Sebastian sign action thriller 'Identity'

Co-director Akhil Paul, who made his debut with Forensic, tells us he hopes to be more ambitious with his second feature.
Madonna Sebastian and Tovino Thomas with others.
Madonna Sebastian and Tovino Thomas with others.

After Forensic, filmmaking duo Akhil Paul and Anas Khan are reteaming with Tovino Thomas for 'Identity', an action thriller. Madonna Sebastian has signed on to play the female lead. Akhil tells Cinema Express that, unlike Forensic, Identity will be heavy on action, adding that it’s an original idea and not a sequel to Forensic, as some speculated at the time of the announcement. Filming will commence next year.

“There is a small investigation track in Identity, but another character will handle it, not Tovino,” says Akhil, who made his directorial debut with Forensic. Before that, he had written the script of Prithviraj-Tovino starrer 7th Day. “Identity will be shot on a bigger budget, more than Forensic. We plan to shoot in Ernakulam, Coimbatore, Bengaluru, and Mauritius. We have completed the scripting and have clarity on the final shooting script. That’s why we announced the project so soon.”

Produced by Ragam Movies and Raju Malliath in association with Century Kochumon, the project was born out of Akhil and Tovino’s wish to work together again. “After Forensic, it took us two years to narrate the script to Tovino. During Forensic’s release, we had casually mentioned collaborating again, if not immediately. Tovino liked the script; we found it to be mutually exciting and thought of making it as our next.”

Akhil believes that Identity’s core themes will appeal to non-Malayali audiences too. He also hopes to do something comparatively better than Forensic, recently remade in Hindi under the same name starring Radhika Apte and Vikrant Massey. The former essays the character played by Mamta Mohandas in the original.

Despite the encouraging acceptance of the Malayalam version and the remake interest, Akhil wishes Forensic had enjoyed a longer theatrical run, cut short by the pandemic. “Hopefully, we’ll get to do with Identity what we couldn’t with Forensic.”

Akhil and Anas aim to execute Identity on a bigger scale than Forensic and plan to proceed with the casting with pan-Indian ambitions in mind. As of now, Tovino and Madonna are the confirmed cast members. “Madonna is already familiar to Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu audiences. Besides Tovino and Madonna, we are thinking of another integral character for which we are yet to cast. We think it will be interesting if it’s a name familiar to other language audiences too.”

Aside from the remaining cast members, the makers are yet to finalise the technical crew, the details to be announced later.

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The New Indian Express