Writer Harshad, who conceived the story and co-wrote the screenplay of the Mammootty-Parvathy Thiruvothu starrer Puzhu, has shared an anecdote about pitching it to Mammootty, during the last day of the shoot of Unda.
“During lunchtime, I asked him, ‘Ikka, can you play a negative character throughout the film? He looked at me for a while and asked, ‘When you say negative, he must have a reason for it, right?’ I told him we could do that in the script.
As Mammukka considered it, I added that the entire film would be from his perspective. He then asked me, ‘So there must be ample scope for performance, right?’ When someone who appeared in a diverse range of characters for four decades asked me that question, I was stunned. I said, ‘Yes! The film will be completely his arena!’ And he agreed to do it.”
Harshad then added that the script had gone through multiple rewrites, and when he decided to rewrite the final form, he sought the help of writing duo Suhas and Sharfu (Varathan). Their plans almost didn’t materialise when the pandemic disrupted filming schedules everywhere.
When they resumed, Harshad, as per Mammootty’s instructions, pondered doing another film with filmmaker Ratheena, “a big-canvas road movie.” When that idea didn’t seem feasible at the time, the group, after checking with Mammootty, got around to the then-untitled Puzhu.
“After two consecutive days of script discussion and writing, Puzhu finally became alive,” says Harshad. “Puzhu can have different meanings and interpretations, but the aptest one is puzhu (worm). Puzhu is a small organism; Puzhu is a small film.” The film arrives on SonyLIV on May 13.