THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: While it’s not uncommon to see movie stars getting lured by the not so bright but certainly more powerful lights of politics, the reverse has been a rarity. Not many politicians have tried their hand at films, and even if they have, their roles have mostly been reduced to guest appearances.
However, two MLAs, a Rajya Sabha MP and a former MP from Kerala are set to rewrite this trend with their portrayal of major characters in the film Thee (fire), directed by Anil V Nagendran. This is Anil’s second feature film after Vasanthathinte Kanal Vazhikalil, a political period drama released in 2014.
Thee will feature Pattambi MLA and CPI leader Muhammed Muhsin in the lead role as budding journalist Yadhu Varma, who wants to avenge the murder of his father Mukunda Varma, played by singer-actor Unni Menon. Karunagapally MLA and Congress leader C R Mahesh dons the role of an activist friend of the protagonist.
CPM’s Rajya Sabha member K Somaprasad and former MP K Suresh Kurup will also be seen in crucial roles in this romantic action thriller. While Somaprasad plays a jail superintendent, Suresh Kurup portrays the role of the heroine’s maternal uncle. Newcomer Sagara plays the heroine.
“This is my first experience with mainstream cinema. But I have acted in short films and theatre dramas while I was studying in New Delhi and Kerala. I have been interested in acting and writing from my childhood. This was a new experience that doubled as a training session for me. The film gave me a chance to improve my acting skills as well,” Muhsin, an alumnus of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, told TNIE.
‘Move to cast politicians not intentional’
Somaprasad had previously appeared in a cameo role in Vasanthathint e Kanal Vazhikalil. “Anil and I are friends from his college days at Sasthamcotta. Moreover, I have acting experience as I have previously appeared in some amateur dramas. So, when Anil decided to make a film, I was naturally his first choice,” he said. The 2hr, 15min film has a rich cast that features prominent actors like Indrans, Premkumar, Ramesh Pisharody, Artist Sujathan, Vinu Mohan, Aristo Suresh and Sonia Malhar. The movie’s pre-production had begun in 2017 and was completed in several schedules, said Anil .
The film was shot in Malappuram, Alappuzha, and various parts of Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. “The move to cast politicians wasn’t intentional. I decided to rope in Muhsin after I noticed one of his speeches on television. He agreed on the condition that this would not affect his work in his constituency.
Similarly, the highly talented Mahesh had acted in college festivals. He comes from a family of artists,” Anil said. Politicians like Rajmohan Unnithan, John Brittas, T N Prathapan, and P C George have experimented with cinema before.