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Mesmerising mystery

VIJAY GEORGE

Catch the action on the sets of `Ananthabhadram.'



SCREEN MAGIC: `Ananthabhadram,' an adaptation of Sunil Parameswaran's award winning novel, has Prithviraj and Kavya Madhavan in the lead roles.

Life is just as usual outside an old factory in Ottappalam. But inside, the scene is different. A portion of the factory has been changed to look like a huge cave temple. Ponds full of water and fallen pillars add to the grandeur and mystery of the place. The perfect lighting gives it the "mysterious look" that the scene demands. Santosh Sivan, one of the best cinematographers in India, is busy canning `Ananthabhadram.'

The scene requires actress Riya Sen, who plays Bhama, to seduce Manoj K. Jayan, who plays the tough-looking Digambaran in the film. Riya, granddaughter of Suchitra Sen and daughter of Moon Moon Sen, was recently seen in the Hindi flick `Silsilay.'

During a break, the lead pair of Prithviraj (Ananthan) and Kavya Madhavan (Bhadra) joins the group.

Gripping tale

Santosh discusses the next shot with scriptwriter Sunil Parameswaran. The film, an adaptation of Sunil's award winning novel, is set in a village called Sivapuram. "A gripping tale that would be similar to the ones which your grandmother would have narrated," is how director Santosh Sivan describes it. Mystery, adventure and fairy tales are all part of the theme.

"The amazing stories that he has heard as a child has shaped up my character's imaginations," says Prithviraj about Ananthan, the role that he essays. He is obviously thrilled to have got a chance to work with Santosh. Prithviraj is making inroads into Tamil filmdom too after `Kana Kandein.'

Actor Maniyanpillai Raju, who is producing the film with Ajayachandran Nair and Reghu Chandran Nair under the banner of Sreebhadra pictures, agrees that "Ananthabhadram is a costly project." But he is not worried about the film recovering the costs. "We are aiming at a global market," he explains. According to him, one of the highlights of the film is the huge set created by art director Sunil Babu, who has assisted Sabu Cyril.


Raju says that though Vidyasagar was their first choice as the music director, they later opted for M.G. Radhakrishnan, "as Vidyasagar is too busy with his Tamil projects." In fact, the film was to be directed by art director Sabu Cyril. But Santosh took over, as he was enthralled by the theme.

Riya does not feel that the clothes, which she is sporting, are too glamorous. "I play a simple, innocent girl in the movie." She wonders why the sex symbol tag is always added on to her. "I am on the look out for performance-oriented roles," she coos. How does she feel being part of a Malayalam movie? "Good. I feel that Kerala is similar to Bengal, where I come from, on the cultural front."

Manoj K. Jayan, who has been lying in a pool of oil for most of the time, feels that "Digambaran is not just another villain and has to go through a lot of emotions. This is a role with tremendous scope." Kalabhavan Mani plays the role of Chemban in the film.

"I will have a very different look in the film," says Mani.

The movie will hit the theatres this November.

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