Search for inspiration
Film director Ranjith’s ‘Thirakkatha’ narrates the story of a young filmmaker’s search for a script to make a movie.
Although there have been films made with cinema as the backdrop, this is refreshingly different.
Date with the muse: Prithviraj and Samvrutha Sunil in ‘Thirakkatha,’ which centres on a filmmaker’s passion for cinema.
Prithviraj, dressed in khaki trousers and off-white shirt, is lying on a gently swaying hammock, with an opened book resting on his chest, his eyes closed. A gentle breeze is blowing from the Mangala River nearby. It is an arresting scene, visually.
“The entire film is shot in lovely locales like this,” says director Ranjith, as he gives time to Prithviraj and Sivaji Guruvayur to prepare for the scene.
In this scene from ‘Thirakkatha,’ Sivaji, who plays a producer, walks up to Prithviraj, who dons the role of a young film director named Akbar Ahmed, and asks him about his next film. He wants to ensure that Akbar’s second film is for him. The scene requires a couple of takes before Ranjith is satisfied.
Explains the director: “Yes, this film is about a movie. It is about a young director Akbar, who is searching for a theme for his second film. His first film has been a huge success, critically and commercially, but he is in no hurry to cash in on his success. Filmmaking is his passion, not his job. He runs a cafeteria along with some friends.”
The resort, about half-an-hour’s drive from Kozhikode, is doubling up as the cafeteria and has been decked with various film memorabilia. Posters of classic films and legendary filmmakers are pasted on the walls.
Samvrutha Sunil, bespectacled and without any trace of make-up, emerges from the cafeteria, dressed in a plain t-shirt and jeans. Although she is Prithviraj’s heroine in the film, she is not the lead heroine of ‘Thirakkatha’; Priyamani is. The film, in fact, revolves around her. This year’s National award winning actor plays a heroine called Malavika who was a rage in Malayalam Cinema in the 1980’s. She fades out from the screen and nobody knows what has happened to her. Akbar wants to track her down and the film takes off from that point.
“This is indeed the role of a life time. It was Prithviraj who first told me about the film and I am glad that I am doing it, though I am not supposed to reveal much about my character,” says Priyamani with a broad smile.
Anoop Menon plays her hero. A busy television actor, Anoop admits it is his best role in cinema. “I enact Ajayachandran, a nobody who becomes a superstar. His is a complex personality and the role offers me a lot of scope to emote,” says Anoop.
Expressing the same sentiments Prithviraj says: “It is great to work again with the director who gave me my first break, ‘Nandanam.’ I have high hopes about ‘Thirakkatha.’ Although there have been films made with cinema as the backdrop, this is refreshingly different. It is not as if cinema was chosen as the theme deliberately; this story – it’s a tender love story – wouldn’t have worked against any other backdrop,” feels the actor. He has to cut short the chat as he is required in the next scene, to be shot against the setting sun. The scene also features Priyamani.
‘Thirakkatha’ also stars Khushboo, Cochin Haneefa, Maniyan Pilla Raju, Nandu, Nishanth Sagar, Surabhi, and Augustine. It is produced under the banner of Captiol Theatre and Varnachithra by Ranjith and Maha Subair. M.J. Radhakrishnan, fresh from his State award, cranks the camera. Lyrics by Rafeeq Ahmed have been tuned by Sharath. Stills are by Shine Edamuttom.
‘Thirakkatha’ is being planned as an Onam release.
Send this article to Friends by
Chennai and Tamil Nadu