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My brother and I

VIJAY GEORGE

‘Sankaranum Mohananum,' starring Jayasurya in a double role as brothers Sankaran and Mohanakrishnan, is veteran director T.V. Chandran's first attempt at commercial cinema.



On undying love: Jayasurya appears in 20 get-ups in the film.

Director T.V. Chandran, known for his well-crafted art house films, has changed tracks and is directing his first “commercial entertainer,” ‘Sankaranum Mohananum.' The shooting of the film, starring Jayasurya, Meera Nandan and Rima Kallingal, is going on in Kochi. The day's location is the interior of a riverside resort at Kumbalam. Jayasurya appears in a double role in the film.

“It's a journey through the mind of Mohanakrishnan (Jayasurya), a fashion photographer living in Kochi. He was earlier based in Mumbai and is separated from his wife, Jyotsna Mathew (Rima). His older brother, Sankaran (also played by Jayasurya), is a school teacher in Malabar. Sankaran, in his forties, gets married to a much younger woman named Rajalakshmi (Meera Nandan), but he dies of a snake bite the day after the wedding. The ghost of Sankaran haunts Mohanakrishnan from then on,” says Chandran, the director of critically-acclaimed films such as ‘Ponthanmada,' ‘Ormakalundaayirikkanam,' ‘Mankamma,' ‘Susanna,' ‘Danny,' and ‘Padam Onnu: Oru Vilaapam,' to name a few.

The story of his latest film explores Sankaran's undying love for his wife and also the lack of love in the life of his brother. “It is a surreal script and is like a complex mind game. The ghost of Sankaran appears before Mohanakrishnan in various get-ups and what keeps Sankaran going is his eternal devotion toward his wife and brother,” says the director adding that there is an autobiographical element to the story as memories of his own brother, who died in Nigeria almost 30 years ago, still haunt him.

The scene being shot shows Meera Nandan coming out of a hall and stepping into a room. The dialogue starts only when she comes into the room. Cinematographer Pradeep Nair gives instructions regarding the lighting and the unit goes for a rehearsal.

“The resort is the setting for Mohanakrishnan's house and Rajalakshmi has come here for some help from him after certain strange happenings vex her. She doesn't know that the ghost of her husband is behind all these strange incidents,” says Chandran.

Different frames of mind

Jayasurya, who is reading the script as he waits for the next shot, says: “Like any Mollywood actor, I always wanted to be part of a film directed by T.V. Chandran. My character appears in almost 20 get-ups and it is quite exciting. Sankaran and Mohanakrishnan have two different frames of mind and it is a challenge for an actor to get into the shoes of both the characters almost at the same time.”

Says Meera, once her shot is okayed: “I play a village girl, who marries a man almost 20 years older than her, but her life takes an altogether different turn soon after.” Rima's character, Jyotsna, is a model and an aspiring actor who lives in Mumbai with their child.

‘Sankaranum Mohananum' is being produced jointly by Prem Prakash's Prakash Movietone and Raju Mallyath's Ragam Movies. Music directors are Isaac Thomas Kottukappilly and Mohan Sithara. Still photographer is Mahadevan Thampy.

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