Dual treat for Vishu
The super stars of Mollywood pull out all the stops as `China Town' and `Doubles' hit the silver screen.
LAUGHTER ALL THE WAY: (Clockwise from left): Dileep, Mohanlal and Jayaram in `China Town'; Nadia Moidu and Mammootty in `Doubles';Rafi- Mecartin and Sohan Seenulal.
It is a clash of titans as `China Town' and `Doubles' get released at the same time to make the most of the festival season. `China Town,' directed by seasoned scenarist-director pair Rafi- Mecartin stars Mohanlal, Jayaram and Dileep while `Doubles,' a Mammootty-starrer, has been helmed by debutant Sohan Seenulal. If `China Town' banks on the strengths of it being a multi-starrer, `Doubles' hopes to cash in on the winning act of the in-form Mammootty and the charms of yesteryear star Nadia Moidu.
Comedy has been the forte of the Rafi-Mecartin team. They have scripted and directed successful films such as `Puthukkottayile Puthumanavalan,' `Punjabi House,' `Thenkasippattanam,' `Chathikkatha Chanthu' and `Hallo,' which they scripted and directed. The duo has also written the scripts for `Aniyan Bava Chettan Bava,' `Adyathe Kanmani,' `Dilliwala Rajakumaran' and`Mayavi' among others, for other directors.
But 2010 and 2011 have seen debutant directors make a splash with their films and narrative styles. And Mammootty has a good record of hits with new directors, `Rajamanickyam' and `Katha Parayumbol' being two examples. The directors are high on optimism and confidence as their films get set to woo movie buffs. On to the directors.
`China Town' is about friendship. Mathukutty (Mohanlal) is a goon who is trying to mend his ways. Zachariah (Jayaram) runs a used cars showroom and is in a financial mess. Binoy (Dileep) has been dumped by several women. They go to a town in Goa where there are casinos.
Experience of making a multi-starrer
It was Mohanlal who suggested Dileep and Jayaram for the other two roles. It was an enjoyable experience and they were not bothered about who got the most screen space or punch lines; things which usually crop up while making multi starrers.
You are identified with mass entertainers that are full of laughs. Have you ever thought about getting out of the mould?
We were in the mimicry business and have worked with directors who are known for their comedies, before we started making our own films. Obviously, comedy comes easy to us and people expect us to make such movies. As movie buffs, we enjoy every kind of movies. In fact, we launched a production company to make different genres of films but it didn't take off.
With an overdose of comedy, mainly due to the numerous comic shows on TV besides the clippings from films on TV, do you find it difficult to create convincing comic situations to make people laugh now?
Earlier, people used to watch a movie or go to mimicry shows to laugh. Now, they can watch the numerous laugh shows on TV. As a result, making new comic situations is a challenge now.
Scenarists or directors, the tougher job?
The greatest challenge is to write a screenplay. We have everything around us while directing, be it the script, actors, technicians or the properties. While scripting, we have to create everything on our own.
Your last film, `Love in Singapore' was a flop. Have you done a postmortem on what went wrong ?
There were problems in the film's script. We tried to place Mammootty in a light-hearted comedy, thinking that it would be different from what he had done until now. But the viewers didn't accept it.
We are writing a script for debutant director Fazal, with Prithviraj as the hero. Our next directorial venture is the sequel to `Punjabi House' and there is another film in the pipeline with Mohanlal.
`Doubles' is about fraternal twins Giri (Mammootty) and Gouri (Nadia Moidu). A young woman named Saira Banu (Tapsee, who was recently seen in the Tamil flick `Aatukalam') accidentally comes into their midst and a series of entertaining events follow.
On your maiden film being pitted against veteran director duo Rafi-Mecartin
I believe that the fate of any film will be decided by the viewers purely on its merits. I am confident about `Doubles' and hope that the audience will accept my film and `China Town.'
Mammootty is known to support new directors. What has been your experience working with him?
I have worked as assistant director in three films, in which Mammootty played the hero. During the shooting of `Mayavi,' I had expressed my desire to make a film with him and he told me that he would give the required dates, if I approach him with a good story. And sure enough, when I got the right story, he agreed to do it. Mammootty is perhaps looking for fresh approaches from debutant directors. It was a pleasure to work with the veteran actor.
How did Nadia Moidu become part of the project?
Even when we started discussing the storyline, Nadia Moidu's name was in the running. She fit the role perfectly. When we contacted her, she agreed to listen to the story but insisted that she would say yes only if she liked it.
Why did you choose Pondicherry as the location for the film?
The characters reach there after an incident during a journey. So the geography was perfect for the story.
James Vasanthan as the music composer
As the story is happening outside Kerala, we wanted the music to sound different.
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