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When terror strikes…

VIJAY GEORGE

‘1993 Bombay March 12' charts a series of events that unfold in the aftermath of the Mumbai serial blasts.



Blast of reality: Mammotty and Lal in ‘1993 Bombay March 12.'

The shooting of scenarist-turned-debutant director Babu Janardhanan's ‘1993 Bombay March 12' is progressing inside a modest school hall at S.H. Mount in Kottayam. Mammootty, who plays the lead in the film, has been made to look unkempt for a scene that shows him being questioned by cops. The director is pleased with the shot in the first take itself and the unit gets ready for the next one.

Complex storyline

“It is an emotion-filled family drama with some suspense, which unfolds in the aftermath of the Mumbai bomb blasts of 1993. Several important events that happened prior to that, such as the Babri Masjid issue, and some controversial episodes that happened abroad have also been woven into the story. It has come to a point where it's easy to brand someone as a terrorist. This aspect is also being dealt with in the story,” says Babu Janardhanan, who has scripted films such as ‘Achanurangatha Veedu,' ‘Vaasthavam' and ‘Thalappavu,' among others.

Babu says that it was Mammootty who gave him the courage to take up direction. “The storyline is rather complex, one with several layers of intrigue, and it should be a thrilling experience for viewers. It narrates the tale of Sanathana Bhat, a Hindu priest, and Abida, a young Muslim woman from a village in Kerala, who have premonitions about the bomb blasts, which change the course of their lives forever,” says Babu.

Mammootty appears as Sanathana Bhat, who later converts to Islam and becomes Sameer, a Municipality worker. He gets married to Abida (Roma). The scene being shot has Sameer surrounded by khaki-clad cops. Cinematographer Vipin Mohan records the visual from various angles.

Roma, usually seen playing bubbly roles, says: “I have gone for a kind of an image makeover here and I am playing a Muslim character for the first time. I am really excited about it. My character is an intense girl from a conventional Muslim family and she goes through different phases and emotions. Many were surprised when I was chosen for the role but after seeing me in costume, the director said that he made the right decision.”

And after seeing the way Roma delivered her dialogues, Mammootty remarked that she could dub for the role. The young actor considers this as a great compliment.

“I stayed away from Malayalam cinema for a while because I was waiting for the right kind of roles and I feel it has been a good decision,” says Roma, who also has ‘Casanova' (starring Mohanlal) and ‘Kadhayile Naayika' (starring Urvashi), on the anvil.

‘1993 Bombay March 12' is being produced by Haneef Mohammed under the banner of Red Rose Creations. Lyrics by Rafeeq Ahmed have been composed by Afsal Yusuf. Still photographer is Ajit V. Sankar.

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