Mahesh Narayanan grew up in Poonkulam, a few kilometers from the coast of Kovalam, and had many friends who lived by the sea. He was unaware of their struggle for livelihood and defiance in the face of exploitation. These stories of persistence stayed with him and now part of their lives are being transferred to celluloid in his second directorial venture. Malik,
The editor and director, who received both commercial and critical recognition for his directorial debut, Take off, a gripping drama based on the real rescue mission by Indian nurses stranded in Iraq has made the screen even bigger Malik. The Fahadh Faasil star already has high expectations after photos of the actor in a sleek look have appeared on social media. The first look poster with the actor intensified the hype.
The big budget film, written and written by Mahesh, “takes place in a coastal area and is inspired by the life of a person who lived in one of these villages. It is a fictional account that only takes certain examples from his life into account, ”he says.
The film is about an incident in Kerala's history that involved two coastal villages and had an impact on the political, religious, judicial and social fabric of the state. “The real reason for the incident remains a mystery. The film deals with the tragedy and its impact on the minority community, ”he says.
The protagonist is Sulaiman (Fahadh), who turns out to be the godfather for the fishing people. “A migrant, he is addressed as Malik or owner, because he is the one everyone looks up to. It motivates them to defend themselves against threats to their country, their homes, their beliefs and their occupation. With natural and man-made disasters getting their lives out of hand, the state and bureaucratic machinery either remain silent bystanders or force them to evacuate, opening the door to struggle for businesses. Sulaiman is the leader in such a situation and keeps the community together, ”Mahesh says.
Problems without limits
He notes that fishermen's problems are endless. "When you talk about borders, it doesn't just mean a demarcation between the countries. The ocean is also a border. There are border policies, trade issues and sometimes problems within the community itself and with the authorities. The fishermen are also marginalized in terms of education All of this has been explored in Malik, "he clarifies.
He explains that the problems that fishermen face are the same everywhere, be it in Kanyakumari, Kolachel, Rameswaram or Dhanushkodi. How the bureaucracy deals with their problems is also more or less similar. "Although we celebrated her for her flood rescue operation, we often ignore her problems," he says.
Mahesh says that although he had discussed the project with Fahadh much earlier Take off, it was put on hold because of the enormous production costs. "Besides, Fahadh didn't have the fame he has now. But the success of Take off brought us a producer. Although we picked up on a sensitive issue, it was treated commercially, ”he emphasizes.
However, the biggest challenge was finding a location. “The story spans the period from 1965 to 2018 and so we had to show the transformation of places and people. We couldn't do that in any of the coastal areas. Also, I didn't want to take photos at the original location because there are still people affected by the incident and some of them are my friends, ”he adds.
So they finally went to a six acre property in Kalamassery in Kochi, where the art directors Santosh Raman and Sajan set up the set. Scenes were also filmed along the coastal belt, "from Kanyakumari to Munambam", Minicoy in Lakswadweep and Abu Dhabi. Coastal people have been auditioned for specific roles, while the slang fishermen characters speak from the coastal belt of Thiruvananthapuram. The pre-production took several months. A thumbnail set was created before the actual set was created.
Make the cut
- As editor of MalikMahesh says he made sure that he only "shot the scenes he wanted". His next editions include Martin Prakkat's new film with Joju George and Kunchacko Boban, Karachi 81, a spy thriller starring Prithviraj and Tovino Thomas, and a sequel to Kamal Haasans Thevar Magan
Mahesh says IV Sasi Ee Nadu was an inspiration for working on a big screen. "It's a miracle that he shot it in 20 days. Not many filmmakers are picking up on this genre now, and I wanted to try this format out now Malik," he says.
He calls it the biggest project in Fahadh's career and says the actor lost 10 to 15 pounds between the ages of 21 and 58. We made the film 90 days, ”he says. Vinay Forrt plays a central role, and others in the cast include Nimisha Sajayan, Dileesh Pothen, former actor Jalaja, Joju George, Salim Kumar and Indrans, and some new theater artists. Sanu Varghese who fired Take offis the cameraman. Lee Whittaker, Hollywood action director, choreographed the action sequences. Music is from Sushin Shyam.
Mahesh speaks of bringing another real life story to the celluloid Take off and Malik fall into different zones.
"People had expectations of your second film when you made your debut successfully. But I haven't approached Malik In this way. It's just the success of Take off gave me the confidence to do this. I always want to tell stories that touch my heart. You get a kick out of such topics and that happened in the case of Malik also. Fortunately, I had a team that stood by my side. I want this work to be remembered for at least 10 years, ”he says. The film is scheduled for release in mid-April.