The quote “Change is the only constant” fits the Malayalam film industry perfectly. When the world was still struggling to adapt to the new normal, it stepped up and gave us c u soon, a movie shot entirely during the lockdown. Director Mahesh Naryanan and the primary cast of Fahadh Faasil, Darshana Rajendran and Roshan Mathew were part of a film that pushed the envelope when it came to lockdown filmmaking. With the State government allowing resumption of shooting, with limited resources and safety precautions, many production houses are announcing their next projects. Here are some of them that bring cheer to the idea of going back to the theatres when it’s safe again.
This film is directed by newcomer Nasif Yousuf Izzudin, who has predominantly worked in Bollywood as an associate director in films such as Tummbad, Kai Po Che, Raees and Newton. Irul features Darshana Rajendran, Fahadh Faasil and Soubin Shahir. It is produced by Anto Joseph, along with Plan J studios, and the cinematography is by Jomon T John. The crew has already begun an extensive 30-day shoot at Kuttikanam, Kerala.
Kadavul Sakaayam Natana Sabha
Said to be a comedy thriller, it features Dhyan Sreenivasan in the lead, portraying a character named Sathyaneshan Nadar. It is written by Bipin Chandran of 1983 fame and directed by newcomer Jithu Vayalil. Praveen Prabhakar (Trance, Koode) handles editing while Sam CS is the music composer. The film is produced by Seenu Mathews and Ramesh Kumar under Rajissri Films.
Martin Prakkat’s fourth film and his first after the commercial and critically acclaimed Charlie features a stellar cast of Kunchacko Boban, Nimisha Sajayan and Joju George. The film is also backed by a strong technical team — cinematography by Shyju Khalid and editing by director Mahesh Narayanan of Take Off and C U Soon fame. Written by Shahir Kabir (Joseph) and produced by Director Ranjith’s Gold Coin Pictures along with Martin Prakkat Films, Nayattu is touted to be a crime thriller.
Alphonse Putharen is back after a five-year hiatus and it’s already among the most-hyped films of next year. The director of Neram and Premam marks his return with this musical starring Fahadh Faasil in the lead. The film is bankrolled by UGM Entertainments (Zacharia Thomas and Alwin Antony). Putharen will also handle the music.
Prithiviraj Sukumaran joins hands with ace filmmaker Aashiq Abu for the first time for this period drama based on the 1921 Malabar Revolution. Prithvi will portray the titular character of Variyan Kunnathu Kunjahammed Haji. Produced by Zikandar and Moideen of Compassion Movies, the film is written by Harshad and Rameez. While Saiju Sreedharan handles editing, Shyju Khalid is the cinematographer. The announcement of this film became quite sensational when two other teams announced their own versions of the biopic.
Suraj Venjaramoodu and Sreenath Bhasi star in this sports-based film directed by Dhiraj Bala, who has also co-written it with Vijeesh Vishwam. Udaya is bankrolled by Josekutty Madathil of WM Movies and actor Tini Tom makes his debut as executive producer. Music is by Jakes Bejoy, cinematography by Arun Bhaskar and editing by Sunil S Pillai.
Oru Tatvika Avalokanam
The title is inspired by a dialogue from Sathyan Anthikad’s classic political satire Sandesham. Written and directed by Akhil Marar, this film by Yohan Productions stars Joju George and Niranjan Raju in the lead.
Shortly after Jeethu Joseph and Mohanlal began their next, Ram, the world came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the crew to stall all shoot. Jeethu emerged with the surprise announcement of a sequel to Drishyam. Drishyam 2 brings back the principal cast from the previous film. Mohanlal reprises the role of George Kutty. Meena, Ansiba Hassan, and Esther Anil slip back into their roles too.
Kaannekkanne…As You Watch
The team behind last year’s much-loved Uyare is back with what looks like a thriller. Directed by Manu Ashokan and written by Bobby-Sanjay, the film stars Tovino Thomas, who played an important role in Uyare. Other actors include Suraj Venjaramoodu, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Shruti Ramachandran and Prem Prakash (a regular in Bobby Sanjay films). With nothing but “rolling soon” written under social media posts, this looks like a missing person thriller to watch out for.
Among the most recent high-profile launches is Dileesh Pothen’s third directorial venture after Maheshinte Prathikaaram and Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum. Joji is inspired by William Shakespeare’s Macbeth and it’s likely to be a contemporary take of the epic. This project was greenlit since the team’s previous venture Thankam had to be postponed due to the limitations caused by the pandemic. Starring Fahadh Faasil in the lead, Joji is written by Syam Pushkaran and cinematography is by Shyju Khalid. The shoot will take place in Mundakayam and Erumeli. Music is by Justin Varghese of Thanneermathan Dinangal fame.
Apart from these, a few films await release once the theatres open. These include
Lijo Jose Pelliserry’s Churuli; Kurup, directed by Srinath Rajendran and Vini Vishwa Lal, starring Dulquer Salmaan, Sobhita Dhulipala, and Manoj Bajpayee; and A’Hr (Kayattam), directed by Sanal Kumar Sashidaran and starring Manju Warrier.
There is also Love, directed by Khalid Rahman (Anuraga Karikkin Vellam, Unda), starring Rajisha Vijayan and Shine Tom Chacko; and Halal Love Story, produced by Aashiq Abu and directed by Sudani from Nigeria fame Zakariya Mohammed, expected to release on October 15 on Amazon Prime Video.