The Basic Idea Of Nayattu Came From A Real-Life Incident: Shahi Kabir
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Kunchacko Boban and Shahi Kabir, the writer of Nayattu (also starring Joju George and Nimisha Sajayan) give us a few clues about what happens to Praveen and Sunitha after the film ends, in this interview with Anupama Chopra. Edited Excerpts…

Shahi, what inspired you to write this story? You were a cop before you became an incredible screenwriter.

Shahi Kabir: The initial days of my police career were good and quite happy. The training period was filled with a lot of fun. But once I got posted to a local police station, I started getting a bit anxious seeing people’s problems in my everyday life. I wanted to get away from all that. So, I tried to get into films.

Back in 2014, one of my senior officers in the police department told me about a particular incident. One point inspired a story: the police hunt the police, the system hunts someone inside the system. I found that line interesting and started working on it. But only the basic idea was from that. I wasn’t able to speak to the victims of the incident to learn more about it. So, everything else is from my own imagination and experiences.  

Kunchacko, when you first heard the script of Nayattu, what was your response?

Kunchacko Boban: Actually Nimisha Sajayan and I were listening to the script at Martin Prakkat’s flat along with Shahi and a few assistant directors. I felt that it was very interesting. It was unusual, and I saw a spark in the director’s eyes. Martin was a proven director and Shahi was a proven writer. From my point of view, the character is something that I haven’t done before. I knew Martin would come up with something fresh and portray me differently. He was spot on; he paid attention to all the little details of the characters. Even the technical crew was excellent. 

What happens to Praveen and Sunitha after the film ends? What was in Martin’s head? You guys tell me, what’s in your heads?

Shahi Kabir: Many people ask me if there’s going to be a second part. The reason is because the film ended like that. No, there’s no plan for a second part. We left it open to the audience, for them to make their own minds up. 

There are two types of decisions: a leftist decision or a Gandhian decision. The first says that if society is right, the individuals will be right. The Gandhian idea is that if an individual is right then society will also be right. The ending leaves it to the audience to decide which side they are on. Ultimately, survival matters, and if you need to survive you might have to change sides or cheat your conscience. You just have to decide whether you want to stay true to your heart or live longer. 

Kunchacko Boban: If you ask me, in the second half you can see Praveen taking control and caring for things. He even had the presence of mind to hide Manian’s mobile after his death. When Praveen and Sunitha are forced to sign a statement, he checks to see if she would sign it too. When she says no, he stands by her side. 

Sunitha is in an emotional dilemma. She saw Manian hanging, and she also has Manian’s daughter in her mind. So, at least for the time being, the both of them will continue to fight for justice. 

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