Anoop Sathyan, son of filmmaker Sathyan Anthikkad, has announced his directorial debut with a movie featuring Nazriya Nazim, Shobhana and Suresh Gopi in the lead. The movie will be a romantic drama.
Anoop, a graduate of the National Institute of Design, has worked as an associate of Lal Jose in five films. He spoke to Silverscreen about how his debut venture has taken shape.
Anoop’s initial plan was to make his debut with a Dulquer Salman starrer. He had planned to make a movie out of a script by Bobby Sanjay. However, the project got delayed due to various reasons. “After almost a year, I found the material to be stale,” says Anoop.
He explains the genesis of the new story. “This story actually took form during one of the story workshops at the National Institute of Design. Back then, it was a romantic story, an unusual one though. Later, I modified it into a drama that focused on two women. It still has a romance at its core.”
Anoop considers this to be the perfect material for his debut venture. “Apart from being within my space, the movie has a certain novelty without being too experimental.”
But the family drama is not a genre that debut directors usually venture into. When asked, Anoop responds with a chuckle, “It runs in the family,” referring to his father Sathyan Anthikkad who is renowned for his dramas. “So the family angle somehow seeps into the story,” he adds.
Anoop maintains that it wasn’t his plan to reveal the details so early. “Certain fake details began doing the rounds forcing me to come out with an announcement.” The official announcement would happen only after a while. The director has already entered the pre-production phase of the project. He intends to start the shoot by June.
The story of the movie is set in Chennai and Anoop explains the rationale behind this. “I wanted to set the story outside Kerala. The Malayali audience finds it easier to relate to the culture of Chennai.”
The software engineer turned filmmaker had spent a year working in the city. “I love the place. It is like a second home for me.” And the director is hell bent upon ensuring that his movie does not become just another movie set in Chennai. “My mission is to make one of the best Chennai based movies. I plan to showcase the beauty of the city.”
One thing Anoop is excited about is the cast of his movie. He has managed to rope in three actors who have been away from cinema for some time now. “Nazriya is the only one amongst the three that I had met in person.” He approached her first. “She readily agreed.” Then the others came together.
The movie would mark the reunion of Suresh Gopi and Shobhana after a gap of 13 years. The actors, who have worked together in movies like Sindoorarekha, Rajaputhran, and Commissioner had played husband and wife in the cult hit Manichithrathaazhu. The movie had gone on to fetch Shobhana a National Award for her performance.
The actress was last seen in Malayalam in the 2013 film Thira. The movie was directed by Vineeth Sreenivasan, son of Sreenivasan who has been a long-time collaborator of Sathyan Anthikkad.
Anoop considers this to be a ‘dream cast.’ “I don’t think another cast would be able to create the magic,” he says. The story is primarily set around these three characters. “It is a small film,” he adds.
With Suresh Gopi contesting in the upcoming general elections, the director is awaiting the dates of both the Commissioner star and Shobhana.
With somebody of the stature of his father in the family, questions regarding his involvement are bound to pop up. ”I discuss stories with him. He is always a point of reference. But both parties tend to become a bit conscious when it comes to each other’s projects.”
Anoop, who has devised a way around this situation, says “So I don’t narrate the stories straightaway to my father. I convey it to him through somebody else.” His father still doesn’t know the full story. However, Anoop will shortly be narrating the whole story to his father. “I always take his feedback. His judgement is astute.” In fact, it was his father who greenlit the casting.
Anoop has a sound technical crew to aid him through the project. Mukesh Muraleedharan, who shot the Nivin Pauly starrer Njandukalude Naattil Oru Idavela, is the cinematographer. Music Director Alphonse has been hired to compose music for the movie.
Anoop plans to release the movie sometime after October.
Image Courtesy: Manorama Online