Sibi Thomas, the circle inspector of police who played a pivotal role as a cop in Dileesh Pothan’s Thondimuthalum Driksaskshiyum, is the screenwriter of Rajeev Ravi’s next directorial. The film is based on a real-life police investigation that Sibi led while he was serving at a suburban police station in Kasaragod in 2016. In the film, Asif Ali will play the lead role as the head of a police investigation team.
“This one incident was special in my career as a police officer spanning 15 years. Last year, I spoke about it at length to a private television channel, and it garnered a lot of positive response from the viewers. When I mentioned it to Rajeev (Ravi), he said it could be made into a film,” Sibi Thomas told Silverscreen.in. “A jewellery store in Kasaragod was robbed, and clues led us to a village in Uttar Pradesh, a notorious thiruttu gramam (a village of thieves). We were told that 11 years ago, when a police team tried to enter the village, it had kicked up a riot. Since we had the help of a couple of informants from the village, we could nab the thieves. At that time, I didn’t realise the quantum of risk we had undertaken. Later, I came to know that a police inspector from Tamil Nadu was shot dead when he and his team tried out a similar operation in that village.”
Thomas, now serving as the head of the coastal police station in Azheekode, has won the chief minister’s medal for distinguished service in 2015, and had also won Kerala police’s badge of honour for best investigator in 2014. He is not new to writing. His poetry collection, Unakkamaram, was published in 2011.
Sibi is a fan of Rajeev Ravi’s style of filmmaking. “We want to show how the investigation really happened, without any element of heroism. But truth is, sometimes, stranger than fiction. When I look back at that incident, I am amazed that we were able to come out of it alive,” he says.
Rajeev Ravi was the cinematographer of Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum, but their friendship goes back to the time before he joined the police. “At college, I was active in the field of art and dramatics. I cleared FTII entrance test, and attended the orientation and interview for motion picture photography course. It was there I met Rajeev Ravi. I couldn’t clear the interview, and returned to Kerala. In the following years, Rajeev would send me post cards, notifying me of FTII entrance tests and urging me to apply again. But I got busy with small-time jobs and trying for government jobs.”
Post Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum, Sibi played supporting roles in films such as Kamuki, Kuttanadan Marpappa and Oru Kuprasidha Payyan. Recently, he played the lead role in Sidharthan Enna Njan, directed by Asha Prabha, the head of documentary department at Kerala Film Development Corporation. Rajeev Ravi is currently working on Thuramugham, a period drama in which Sibi plays a trade union leader.
Feature image courtesy Sibi Thomas Facebook