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Shine Tom Chacko: Like Kurup, Bheeshma Parvam will authentically depict a bygone era- Cinema express

Shine Tom Chacko: Like Kurup, Bheeshma Parvam will authentically depict a bygone era

Shine Tom Chacko on his scene-stealing performance in Kurup, stepping out of his comfort zone, and upcoming projects


Published: 15th November 2021
Shine Tom Chacko

Imagine the feeling of delivering a scene-stealing, discussion-worthy performance in a film widely promoted in the name of its charming leading man and then having to wait two years for the public to see it. Shine Tom Chacko is currently basking in all the glory coming his way from social media and otherwise. The actor is happy about his standout performance getting appreciated on the big screen instead of a mobile phone.

"It's more fun when a lot of people get together to witness your work," says Shine, who believes that actors' expressions and body language are understood better on a larger canvas.

It helps that Kurup gives ample space for each of its performers, most notably Shine, who portrays Bhasi Pillai (based on Bhaskara Pillai, a relative of Sukumara Kurup) as an unpredictable and perpetually inebriated man prone to violent outbursts. One of the best moments in Kurup has Bhasi, who, in the process of looking for a fresh corpse, 'improvises' when he finds a potential victim in a server at a bar and gets frustrated when the latter doesn't budge.

"Bhasi wanted to kill that guy, so he tried to get him drunk. He is always so confident and planning his next move. He knows what he would say if the cops got him. But what he did in the bar wasn't in the original plan. He just acted on impulse, and that's what I conveyed in that scene," explains the Ishq actor, adding that the actors got the space to interpret the characters in their own way. "There was a basic character sketch with the traits of the original Bhaskara Pillai that I used as reference points. There was a clearly defined screentime for every character, and we did everything as per the script -- starting with the perspective of Peter (Sunny Wayne) through Sharadamma (Sobhita Dhulipala), Krishnadas (Indrajith), and, culminating in Kurup himself (Dulquer)."

Since some viewers are curious about the involvement of a VFX component in the depiction of the murder sequence -- Bhasi suffers minor burns while trying to set ablaze a car with the victim in it -- we asked Shine if there was indeed any. "No, we did it for real - with safety measures, of course," he laughs. "We pulled it off with a banana stem, wet towel, and gloves."

We took this opportunity to revisit another memorably risky performance of Shine, in 2014's body-swapping drama, Ithihasa. In the sleeper hit, he played a young man who, one morning, wakes up in the body of a woman. The most notable quality about the performance was that it was devoid of the usual cliches. Would he attempt it again if the same film got made today? "Yes, I would, but the performance might be slightly different," he says confidently. "Even Bhasi Pillai, if done again, would look different. What you see in the film is a performance I gave two years back. That was my state of mind back then. If I were to play him again, it might be something else."

Last year, when theatres reopened after a year, albeit briefly, one of the first films to release was Love, a twist-laden mystery directed by Khalid Rahman, where Shine and Rajisha Vijayan played a warring couple. But the film, despite the critical acclaim, failed to attract enough eyeballs, probably due to the timing of the film's release or its experimental nature. Shine isn't bothered, though, as he found the reception on OTT platforms more encouraging. "We already knew where the film would work and where it wouldn't. It reached wherever it needed to. It attracted remake offers from other languages. They have already shot the Kannada remake."

It's been a long time since we have seen Shine in a humorous role. He instantly mentions the upcoming Adi (directed by Prasobh Vijayan and scripted by Ishq-fame Ratheesh Ravi), a relationship drama which, he says, has a "little bit of humour".

Shine has more surprises in store for us, in the form of his characters in the Mammootty-Amal Neerad's Bheeshma Parvam and Tamil superstar Vijay's upcoming Beast (directed by Nelson Dilipkumar of Kolamavu Kokila and Doctor fame). Bheeshma Parvam is a gangster drama set in the late 80s. "Like Kurup, Bheeshma Parvam depicts an era as authentically as possible," he says. "We get to see the Contessa car, tight shirts... all that. It's a pure Amal Neerad film with a carefully detailed production design. Each prop is true to the period. Amal is, after all, the man who made Iyobinte Pusthakam."

As for Beast, Shine shares that the film will sport Nelson's usual brand of humour. "He is great at creating these perfectly synchronised comic moments. My character is not a funny type, but there are definitely funny characters in the film."

As for his other upcoming Malayalam projects, Shine will be seen in Adithattu (with Sunny Wayne), Pada (with Kunchacko Boban, Joju George, Vinayakan, and Dileesh Pothan), Padavettu (with Nivin Pauly), and Panthrandu (with Vinayakan).

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