Director Sanfeer K: We hope to do a sequel to Peace
The medico-turned-filmmaker on his maiden feature, a dark comedy currently streaming on the platform Sun NXT
A food delivery guy, two hospital employees, an autorickshaw driver, a doctor, a corrupt cop with a severe ailment, a 'fixer', and a cute Golden Retriever make up the motley crew of quirky characters involved in kidnapping -- wait for it -- dead people in filmmaker Sanfeer K's Peace. The film, which just landed on streamer Sun NXT after a brief theatrical run, evokes the Tarantinos and Coens in terms of its ingenuity and dark humour, although the writing leaves a lot to be desired in several places.
It's admirable that Sanfeer, a medico-turned-filmmaker, managed to round up established names like Joju George, Siddique, Mammukoya, and the late Anil Nedumangad for his maiden feature, which, through a hyperlink narrative, encapsulates themes like Karma, drug use, family, and second chances.
"Joju chettan was looking for some offbeat ideas and was immediately onboard with my pitch for Peace when he heard it," says Sanfeer. "It all started with the idea of a group kidnapping cadavers to extort money, and then I built the rest of the screenplay around it. The core idea and its philosophy -- giving value to a deceased person who wasn't valued when alive -- tickled my imagination. The original script was much longer, owing to some dream sequences, but we took them out because of the pacing issues."
Peace takes a while to get going. It takes close to a good thirty minutes taken up by character interactions and establishments before introducing us to an incident that creates havoc in the ordinary lives of the abovementioned characters. Mammukoya plays a mysterious passenger whose arrival changes the fate of the characters. Anil Nedumanagad is the cop who makes an unreasonable demand to Carlos, played by Joju. "I wanted Anil Nedumangad to play an antagonist with a different shade -- give a human side to him and show that he has problems too. Mamukkoya's character, on the other hand, was a homage to that comic scene in an old movie where he played a dead man stuffed inside a cupboard. I couldn't think of any other actor for that part."
Since the film's ending brings up the possibility of a sequel, Sanfeer shares that he hopes to take the story further in the next instalment. "We hope to do a sequel for which I have an idea. Some people were disappointed that we did not give a happy or clear resolution, but I wasn't interested in doing things in a conventional manner."
After Peace, Sanfeer will work on a project titled Cult, billed as an action thriller that reteams him with Joju, and has Tamil actor-filmmaker Mysskin, Sanchana Natarajan (Dear Friend) and Shabeer Kallarakkal (Sarpattai Parambarai) in the cast.