Akhil Sathyan: My aim is to reinvent Nivin's boy-next-door persona

The filmmaker about his next with Nivin and one aspect he finds Malayalam cinema slacking lately
Akhil Sathyan: My aim is to reinvent Nivin's boy-next-door persona

Recently, Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum (PAV) director Akhil Sathyan revealed on social media that his next film will be headlined by Nivin Pauly. In his note, Akhil remembered how Nivin approached him when he was assisting his father Sathyan Anthikad in Jomonte Suvisheshangal and how the actor's faith inspired him to write his debut film, PAV. However, their collaboration didn't materialise then, which Akhil attributes to "some practical reasons."

Speaking exclusively to CE, Akhil divulged some interesting details about his upcoming film with Nivin, which is currently in its writing stages. "It is a deeply emotional romantic film at its core with some fun-filled fantasy elements. It's a story my father greatly cherishes. The idea has been brewing in my mind for the past two years," said the director, while also adding that the film is loosely based on some true events and will be set majorly in rural Kerala.

A big fan of Nivin's "subtle humour, charm, and cuteness," Akhil feels these qualities are however missing in the actor's recent projects. "My main aim is to reinvent Nivin's boy-next-door persona prominently, as people love it. The film will also explore his romantic side."

While Akhil appreciates the recent successes in cinema, he notes there is one aspect where Malayalam cinema is considerably slacking, which he aspires to improve. "There is a serious dearth of prominent female characters in most recent films that became huge hits, except perhaps Premalu." According to the director, his upcoming film will also feature a female lead on equal footing with Nivin. However, he is yet to finalise the casting for this role. "Ideally, we are considering a promising newcomer," he added. 

Interestingly, Akhil's initial plan was to pursue another project as his sophomore directorial. "It was a female-centric adaptation of Sherlock Holmes with a Kerala backdrop. However, given the current market conditions, it is proving challenging to pitch to producers. So I've postponed that project for next year." He is now planning to begin his film with Nivin by the end of this year, after the actor completes his ongoing commitments, including Action Hero Biju 2. The director also shared that he is retaining almost the same crew from his first film, including Justin Prabhakaran as the music director.

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