I fought all odds: Shanil Muhammed
As his movie Avarude Ravukal finally hits the screens this Eid, the director looks back at the hurdles he faced, including the producer's demise
It was February 2016 that director Shanil Muhammed began the shoot of his second movie, Avarude Ravukal, a comic entertainer. By then, he had already earned a name for himself as the co-director of Philips and Monkey Pen, a sleeper hit.
But, his dreams came crashing down on May 23, when he heard the dreadful news of the death of its producer Ajay Krishnan. The real nightmare, however, was yet to come. A few days later, a section of the media had come out with a report that Ajay committed suicide, because he felt dissapointed by the movie.
"Those were very tough times. Already reeling from the shock of his death, I was crushed by the absurd and baseless rumours doing the rounds. My whole family felt depressed," says Shanil.
According to him, the shoot was over on April 14, and there was no way anyone could finish the post-production work within one month. "How could Ajay have watched something that had not reached the editing table? Only Lena had dubbed for the film. Not only was the news absurd and baseless, there seemed to be a conceited effort to can Avarude Ravukal forever," he says.
Shanil says that, at that time, Ajay was already in talks with a television channel for satellite rights, for an amount which covered more than half of his investment. "Ajay was very confident about the movie and worked with us to ensure its release."
Though another producer expressed interest to buy the movie, Ajay’s parents wanted to bring it out under his name. "They wanted to realise his dream," says Shanil. While the team had brought everything under their control, the strike called by theatre-owners came as a big blow. This further pushed the movie's release back by another few months.
Finally, it has been decided to release the movie during Eid. "I just wanted it to hit the screens, so that people are aware of it. Leaving it mid-way was unthinkable, considering the effort and passion I put in this project. I promise that it is a good entertainer and am confident that it will be a better-than-average grosser," says the director.
He adds that the distributors, Sopanam Entertainments, were insistent that the movie have a release all over Kerala. "We have already blocked 60 screens and this number may go up further," he says.