French Viplavam to hit theatres on Friday
The period film's debutant director Maju KB talks to us about the Sunny Wayne, Lal and Chemban Vinod Jose-starrer
Debutant filmmaker Maju KB's French Viplavam, which was supposed to be released last month, will be finally hitting theatres on Friday. The film is actor Sunny Wayne's next theatrical release after Kayamkulam Kochunni. Apart from Sunny Wayne, Lal and Chemban Vinod Jose will also appear in key roles.
The film, set in 1996, explores the aftermath of the liquor ban in a village, says Maju. "The inhabitants of that village are ordinary folks. How they deal with this challenge forms the crux of the story. It revolves around four friends and their families. There is also a romance track. We also indirectly touch upon topics like drugs, foreign liquor, etc, through other characters."
Three scriptwriters have penned the film—Anwar Ali, Shajeer Sha and Shajeer Jaleel. Maju says this film was the writers' long-cherished dream, and their friends Shajeer Jaleel and Jafar Khan agreed to bankroll the project. Maju has also contributed to the script. "I've incorporated a few of my own ideas. My friend R Jayakumar and I wrote the dialogues."
The makers have adopted a realistic tone for the narrative and the film is replete with long takes, says Maju. "Using the single-shot approach helped greatly with the editing. We went for an experimental, never-before-seen style. It was a big challenge, especially for a first-timer like me. However, we managed to finish everything ahead of schedule, in 22 days."
Maju recalls that when Sunny Wayne gave him the green light and asked him to start work in three weeks, he got a bit nervous. "He liked the story and wanted to see a script, but it wasn't fully ready yet. But I took it as a challenge and said yes to him regardless. We finalised the locations and gathered the actors in three weeks. Everyone was so co-operative."
A former travel consultant, Maju was always passionate about cinema and wanted to be a part of it in some capacity. "I had zero experience in filmmaking, so naturally it was a bit difficult to get into this," he says.
He cites director Lijo Jose Pellissery, also a friend of his, as an inspiration. "Knowing Lijo helped me a lot. He taught me a lot of things. I got to spend 10 days on the set of Ee Ma Yau. I've studied all his films. He was very encouraging when I told him about my plan to make my directorial debut with this film."