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Ishq deals with a sensitive issue: Shane Nigam- Cinema express

'Ishq deals with a sensitive issue'

...says scriptwriter Ratheesh Ravi, as he talks about the upcoming Shane Nigam-starrer, which is directed by Anuraj Manohar

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Published: 23rd April 2019

After Kumbalangi Nights, another seemingly promising film from Shane Nigam is on the way. Titled Ishq, it is helmed by Anuraj Manohar, and also stars Ann Sheetal, Shine Tom Chacko, and Leona Lishoy.

The film’s posters come with the tagline 'Not a Love Story', and scriptwriter Ratheesh Ravi tells us there is a reason behind it. “We chose the tagline because the primary focus is not on the sweet and pleasant moments of a love story. It’s a more serious story, about a dark moment that happens along the way. It will be addressing some relevant issues that we have often seen in the newspapers. It was born out of an idea where I imagined myself and my friends as characters in these situations.”

Ratheesh wrote the script six years back and he says it conveys the pain of familiar events that have occurred in the past and still continue to happen. “When a young man goes through these situations, it affects his ego. We may all have gone through these at some point. When I wrote the script back then, some of the enraging incidents we often read about now hadn’t taken place yet. And then everyone started putting out their strong reactions, which I felt were insufficient. But we are not being preachy with this film.”

Keeping in mind the complexities of the changing times, and the sensitivity and political correctness that go with it, the writer consulted some of his friends, especially women, to get their perspectives. “We showed it to people who have studied these issues in depth, which really turned out to be beneficial for us. When one person is writing that script, they see everything from their point-of-view. Usually, the female characters are written by men and they assert that women behave in a certain way. We have tried to break that pattern in this film. It invites one to see things from a woman’s point of view,” he says.

Ratheesh is confident about the film because he feels they have been able to get the right actors. “I think this is the first Shane Nigam film where he is present throughout. It wouldn’t exist without him. It begins and ends with Shane’s character. He represents a typical Malayali lover; in fact, he represents a lot of youngsters. I hope this film will make them question themselves. And Shane has done a wonderful job with the character. He has captured all the necessary nuances.”

To lend authenticity to the scenes, the team have used a unique approach. “The actors were given an idea of what happens in a scene along with the basic reference dialogues. We then left it to the actors to come up with their own enactment of the scenes. The best lines are then noted down,” says Ratheesh. “In a film like this, the writer is required to constantly communicate with the actors on set. Sometimes you may need a couple more takes to attain perfection.”

Though Ishq is the first script he had written, Ratheesh made his debut with the Mammootty-starrer Pullikaaran Stara. On the differences between writing a superstar film and a relatively smaller one, he says, “Though both were enjoyable experiences, the filmmaking methods were different. A Mammootty set is much more disciplined. On a set like Ishq’s, however, there is more room for improvisation and experimentation. As most of the crew in Ishq are newcomers, things needed to be handled differently.”

Ishq is expected to come out in the first week of May. E4 Entertainment, which has backed films like Sudani from Nigeria and Guppy, is bringing the film to theatres.

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