Ilayaraja has an uplifting storyline: Guinness Pakru
The actor, who is essaying a strong character in Madhav Ramdasan’s latest, tells us why it’s a must-see film
Guinness Pakru has high expectations from his latest, Ilayaraja, in which he plays a peanut seller named Vanajan, who also happens to be the father of two schoolgoing children. Directed by critically-acclaimed filmmaker Madhav Ramdasan, the film also stars Harisree Asokan, Deepak Parambol, and Gokul Suresh.
“I was incredibly lucky to get a good character in a film directed by someone like Madhav,” says Pakru, who calls the experience a “wholly satisfying” one. “It presented an opportunity to further explore the actor in me. The film draws a realistic portrait of life and doesn’t resort to any overly cinematic tropes. Working in this film was an enlightening experience, and gave me a much-needed push in my journey as an actor.”
Pakru adds that the situations depicted in the film are seen in many households and that most families will find them relatable. “The film has an uplifting story filled with genuine characters and genuine moments. As a viewer, it reminded me of my own past experiences which had motivated me to forge ahead in life. The only difference is that Vanajan is a peanut seller and I became an actor. It’s intended especially for those who are feeling down and disillusioned.”
In an earlier chat with Cinema Express, Madhav had told us that chess will play a big part in the film. Elaborating on this, Pakru says, “Vanajan teaches both his kids how to play chess, and during a crucial moment in the film, the game creates a major impact in the characters’ lives. It has a constant presence throughout. I think this is the first Malayalam film that shows ordinary people playing it. We shot the film in Thrissur Round and there we can see people playing it in groups. That became the jumping off point for us. We didn’t incorporate chess into the script just for the sake of it. It’s a story that takes place in the Round.”
Ilayaraja has been shot by cinematographer Pappinu and edited by Sreenivas Krishna. With music by Ratheesh Vega, actor Jayasurya has recorded a track called Kappalandi.
Pakru will be seen next in his maiden production venture, Fancy Dress, directed by Ranjith Skaria.