'Mohabbathin Kunjabdullah is a social satire'
...says director Shanu Samad, whose film has Indrans playing the central character alongside actors like Ambika, Balu Varghese, Lal Jose, Renji Panicker, and Rachana Narayanankutty
Actor Indrans will once again be seen as a central character in the upcoming film, Mohabbathin Kunjabdullah, directed by Shanu Samad. Balu Varghese is playing the second lead in the film, which the director calls a “social satire told in a fun mood”. The filming was wrapped up recently.
Indrans plays a 65-year-old man named Kunjabdullah who sets out on a long trip to find his childhood love. “He left his hometown Chala, Thiruvananthapuram, at the age of 15 to work in a hotel in Bhiwandi, Mumbai. There is a reason why he left Thiruvananthapuram, but that’s a suspense element,” says Shanu. “It’s when he arrives at Thrissur that he meets Balu Varghese’s character, who later joins him in his journey.”
Shanu initially had planned to cast the late KTC Abdullah as Kunjabdullah but due to the actor’s prolonged illness and untimely demise, it never happened. Shanu then cast Indrans because the actor showed an interest in playing the part.
Director Lal Jose and actor-writer Renji Panicker are also part of the film. The former plays a Kasargod native while Renji Panicker will be appearing in dual roles (as a father and son). Yesteryear actor Ambika is headlining the female cast that also includes Rachana Narayanankutty, Anjali Nair, and Mala Parvathy.
In addition to Mumbai, the film was shot at various locations in Kerala, including Kasargod and Ernakulam.
“Given the subject’s nature, we have gone to all districts and featured every means of transportation,” adds Shanu. “As Kunjabdullah comes across different people, we are ivntroduced to their stories too. These stories are either about love or connected to it in some way. Kunjabdullah is seen as a ‘sultan’ of romance, and that’s how we came up with the title. We also incorporated the news we found in the newspapers while shooting the film.”
Abdul Nasar of Akbar Travels is the producer. “He provided us with everything we needed to do the film the way we saw it, and he helped us secure permissions to film in some Mumbai locations where shooting is normally prohibited,” says Shanu.