'Vellam will leave you with a smile'
One of the producers of the Jayasurya-Samyuktha Menon-starrer, Ranjith Manambarakkatt, tells us why the film is special for them
A new Malayalam production house is gearing up to release its maiden project. Friendly Productions, the banner backing Captain-fame director Prajesh Sen’s new film, is hoping to make a mark in the industry with some socially relevant films. Ranjith Manambarakkatt, Josekutty Madathil, and Yadhu Krishna are the key names of the company with Biju Thoranathel involved as co-producer.
Starring Jayasurya and Samyuktha Menon in lead roles, Vellam is based on a true story. The film’s newly released poster shows a serious-looking Jayasurya against the backdrop of a bar clutching a liquor bottle. But Ranjith says it’s not a dark film.
Representing his company, he tells Cinema Express why the film is dear to them. He describes it as a heartwarming story. “It’s a very poignant, family-oriented film about a man from Thaliparamba, Kannur who is still alive. His journey is incredible. It is unlike Prajesh’s previous film.”
The makers believe it’s the sort of film that can create a positive impact and bring about a change in a lot of people. “There is someone like Jayasurya’s character in every home. In this film, we strove to be as faithful to the real person’s life as possible — how he goes from failure to success on account of a stunning miracle. That miracle part is the twist of the story. It will leave a smile on your face by the time to leave the theatre,” says Ranjith.
Speaking about theatres, Ranjith and his partners are optimistic as well as adamant about releasing the film on the big screen itself. They feel that Vellam is a film that, given the message it propagates, deserves the community experience that a theatrical release engenders. “We are firm believers in the theatrical experience and, so, we hope to release it whenever the screens reopen,” he says. “There is no point in giving a film like this for an OTT release. We believe theatres are not going anywhere. There is definitely going to be a crowd once everything returns to normal. We are willing to wait until then, no matter how long it takes. Hopefully, things will work out by the year-end.”
The team is currently engaged in the post-production work. Ranjith adds that the performances of Jayasurya and Samyuktha are the film’s main highlights. “Everything is coming out well. Jayasurya recently got a look at his performance while doing the patch dubbing and it was a surreal experience for him. He has put in a lot of effort to play his character, which is unlike anything he has done before. He was so dedicated. He sometimes used to go over the script multiple times with Prajesh through the night until the next morning, for around four months. As for Samyuktha, she has aced the homemaker’s role. It will probably be a turning point in her career. It’s a performance that is likely to get her more noticed.”
The film, which was shot in Kannur, has several crew members hailing from the region. Another highlight of Vellam is that a visually challenged girl has sung a song, for which Prajesh created a special sequence that was earlier not in the script. The music has been composed by Bijibal.
Roby Varghese Raj shot the film while Bijith Bala edited it.