Priyanandan talks about his upcoming film Pathirakalam
Darkness can be a phase or fate depending on what defines it. Priyanandan says it can be a state when all voices of dissent are silenced, a life caught in an inescapable sense of doom. Pathirakalam, his latest film, is built on this disturbing premise as it explores some chilling realities of contemporary India. “Pathirakalam means a life devoid of light, minds shivering with fear and uncertainty. It shows how we are robbed of freedom or even water and earth with each passing day,” says the award-winning filmmaker. Pathirakalam is also a female-oriented narrative as it maps the journey of Jahnara, the lead lady played by Mythili. “She is a foreign-educated girl who returns to her country when her father goes missing. She comes from Berlin to Kerala and the film is all about what awaits her,” he says. When her father Hussain vanishes leaving no trace behind, Jahnara goes looking for him, a quest that turns out to be much more than what she expectes it to be. “While searching for him she comes to know more and more about the man who was her father. Hussain is a solitary fighter and when you don’t have the backup of an organization humanity and benevolence can be dangerous. You may end up behind the bars or dead.” Priyanandan says Hussain, perhaps the most important character in the film, has no reel space. “His presence is felt throughout the film, but he never appears in flesh and blood. He is a symbol of resistance, people who suddenly disappear or are arrested or slayed by the system.” The first look poster of the film shows a crouching man surrounded by threatening fish hooks. “Today we are plagued by some unconscious anxiety that stems from lack of freedom. Those who dare to question it go missing or are detained by the system. The poster represents the terror involved in the situation,” he adds. Scripted by P N Gopikrishnan, the film also stars Manju Pathroes, Indrans, Irshad, Kalesh Kannata and Shylaja in key roles. Wayanad, Thrissur and Ponnai will be the main locations of Pathirakalam.