Vinu Kolichal’s Bilathikuzhal earns acclaim at IFFI
The film revolves around a man’s lifelong obsession with a gun which holds a special significance for him
After receiving positive feedback from the recently concluded Mumbai International Film Festival (MAMI), debutant Vinu Kolichal’s Bilathikuzhal is being talked about after its screening at Film Bazaar Recommends, which is associated with IFFI (International Film Festival of India), held at Goa. The avant-garde film, is set to be screened in the 'Malayalam Cinema today' section at IFFK (International Film Festival of Kerala) next month.
Talking about the film’s subject, Vinu says, “Bilathikuzhal chronicles two stages of an enigmatic man’s life - childhood and old age - and reveals his lifelong attachment to a gun, an English Barrel, which holds a special significance to him. It’s a meditation on the mundane existence of this man as well as the beauty, vastness, and meaning of the life around him. The emotion of Bilathikuzhal is not dramatic but rather the emotion of the land the story is set in. The premise, characters, and narrative carry the soul of this place.”
A self-taught filmmaker, Vinu was born in Kasaragod and was involved with children’s theatre in his hometown. His passion for cinema was born out of his frequent visits to the various film festivals in Kerala. “Though I watch all kinds of films, I chose an unconventional subject for my first feature. I wanted to present a picture of a way of life we are not familiar with.”
Asked whether he hopes for a theatrical release for the film, Vinu says, “That would depend on the support of the viewers. I’m not sure this is the sort of film that would gel with a wide audience. It relies mostly on its visuals and has a certain rhythm to it. But the feedback from serious film lovers so far has been very positive.”
The filmmaker feels the line between arthouse and commercial cinema is slowly blurring. “It’s no more about whether a film is ‘arthouse’ or ‘commercial’; it’s about what is good and what is not. If the content captures their attention, people will watch it regardless of these categorisations. We have already seen the warm reception to films like Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum which combined two different sensibilities beautifully,” he observes.