Director Vinod AK's debut film Moonwalk is ode to Michael Jackson
Filmmaker Vinod AK talks about making Moonwalk, a film about a group of Michael Jackson-obsessed youngsters from Kerala
We have seen films about football fans and cinema fans, but what about an iconic international musician — like Michael Jackson? Debutant Vinod AK is coming out with Moonwalk, a dance-centric film about Michael Jackson fans living in a vibrant hamlet in Thiruvananthapuram.
Through the story of a bunch of youngsters entranced by Michael Jackson and his music, which was all the rage in the late 80s to early 90s, Vinod hopes to convey the vibes of a bygone era. “During our pre-degree days, dance was a big thing for us. So this film is, in a way, a trip down memory lane,” he says, adding that Moonwalk is not a glitzy, glossy piece.
“It’s a very raw film. It’s about persistently holding on to your passion amidst all odds,” he continues. “We tried to give a sense of the atmosphere and the economic situation at that time. You see, back then, this sort of music and video cassettes were accessible to only a few affluent/middle-class folks.”
The film’s characters hail from the backyard of Thiruvananthapuram, in and around regions like Puthenthope and Kazhakoottam. The script was constructed from the experiences and memories of the aforementioned areas he visited long ago. The cast is mostly made up of newcomers selected through auditions. “Some of them have considerable dance experience, while others were trained. Most of them are passionate about dance,” he shares.
To achieve the overall soundscape of the film, Vinod sought the help of music composer Prashanth Pillai (Amen, Jallikattu). “Prasanth studied the sound of that time and created a soundscape that evokes the mood of those days. The film is such a trip that, we couldn’t do it with Malayalam songs. It was a combination of bits and pieces taken from the cassettes in addition to a touch of electronic music. It’s an interesting combination,” says Vinod, who started off as an ad filmmaker.
For the film’s visual style, Vinod called Ishq-cinematographer Ansarsha. “I felt Ansar would be the right guy for this project after seeing his work in Ishq. He designed the look of the film in a way that doesn’t alienate the audience. He used some elements from that time and managed to come up with a distinct look.”