Muddy takes on 4x4 off-road racing
Debutant filmmaker Pragabhal Das talks about cinematically exploring an area of sports known only to a few
In a time when newbie filmmakers are experimenting with unique, never-before-seen ideas in Malayalam cinema, it's not surprising when one hears about a filmmaker taking on 4x4 off-road racing through his debut film, Muddy. It's a first not only for Malayalam, but also Indian cinema.
The film's teaser promises a raw, hyperkinetic adrenaline-pumping ride. Dr Pragabhal Das, the director, tells us Muddy was born out of his love for adventure and off-road racing. Although he hasn't participated in the latter, he has maintained a close association with the sport for a long time. The film is a result of his five-year research.
"It's mainly about the rivalry between different teams. There's a blend of revenge, family drama, humour, adventure... everything," says Pragabhal, who picked newcomers for the main roles, with real racers filling up as background players. "I trained the main actors in off-road racing. We didn't use any dupes. I wanted guys who were adventurous and willing to invest the necessary time and energy for the film."
In addition to newcomers Ridhaan Krishna and Yuvan, Muddy also features veterans Renji Panicker, Hareesh Peradi, and IM Vijayan. The team completed the shoot in 60 days, in previously unused locations such as the Kaithapara forest.
Cinematographer KG Ratheesh worked with a total of 13 cameras, out of which four were Red Helium, eight Go-Pro, and a helicam. Some of the vehicles were acquired through their friends' circle while the rest were bought separately and retro-fitted for the shoot.
The main challenge, Pragabhal says, was translating the races cinematically. “These competitions usually take up an entire day and, naturally, it’s impossible to use that much time in a film because people would get bored. (laughs) We had to shrink everything to fit inside a feature-length film,” he says.
KGF: Chapter 1 music director Ravi Basur composed the film's music, and Raatsasan-fame San Lokesh has edited the footage. Pragabhal choreographed the races himself and stunt master Run Ravi handled the fights. The film is bankrolled by Prema Krishnadas under the banner of PK7 Creations.