Director Aju Kizhumala: Drama is the longest one-shot film in India
Drama stars Kishore and Charlie in a lead roles, which is a chamber drama set in a police station
A feature film titled Drama is all set to become the longest Indian film to be shot in a single take. Director Aju Kizhumala, who made his debut with the Malayalam anthology Ente Cinema, says he wants to keep the runtime a surprise till its release. In a chat with Cinema Express, the director opens up about Drama, which stars Kishore and Charlie in the lead roles.
“Drama is a suspense thriller set in a police station. A senior officer is murdered inside the station during a power cut, and an investigation ensues to find the killer. The interrogation of all the people in the building is what Drama is all about,” says Aju.
Though the film is predominantly shot inside the police station, the story and the camera do travel outside the building. “There are extended car and bike journeys in the film, which are also part of this one-shot,” he reveals.
When asked how he pulled off such a tricky shot, Aju says it's all because of six months of post-production which involved numerous rehearsals and training with the entire crew. “It is teamwork and not a one-man show. About 80 people kept practicing the whole sequence again and again. We trained with cameras to get familiar with the frames and avoid shadows during filming.”
The entire film was shot in about 8 hours according to the director, who heaps praise on his lead actor Kishore. “I am at a loss for words to talk about his dedication to the film. He would come to the sets on his own to rehearse… even at midnight. Such a seasoned actor taking so much effort for an experimental film was encouraging. Charlie sir also gave his unflinching support to the film.”
Aju has already been approached by OTT platforms, but the director is aiming for a theatrical release. “I think all the efforts of my cast and crew would be justified only if the film plays on the silver screen. With the pandemic, we don’t know when we can release the film. We are hoping for the best.”
Drama also stars Jai Bala (Varma) and Nakulan Vincent (Kayal), and has music by Bijibal, Jaya K Dose, and Jecin George. Shinos Shamsudheen has handled the cinematography for the film, while Akhil Alias has taken care of the cuts.