Malayalam survival thriller 18 Hours set for digital release
Co-writer Vinod Jayakumar talks to us about the film which has Indu Thampy and Shyamaprasad playing the main characters
After Thrissur Pooram, director Rajesh Nair is back with a small-scale thriller titled 18 Hours, set to premiere in August on Manorama Max. The film sees Rajesh reteaming with screenwriting duo Vinod & Vinod (a.k.a Vinod Jayakumar and Vinod Vijayakumar), who had scripted his 2015 film, Salt Mango Tree.
The Thiruvananthapuram-based writers, who are also IT professionals on the side, had earlier planned a relatively big-scale film with Rajesh Nair, but after the pandemic played spoilsport, they dusted up an unrealised story of theirs last year, aiming to release it directly on an OTT platform. Filming took place in the interval between the first and second waves of the pandemic.
“It’s a survival thriller that takes place in, as the title suggests, 18 hours,” says Vinod Jayakumar, speaking for both of them. “It revolves around an abduction incident with female characters in the thick of the action. They got to do some intense fights. We had to shoot it mostly in the night, which was challenging for everyone.”
Former Miss Kerala Indu Thampy essays the main female lead. Shyamaprasad plays an investigator while Vijay Babu and Sudheer Karamanama appear in supporting roles alongside a host of newcomers. 18 Hours also sees Rajesh reuniting with music composer Ratheesh Vega, who also has a starring role.
The duo also found much fun in their collaboration with Shyamaprasad. “We share a great rapport,” says Vinod. “When we pitched this role to him, he was excited as he had never done an action thriller. It’s not necessarily a part that requires him to do fights; it’s more about being a field officer. As he plays the main guy in charge of the investigation, Shyam sir appears throughout the film. It’s his angle through which the audiences will see the film. He is an exuberant presence on the screen and has helped us with useful tips when it comes to dialogues and whatnot.”
Rajesh Nair and Salil Sankaran produced the film shot by PM Rajkumar and edited by Deepu George. R Mukesh worked on the stunts.