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Rediff.com  » Movies » Santosh Sivan makes Malayalam cinema global

Santosh Sivan makes Malayalam cinema global

Last updated on: March 28, 2011 10:13 IST
Image: Movie trailer of Urumi
Meghna George in Kochi

Ace cinematographer and director Santosh Sivan will take Malayalam cinema to the international audience with the magnum opus, Urumi. The title of the film comes with the tagline, The boy who wanted to kill Vasco Da Gama.

Prithviraj, Genelia D'Souza, Vidya Balan, Arya, Prabhu Deva, Tabu (in a guest appearance) and Nithya Menon form the film's main cast.

Santosh Sivan makes Malayalam cinema global

Image: A scene from Urumi

"When you see the film, you'll see that we have deliberately stayed away from putting in nativity, especially with architecture and costumes, as we wanted to give it the feel of a pan-India film. We wanted the film to be related by audience who are not familiar with the peculiar Kerala symbols like 'nalukettu' or 'kasavu mundu' and so on," Prithviraj says.

"With the kind of budget with which the film has been made, it can be worked around is by making it appealing to people outside Kerala as well," he added. "We plan to take the film across the country and across the globe. It is a huge film and a visual extravaganza."

Santosh Sivan makes Malayalam cinema global

Image: A scene from Urumi

Urumi's story is set in the 16th century and revolves around a hero named Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar (Prithviraj).

A brave warrior, his target is to kill Vasco da Gama, the Viceroy of Portuguese Empire in India. The film is spread between the second and third visit of Gama to India and chronicles a varied version of how Gama could have met a bloody death in 1524 AD.

The golden Urumi with Kelu Nayanar has been made from the ornaments of the dead women and children who were burnt alive in the massacre of a Mecca Ship 'Miri', commanded to be set on fire and drowned by Vasco da Gama during his second visit to Kerala in 1502 AD. Kelu plots against the mighty empire and his efforts to organise a revolt become the first of its kind movement against the first Colonial advance in India.

Santosh Sivan makes Malayalam cinema global

Image: A scene from Urumi

Genelia D'souza plays Ayesha, a Muslim warrior princess from the well-known Arackal Sultanat.

Prabhu Deva does the role of Vavvali, who supports Kelu Nayanar.

Vidya Balan comes in as Neeli while Arya is playing Chirakkal Kothuwal.

Santosh Sivan has earlier directed a Malayalam film Ananthabhadram. He has also directed films like The Terrorist, Asoka, Before the rains and Tahaan among others.

Santosh Sivan makes Malayalam cinema global

Image: A scene from Urumi

Produced under the banner of August Cinemas by Shaji Nadesan, Santosh Sivan and Prithviraj, Urumi will hit the screens on March 31.

Shankar Ramakrishnan, who has written the story, screenplay and dialogues, has a done a lot of research for the movie. Sunil Babu is the production designer, Sreekar Prasad edits the movie and Deepak Dev scores the music. The film has been dubbed in Tamil and English.