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The only Indian film at Shanghai film festival

Last updated on: July 20, 2012 10:36 IST

The only Indian film at Shanghai film festival


Vijay G in Kochi

Writer-director Dr Biju has presented some hard-hitting themes through movies such as Saira, Raman and Veettilekkulla Vazhi. His films have won awards and appreciation and have been selected for prestigious film festivals across the world.

His latest film, Aakashathinte Niram, was recently shown in the competition section of the Shanghai International Film Festival.

The film, starring Indrajith, Nedumudi Venu, Amala Paul, Prithviraj and Master Govardhan, reaches the theatres tomorrow.

In this exclusive interview with Dr Biju he talks about the films and the new trends in Malayalam cinema.

What is Aakashathinte Niram about?

What happens when a person who does only wrong things in life finds himself in the midst of a group of highly virtuous people? Naturally, he will be tempted to mend his ways. Aakashathinte Niram talks about such a theme.

Who are the main characters in the film?

An old man who lives on an island (Nedumudi Venu), his man Friday (Anoop Chandran), a young girl (Amala Paul) and a seven-year-old boy (Master Govardhan).

None of the characters has a name. A burglar (Indrajith) comes to this island. He gets trapped there. Prithviraj plays a character that makes his appearance in between.

Image: A scene from Aakashathinte Niram


'Aakashathinte Niram is not a dialogue-oriented film'

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The film was premiered at the Shanghai Festival. What sort of response did it get?

The film was initially selected for the Iranian festival. But since it was being considered at Cannes, we decided not to send the film there.

Later, it was selected for Shanghai. Aakashathinte Niram got into the final 17 from the 1,860 films that came from 106 countries. This was the only entry from India this year.

What should the viewer expect when they go to watch Aakashathinte Niram?

Aakashathinte Niram is not a dialogue-oriented film; it talks mainly through the visuals. It has been made on the pattern of Iranian movies or Kim Ki Duk's films.

Do you think there has been a change in the perspective of Malayali viewers in recent times?

Of course, more viewers are coming to the theatres now, but I am not sure if the increasing numbers could be a pointer towards acceptance of new trends.

For instance, there are quite a strong number of viewers for soft porn, which is an essential ingredient appearing in various forms in most recent films.

So, it's pretty early to describe this as a new trend.

Image: A scene from Aakashathinte Niram

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'I have been really comfortable working with Prithviraj and Indrajith'

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What is your take on the so-called 'new generation' films?

The one good thing about this trend is that new actors and new technicians are emerging. That obviously is a positive development.

But the issue here is whether these films have original storylines. It should not happen that when these films are shown elsewhere, it is soon revealed that it is not an original idea and is a blatant copy of some earlier made films.

If you consider the originality of the themes, the films that made a definite difference in Malayalam are Adaminte Makan Abu, T D Dasan Std VI B and Veettilekkulla Vazhi.

How was it working with Prithviraj in Veettilekkulla Vazhi and Akashathinte Niram?

I have been really comfortable working with both Prithviraj and Indrajith.

They are aware of the new developments in world cinema and are ready to experiment. They are aware about an international audience for films made here.

Image: A scene from Aakashathinte Niram

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