Kayamkulam Kochunni: Mohanlal to play infamous robber Ithikka Pakki in Roshan Andrrews' film
Roshan Andrrews clarified exclusively to Firstpost that Mohanlal's role in Kayamkulam Kochunni is not a cameo but an extended guest appearance of 40 minutes
Superstar Mohanlal has joined the sets of upcoming Malayalam period drama Kayamkulam Kochunni, based on the story of famed highwayman Kochunni, which will bring on screen the life of Kerala’s most wanted thief who was active in central Travancore during 19th century.
He robbed from the rich and gave it to the poor. The film, which features Nivin Pauly in the titular role of Kochunni, is being directed by Roshan Andrrews, best known for helming Mumbai Police and 36 Vayadhinile. Speaking to Firstpost, Andrrews opened up about Mohanlal’s character — that of legendary robber Ithikkara Pakki — while clarifying that he does not play a cameo. The project marks the first time collaboration of Pauly and Mohanlal.
“He’s playing a character called Ithikkara Pakki who was considered the first Robin Hood of Kerala. Lalettan’s role is very important from the story’s perspective and he’d been seen for about 40 minutes in the film. His role has scope for lot of action, thanks to how Pakki operated. Even look-wise, his character will be a revelation for the audiences,” Roshan said, adding that Mohanlal will shoot for the film in Mangalore, Goa and Sri Lanka. The team has already shot for about 60 days and another three months of shoot is pending.
Talking more about Lal’s character, Roshan said not much information was available to develop it. “In our research, we found lot of information about Kochunni but very little material was available on Pakki. Therefore, we had to rely a lot on fantasy. It wasn’t easy to write the character of Pakki, who was Kochunni’s predecessor and paved the way for him to follow in his footsteps.”
To play his part, Nivin Pauly got trained in Kalaripayattu, the ancient martial arts form of Kerala. Nivin would take classes every morning for few hours before joining the team for shoot. He was trained by a team of martial arts experts who were flown in from Kerala. For his role, Nivin will be seen sporting a shot crop and a handlebar mustache. The team has so far predominantly shot in Mysore, particularly in places such as Manjeshwar and Udupi.
The film also stars Priya Anand and she will be seen paired opposite Nivin. On signing the project, she told this writer, “It’s been extremely exciting for me. I had met Roshan a long time ago and we were supposed to work together but things somehow didn’t materialise. He went ahead and started working on this film. He called me again and asked if I’d be interested to be part of this project. I had actually signed a few projects in Kannada but I had to back out to accept Kochunni. It’s such an amazing project and it’s been my dream to work on a period film because everything is so different about it.” Priya’s role was originally bagged by Amala Paul who opted out as her dates for this project were clashing with her other commitments.
Being produced by Gokulam Gopalan, the film has cinematography by Binod Pradhan of Rang De Basanti-fame and music by Gopi Sunder.
Noted voiceover artiste Harish Bhimani also contributed Rs 5 lakh to help the artistes in need, Sanskar Bharati said.
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