Nivin Pauly's Kayamkulam Kochunni postponed due to Kerala floods; all film shoots stalled indefinitely

Sreedhar Pillai

August 20, 2018 16:03:45 IST

The rains and floods in Kerala have crippled the state. This is the worst natural calamity hitting the state in the last 100 years. Chief Minister Pinnarayi Vijayan also recently tweeted: “Kerala is facing its worst flood in 100 years. 80 dams opened, 324 lives lost and 223139 people are in about 1500+ relief camps. This flood is also one of the worst floods in our country's history. More than half a million people are displaced.”

The Kerala government has also decided to cancel the traditional state sponsored Onam festival, which heralds the tourist season in “God’s own country”.  Pinnarayi Vijayan said, “It would be grossly inappropriate on our part to indulge in celebrations when thousands of our fellow beings are suffering and we are seeking support from everyone to provide succour to those have sustained heavy losses.”

Priya Anand and Nivin Pauly in Kayamkulam Kochunni. Image via Twitter

Priya Anand and Nivin Pauly in Kayamkulam Kochunni. Image via Twitter

Under these terrible conditions, when nature’s fury has ravaged the state, the people of Kerala are in no mood to celebrate or take part in any form of entertainment. Most of the theatres in the state, especially in the affected areas of Ernakulam, Thrissur, Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts, have been shut due to the floods. Some theatres like actor Dileep’s D-Cinemas in Chalakudy were partially flooded.

Suresh Shenoy, Managing Director of Shenoy group of theatres in Kochi, said: “It has been the worst natural calamity in the state’s history but now Kerala is slowly limping back to normalcy. Films scheduled as Onam releases have been postponed as of now. Two of them, Kayamkulam Kochunni and Varathan, have officially confirmed the postponement. It looks like there will not be any Onam releases, we will play other language films.”

Theatres operating fully are in areas like Trivandrum and Kollam, two districts which have not been much affected by the rains and floods. But many shows were cancelled due to lack of audiences. A prominent theatre owner in Thrissur said: “Who will come to movies at this time when the state is going through such a terrible times?”

A spokesperson of a multiplex in Trivandrum said, “ I know it is bad days but we are keeping theatres open by playing other language films and it looks like new Malayalam films will release only by first week of September when we are expecting normalcy to return”.  Many theatres in small towns which are releasing centres for Malayalam films in flood affected areas will take weeks before they reopen. This is one of the major reasons why there will not be any Onam releases as box-office collections will suffer.

All the new films scheduled for Onam – Kayamkulam Kochunni, Padayottam, Varathan and Kuttanadan Blog has been postponed indefinitely. There has not been any official announcement from the production houses of the Onam films about the release date. The social media handles of these films, and their stars are playing it down, as one of the films that announced a song release during this phase got badly trolled by fans.

Actors like Nivin Pauly and Tovino Thomas, from Aluva and Chalakudy — two towns that are badly affected by the floods, are working at the ground level to aid with rescue and rehabilitation. Nivin Pauly had made a heartfelt appeal on social media to generously help the state by donating to the chief minister’s relief fund.

Meanwhile, shooting of all Malayalam films in Kerala have come to a standstill. The sets designed by director Sathyan Anthikad for his new film with Fahadh Faasil washed away in the floods. The latest is that shoot of films will start only by September first week, when things return to normal.

Updated Date: Aug 20, 2018 16:03 PM