For the first time, a Malayalam film is going to be made on an Oriya story. The movie will be a reality tale setup in the backdrop of Orissa. It is a love story between an young Malayalee policeman and Oriya girl. Where Malayalee boy seldom understands Oriya, but Odia girl doesn’t grasp a single word in Malayalam.
The film will have Unni Mukundan playing the role of Christhudas, a Malayalee policeman. Apart from Nedumudi Venu, the movie will also feature Oriya artists and Bollywood stars. It is directed by M Padmakumar, written by famous scriptwriter GS Anil. Ratheesh Vegha is the music director of the movie.
Made under the banner of Heera Films, Orissa is the story of a girl called Suneyi — played by Sanika Nambiar — her trials and tribulations. She falls in love with a Malayali boy (played by Unni Mukundan), born and brought up in Odisha.
The boy lands a job with Odisha police after his father, a police officer, passes away. The film also stars Kaniha, who will play the role of a Devadasi called Chandrabhaga.
Director M. Padmakumar reveals another interesting fact. “The film is based on a true incident that happened in Madhya Pradesh about 25-30 years ago. But since there are lots of Odias in Kerala and vice-versa we decided to change the set-up to Odisha. It is a women-centric film and deals with social issues prevailing at that time,” he said. Though his film revolves around Odisha, the director feels there is a mammoth difference in the sensibilities of the two film industries. “I saw an Odia film and realised that it relies on drama and superficiality but we here in Kerala make realistic cinema,” he said.
The cast and crew shot for 20-odd days in Odisha in February. While many scenes have been shot in Cuttack, a few were shot in Karnataka where the sets were constructed keeping the Odisha landscape in mind. The cast does not have any known faces, although theatre actress Dolly will play a cameo.
The music to the film was launched recently. There are six songs of which a couple have been recorded in Odia — a dance sequence and a devotional song of Jayadev.
The film will release on May 17 in Kerala and is likely to be screened in Odisha in July.