From Kerala with reel love - Malayalam film Orissa to be screened in state in July

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By PRATYUSH PATRA
  • Published 3.05.13
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A still from the film Orissa. Telegraph picture

Bhubaneswar, May 2: Odisha has a special reason to rejoice as the nation celebrates 100 years of Indian cinema on May 3.

An upcoming film in Malayalam not only tells the story of a girl from Odisha but is also called Orissa.

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.

Sanika, 19, who was last seen as a child artiste in Mohanlal-starrer Olympian Anthony Adam (1999), said she had little knowledge of Odisha before starting work on the film and so, had to work hard to get into the skin of the character. “Except for its geographical location, I had no knowledge about the state. Since my dialogues were in Odia, an interpreter had to keep explaining things to me,” she said.

The film will release on May 17 in Kerala and is likely to be screened in Odisha in July.