Harisree Asokan's ‘An International Local Story’ set to go on floor

It was 20 years ago that the deaf-mute Unni, fishing boat owner Gangadharan and his assistant Ramanan from the blockbuster movie ‘Punjabi House’ made their way into the Malayali hearts with comedy that made many roll on the floor laughing. The audience roared whenever the trio appeared on screen. The character Ramanan played by Harisree Ashokan has become an icon since then and the actor is still appreciated for his brilliant portrayal of Ramanan.

Ashokan, who is all set to make his debut as a director through ‘An International Local Story’, speaks about his new venture and also about Ramanan and 'Punjabi House'.

An extraordinary House

'Punjabi House' was released on 4 September 1998, and 20 years later the movie is still fresh in the hearts of the audience. Ashokan hoped that the movie will be remembered even 200 years later because of its amazing script. He admitted that the movie and his character in it have been the best in his career so far. “I am really grateful to the Malayali audience for making this movie and the character Ramanan such a huge hit. Keralites deserve more movies like 'Punjabi House' or even better. I pray that all of us has the strength to make such amazing movies, and I thank the audience who still appreciate Ramanan, with all my heart,” the actor said.

Ramanan the hero

“The character Ramanan was in fact a hero among the several roles that I did. It is indeed a great thing that the character is still in the minds of the people. I consider it an honour when people ask me why I don’t do such roles anymore. I felt extremely happy when I essayed that character. When people talk about 'Punjabi House' and the characters in it, even 20 years after its release, it is a special feeling because people do not speak with such admiration about other movies,” Ashokan noted.

Latest role

Ashokan revealed that he decided to become a director when he chanced upon a script which suited him. The filming of his debut directorial venture, "An International Local Story", begins on September 10. “There will be a trace of grief even in the most comical movies. Unless the movie has such a strong plot, it won't be appreciated by the audience. That is exactly the reason why 'Punjabi House', which narrated an intense story with lots of humour, became a huge hit. If there is grief or intensity in the background of humour, it will stay in the audience’s hearts forever. That is why Charlie Chaplin’s films are still appreciated all over the world.

Movies should portray the emotional intensity of real life. I will bear this mind when I direct a movie,” the popular actor said.

‘An International Local Story’ is about five youngsters and their special friendship. Ashokan assures that there will be enough twists in the plot and an amazing climax to thrill the audience. “I have been searching for a good story for quite some time. I am happy that I have finally found it,” he remarked. 

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