Mollywood's very own chocolate hero Kunchacko Boban has been twenty two years into the cinema now. An undisputed talent who handles all types of characters, Boban is up with his latest, Kuttanadan Marpappa, a movie directed by a debutant director Sreejith Vijayan. Kunjacko Boban is also showcasing his famous dance number in the movie, after almost a decade-long break. Keralites' beloved Chackochan shares with Onmanorama, his experiences with the movie as well as his vision for life.
About Kuttanadan Marpappa and your character in it...
Kuttanadan Marpappa is an out and out entertainer. About ninety per cent of the movie is shot in Kuttanad. My character is named John Paul, who is a local photographer fondly called Marpappa by his dear ones. The role of his mother, a retired teacher named Marykkutty is played by Shanti Krishna. She is also seen calling him Marpappa in some scenes. The beautiful relationship between the mother and her son is the pivotal point in the movie.
There is a line of comedy actors from Dharmajan, Raemsh Pisharody, Soubin Sahir, Aju Varghese, Hareesh Kanaran and Salim Kumar. Sreejith Vijayan was behind the script for the past four years. He had donned the camera for Salim Kumar's directorial, award winning movie Karutha Joothan.
About other major characters in the movie
The movie has two heroines, among whom the main lead is Aditi Ravi. Though a newcomer, Aditi has proven her talent through two, much noticed movies Alamara, and Aadhi. But the chatacter called Jessy which she plays in Kuttanadan Marpappa is truly exceptional. Jessy is a very peculiar girl which would stand apart from the typical heroines of Malayalam cinema. She has done a wonderful performance in the movie.
My character called John Paul is a small-timer in event photography. Due to some circumstances, he gets compelled to switch to digital means. John Paul is seen as a conventional analog photographer as well as a well equipped modern digital photographer in this movie.
About your much awaited dance performance in the movie
After a very long time, I am able to display some fast steps in this movie. Aditi Ravi also performs alongside me. Though the song sequence was entirely shot in Kuttanad, you cannot see such a picturesque view of the village in any other movie. We also arranged a huge dummy aircraft in the background of the visuals. It is after a very long break that I shake a leg for a real fast number.
An interesting experience you cherish from the location
Though John Paul hails from Kuttanad, the land of lakes and lagoons, he doesn't know how to swim. There is a sequence when John, Dharmajan's character and another companion of them, a foreigner who is called Sayipp in the movie, falls into a river one by one. The character of Sayipp is actually played by a Malayali called Sarath. Director Sreejith had asked him not to utter a single word in Malayalam on the location to assure perfection to Sayipp's character. After the sequence was successfully shot, I and Dharmajan stopped screaming and got out of the river. Sayipp continued to scream. Director repeated 'cut' several times and Sayipp hesitated to stop 'acting.' I and Dharmajan even said him 'Sayippe, enough with your overacting. Now get out of the water and dry yourself,'. Before long we realized that he was really drowning. When someone spotted something wrong with Sayipp's screaming, location boys jumped into the river and rescued him. When asked why he didn't call out for help, Sarath said that he was keeping his word to the director that he wouldn't speak in Malayalam on the sets!
A major change that happened in Malayalam film industry over twenty-one years of your acting career...
Twenty-one years of acting is a big thing that happened to me. I have been fortunate to be a part of all the changes that happened in Malayalam cinema over all these years. I began my career with Aniyathipravu which was an industrial hit for the exquisite love story it told. Niram, the campus love story also came by. When I took a break and rejoined years later, I could be the part of a path-breaking project in Malayalam cinema, which was Traffic. Later, I acted in one of the Malayalam movies which delivered most powerful message on woman empowerment, the come-back movie of Manju Warrier, How Old Are You. No later came the movie which took Malayalam cinema to new heights and made it stand at par with the international standards – Take off. So I think I have been a part and parcel of all the good changes that happen to Malayalam cinema over ages. I consider myself lucky and blessed for that.
Your upcoming projects...
Panchavarnathatha, directed Ramesh Pisharody, is my next film. Though he is a newcomer as a director, Pisharody is a very well-known figure to the Malayali audience. I have also signed a project with another new director named Sowmya Sadanandan, who is a national award winner for her documentary on Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer. I share the screen with Nimisha Sajayan in that movie. Again, Shanti Krishna is playing the character of my mother in that movie too.