There is a scene in Shane Nigam's recent release Valiyaperunnal where a character is looking out for a person named Sidhique. There are numerous Sidhiques in Mattancherry town and they are more or less identified with their local name. Valiyaperunnal which shows the suburban life of Kochi revolves around such real people.
There are more than 100 artistes who made their acting debut with the movie and a few of them played major roles along with the lead star Shane. All of them credit director Dimal Dennis and writer Thasreeq Abdul Salam for bringing the best out of them.
“There were a lot of auditions but the makers couldn't find an apt person for the character Sanno. That's when a friend of mine asked to go to attend the audition. Though I used to watch movies, I had never dreamt of acting in a movie. Much later only I was ready to act,” recalls Thahir Hussain.
Thahir, a plumber by profession, admits that he had a passion to act in plays unlike in movies and probably that led him to the movie. Ask him if he got any feedbacks from celebs and he is quick to reply, “I just recently met actor Manikandan and he applauded the movie. I was part of the play Thuramukham based on a Malayalam novel and when Rajeev sir (Rajeev Ravi) decided to make it a movie, Dimal sir (Dimal Dennis) recommended my name for a role in the film. I did the audition and got selected with the same character I performed in the play. I play the role of a friend of Nivin Pauly's character in the movie,” he said.
Similar is the case of social worker Shalin Sukumaran who played the role of Chekku in Valiyaperunnal. Asked about his character, he says, “I must admit that I am as irritating as the character in the movie. But contrary to what you see on screen, I haven't watched a single Sanjay Dutt movie. In fact, I haven't watched movies seriously. It's been a while since going to a theatre for a movie and now after Valiyaperunnal things have changed.”
“Just like you see in the movie people of Kochi are the same. They may not have a single penny in their pocket but they would dress up stylishly without letting others know what they are going through. In fact, Dimal's casting was like that. Valiyaperunnal is Dimal's vision and his signature. There were times when we, the new artistes, needed many takes repeatedly but Dimal with his patience and coolness took the best from us.”
Not just these two, but almost all were facing the camera for the very first time. Take a look at the few others:
Abdul Kalam - Pacha
Najeeb Khader - Undampori
Afsal - Iyayi
Sameer & Shafeek - Ikkilli & Halwa Saleem
Baby Augustine & Benny Augustine - Ummachan & Pappachan
Dony Johnson - Dhammavu