While Kerala is bracing itself for another fiery battle of the ballots, the movie lovers are swarming the theaters to watch One, the much awaited political thriller starring mega star Mammootty. Kadakkal Chandran, essayed by Mammootty, has already taken ‘oath’ as the Chief Minister. Meanwhile, director Santhosh Viswanath is thrilled about the fabulous responses that the movie has been generating.
Does Kadakkal Chandran resemble any previous CM of Kerala?
No, there isn’t any resemblance with a real life political leader. People are saying it only after watching the trailer.
Which politician has been an inspiration for you while creating the character of Kadakkal Chandran?
I haven’t modeled that character on anyone. We had decided that the persons or incidents depicted in the movie shouldn’t have any resemblance to real life people or incidents. Mammootty too had supported our decision. So, we haven’t used the name or flag of any political party in the movie.
Who exactly is Kadakkal Chandran?
Kadakkal Chandran is the Chief Minister that the 3.5 crore people of Kerala wishes for. The film discusses a social issue and is not a commentary on the current political situations. An incident that could happen in the future has been portrayed in the movie. You might wonder whether it could really happen here. However, I believe that you could see it happen in the next 25 years. One is a movie that opens up a discourse on it. Besides, the movie also discusses a few issues that had grabbed attention in the recent past. I haven’t tried to place the character in any ideological end. There are just the ruling side and the opposition side in the movie. The character of the opposition leader player by Murali Gopi is a former CM.
Does the movie have a poetical agenda as it has been released during the time of the election?
One is not a movie that was made anticipating the assembly elections in Kerala. It wasn’t intentional to release it when there is an upcoming election. The filming was completed before the pandemic. However, the release got stalled due to the lockdown. Not politics, but a few decisions taken by Kadakkal Chandran are what take the plot forward. The movie doesn’t praise or accuse any real life political leaders in Kerala.
How is One different from other political thrillers in which Mammotty has acted?
The audience still remembers Mammootty’s character from Nayam Vyaktamakkunnu which was directed by Balachandra Menon. However, it is for the first time that he is playing a Chief Minister, in Malayalam. He has done political thrillers like Makkal Aatchi in Tamil and Yathra in Telugu. He did Yathra after committing One. I was worried in the beginning whether Yathra had a similar theme. But it is a totally different film.
It was Mammootty himself who designed the mannerisms of Kadakkal Chandran. He was involved in deciding the looks and other details of the character. This kind of planning was his precaution to not make this character look similar to his other political characters.
Your first and second movies are poles apart when it comes to theme and presentation?
My first movie Chirakodinja Kinavukal was a satire and this one is a political thriller. I like making movies that have unique and diverse themes. I am also planning a sequel for Chirakodinja Kinavukal.