Nivin Pauly starrer Kanakam Kamini Kalaham (KKK) has landed on a prominent OTT platform, triggering mixed reviews. While some people are appreciative of the unique treatment of the movie, some others aren’t that impressed. However, director Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval confesses that he had made this movie anticipating such mixed and varied reactions. Ratheesh, meanwhile, reveals some unknown facts about Kanakam Kamini Kamakam, his second outing after the critically acclaimed Android Kunjappan.
Ratheesh says that the crux of the plot has been taken from a real-life incident that had happened in a hotel in Bengaluru. The guests at the hotel were the crew members of a movie. They stopped the functioning of the hotel for almost five hours after a gold chain was reported missing. The search for the chain lasted until 2 am. This movie is an over-the-top or caricature-style portrayal of that incident.
“My wife Divya Vishwanath is a TV serial actress; she has acted in the serial Sthreedhanam. She often gets noticed when we go out together. People come to click selfies with her. I have observed her fans’ curiosity to talk to her. Some of their conversations have been used as dialogues in this movie. Just like you make the caricature of a person, the caricature of an incident has been presented in the film,” says the filmmaker.
Ratheesh says that it was difficult to convince the actors that he required the kind of performance that is seen in the movie. He took time to talk about the characters to the artists and make them completely imbibe their unique traits. At some point, actor Jaffar Idukki had even decided to drop this project. He was sceptical whether he could sustain the mannerisms of an alcoholic for 30-odd days for a plot that takes place in just one day. He, however, agreed to do the movie after making him understand the variations in the performance when his character downs each peg. Actor Joy Mathew too had the same doubt. The scene in which he cries was the first take of the movie. Ratheesh says that Joy had done really well in that scene. The actors could completely transform into their characters after attending a four-day long camp.
Nothing against TV serials
In the movie, the character Haripriya played by Grace Antony is shown as a former serial actress. Ratheesh says that she was asked to over act in many scenes. However, he vows that he didn’t mean to insult serial artists. He adds that such performance was required for a movie like this. “The brief I gave Grace was that her acting shouldn’t be like in a drama but isn’t quite like the movies either. I had asked Grace to watch the interviews of serial artists and observe the mannerisms of some of them too. Grace transformed into the character after by hearting the script. I felt happy watching Grace effortlessly mouthing the long dialogues,” says Ratheesh.
“During the rehearsals, everyone was worried about Vincy. I even wondered whether casting her was a wrong idea. Rajesh Madhavan was the casting director of the movie. However, Vincy’s performance on the set, after she wore the costume, really surprised us. I was really awed by her acting when I watched the movie on the editing table,” notes the director.
The rains in May
The lines about the cool rain showers in the month of May was written by Ratheesh, imagining himself in the shoes of a writer of kitschy literature. Ratheesh feels happy when audience laughed out loud when they heard Jaffar’s dialogue wondering whether there is rain in May.
Meanwhile, the ringtone ‘Karthan Yesuvine Vazhthidum’ on the hotel manager’s phone was specially created for this movie. The movie was shot in a temporarily designed set at the Abad Hotel in Ernakulam. The hotel’s name board that says Hill Top and the cool atmosphere and the surroundings that look like Munnar were created using VFX.
Ratheesh says that Nivin Pauly had realised that the movie didn’t focus just on him, as soon as the actor read the script. He even expressed his willingness to bankroll the film after understanding that there are other characters who could garner more applauds than his role. Moreover, he had clear idea about how this movie would turn out in the end. Nivin was, in fact, ready to essay any role in the film. However, Ratheesh was sure that Nivin should play the role of Pavithran.
Vinay Forrt’s Lover
It was initially decided to reveal the face of Joby’s (played by Vinay Forrt) lover who is annoying and dominating. However, Ratheesh dropped this idea as he thought that many people would have such lovers in their real lives. So, he wanted them to imagine a face for her, by connecting that person with their experiences. He thought that unique feeling would be lost once the face is revealed. It was legendary filmmaker KG George’s daughter Thara George who had rendered the voice for Vinay’s darling lover.
Cinematic approach to drama
“This movie is actually a ‘drama’ that takes place in a hotel’s lobby. We have used a few cinematic tools to perform a drama on screen. Instead of showing the title cards in the usual way, we have announced them as if in a drama to give the audience an idea about what to anticipate. When the movie ends, a voice over reveals what has happened to the characters. The movie portrays an unnecessary drama that unfolds after a pair of earrings is lost. It is better to enjoy the movie as it is,” says Ratheesh.