String together some of the most intriguing and exciting scenes together to evoke just the right amount of interest in a viewer—that’s the usual deal with a film trailer. But the ‘Jana Gana Mana’ trailer busts that myth with its 4.17-minute trailer that features a single scene. But even then, there are no hints about the crux of the story. Dijo Jose Antony talks about his latest film, ‘Jana Gana Mana’ which releases later this month.
A long break after 'Queen'
After 'Queen', we had announced a film, ‘Palli Chattambi’, with Tovino. But didn’t take off. That’s when Shariz Muhammad, who is one of the writers of ‘Queen’ told me the story of ‘Jana Gana Mana.’ I really liked the story. Then came Suraj Venjaramoodu and Prithviraj. Also, this is a film that sees the reunion of the two actors after ‘Driving License.’
Prithviraj agreed to the scene
One of the highlights of the trailer which includes an explosion was done in one take. If Prithvi hadn’t agreed to do that shot live, it wouldn’t have made this kind of impact. He immediately agreed when I suggested shooting it live. Even stunt master Billa Jagan had apprehensions about shooting it live. We did rehearsals twice and went for the final third take. And it went perfectly well. If things didn’t work out, we were planning to shoot it in VFX and graphics.
The thought behind 'Jana Gana Mana'
As the title suggests it is Nationalistic in nature. The name itself conjures up certain images in our minds. It can be a character or situation. You can catch the nationalistic flavours in the story itself. For example the ACP character played by Suraj is not just restricted to Kerala. He has shades of a North Indian cop. The story is also happening outside Kerala. All the characters in the film can be called heroes and heroines. When you watch the film, you might feel that the film is different from the trailer. Apart from Malayalam, we are using Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada and English in the film. It is also releasing simultaneously in four languages.
Though films switched into OTT during Covid, I think we are back to our glorious old days of packed theatres. Initially we thought of doing this film for OTT. But once the film took shape, we decided to release it in theatres. Shariz Muhammad has done the story, screenplay and dialogues.
Sandeep Elamon has done the cinematography and music is by Jakes Bejoy. Editing is by Sreejith Sarang. We are also planning a sequel to the film and have even planned some scenes hinting at that. No, we are not claiming that this is a mass film. This will be an out-and-out entertainment. A person watching this film will definitely feel that they are watching an Indian film.