The crafty Sethurama Iyer is back with a bang. This is the first time in the history of Indian cinema that for the last 3 decades, the same actor has been doing the same role in 5 films. K Madhu who directed 'Oru CBI Diary Kurippu', 'Jagratha', 'Sethurama Iyer CBI', 'Nerariyan CBI' and 'CBI 5-The brain' talks about this unique record.
Sethurama Iyer isn’t getting old?
Mammootty was in his late 30s when the first CBI film was released. Now he is 70. Any other actor would have changed in appearance in the last 34 years. But people who have seen the teaser say they can't find any changes in Sethurama Iyer. When Mammootty came in the character’s makeup I felt there wasn’t much of a difference. He was wearing the same pants and shirt, sandal paste on his forehead, spotting the sacred thread, rudraksha beads, and his hair was neatly combed back. He was walking with his hands tied in the back. Except maybe his watch was brand new. Mammootty looks younger I think.
How was Sethurama Iyer created?
Initially, we thought of naming the character Ali Imran. After ‘Irupatham Nootandu’ SN Swamy told Mammootty that we can develop a police story. He had also mentioned that the case will be investigated by a CBI officer called Ali Imran. But Mammootty suggested a different backgrounder for the character and Swamy came up with the name called Sethurama Iyer. Later Mohanlal played the character called Ali Imran in ‘Moonam Mura’. It was Mammootty’s idea to walk with his hands tied in the back. You can see the crafty brain of Swamy in Sethurama Iyer. Shyam’s iconic background score is also there in ‘CBI5’. It was recreated by Jakes Bejoy and when we showed it to Shyam, he gave us his blessings.
Jagathy is making a comeback…
Many are under the impression that Jagathy might be shown as someone who is resting after an accident. I am sure a lot of people are wondering how Jagathy will be placed in the film. But everyone will know the importance of his character once the film releases. Let his scenes and dialogues remain a secret. His character is crucial to the film and you will know that this film cannot be made without him.
How do you manage to keep the suspense of the film?
We never tell anyone the stories of the CBI series. This isn’t a film that can be discussed together. I try to show full justice to Swamy’s intelligent screenplay. We also include Mammootty’s suggestions. He is also equally responsible for CBI series. After both of us the film’s story is known to Mammootty, producer Swargachithra Appachan, Renji Panicker, cameraman Akhil George and the associate director. The reason why the rest of the actors are acting in this film without knowing the story is because they have immense trust in us. Climax like always was filmed with minimum cast and crew. Even then I am not sure how many people were able to figure out the suspense. There is a special rhythm for CBI films and we have updated it keeping the new generation in mind.
Will there be a 6th part?
I think the audience is expecting a better film than the ones we gave them so far. That is a huge responsibility. As for the 6th part, let God decide.