'Dhoomam' is a film with many specialities: Fahadh Faasil

Fahadh Faasil
Fahadh Faasil in Dhoomam. Photo: IMDb

It’s a collaboration everyone is looking forward to. Pawan Kumar, who is known for his experimental films in Kannada partnering with a production house like Hombale House for a Malayalam film headlining Fahadh Faasil. Fahadh talks to Manorama about ‘Dhoomam’ which was released this Friday.

This is Hombale Films' first production in Malayalam cinema. What can you tell us about 'Dhoomam'?
I would say that 'Dhoomam' is a film with many specialities. The first one would be that such a huge production company like Hombale Films allowed Pawan Kumar to do a film in Malayalam. I remember liking the script when Pawan sent it to me four years ago. But Pawan wanted to do it in Kannada. It was for the role Roshan Mathew did in the film. But because of date issues the project didn’t happen. The film was titled ‘Nicotine’ then.

Then how did it reach ‘Dhoomam.’?
I know Pawan from the time he did 'Lucia'. We were keen to work with each other. But Pawan had only Kannada scripts. And those scripts had concepts that were very global. So one day while talking to Pawan I asked him about the 'Nicotine' script. That’s when he told me that Hombale Films liked his script. When I told him I was keen on going ahead with the project, he informed Hombale. After that, everything happened suddenly, and the project was on within 2 days.

A Kannada filmmaker making his debut in Malayalam. What are your thoughts on Pawan Kumar?
I am a huge fan of Pawan. I saw 'Lucia' after '22 FK', and was really impressed by the film. So I really wanted to do a film with him one day. And I am so happy that it happened to be a Malayalam film.

Pawan Kumar said this theme was on his mind since 2008. Were you concerned about its relevance when it was made after 15 years?
I agreed to do the film as I was fully aware that the subject hadn’t lost its relevance. I think the subject will be relevant at all times.

Did you feel that it had some resemblance to the 2007 Anurag Kashyap film ‘No Smoking’?
I haven’t seen that film. But as far as I know, both films are saying two different things. I didn’t hear anyone mention such a resemblance. Since I haven’t watched the film I can’t say that for sure.

A thriller after a feel-good film like ‘Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum.’ Do you consciously pick such diametrically different roles?
I don’t have any specific plans. I am just doing the films I like. And they are somehow releasing in that order. Not that I am planning to release a dark film after a comedy or anything like that.

Nowadays people would rather wait for the OTT release no matter how good a film is. Are the theatres going through challenging times now?
After OTT, I think the audience has more clarity as to what films to watch in the theatre. Some films they prefer to watch at home with their family. I think we need to make more films that require strict theatre watching. Filmmakers should take it as a challenge and make films for that audience. I feel moving forward, OTT and theatre will always co-exist this way.

At least 4-5 films are released weekly in Malayalam now. Is that having a detrimental effect at the box office?
We have had a season when back-to-back films kept winning at the box office. Cinema is the decider. I think there should be something in a film that will surprise the audience. The audience's tastes are getting better with each passing day. Compared to other South Indian languages we have less percentage of people who watch films in theatre. It is left to the filmmakers and writers to make a difference there.

Which are your upcoming films in other languages?
'Maamannan' and 'Pushpa 2'. The former will release next week and 'Pushpa 2' will release by the end of this year.  

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.