Aesthetic Kunjamma: Meet the brain behind Bramayugam's viral posters

Arun shares his experience working on Rahul Sadasivan's dream project. Photo | Special arrangement

Mammootty-starrer 'Bramayugam', which is already a blockbuster, is winning praise for the performances of all the actors and the film's making style. Prior to the film's release, posters from the movie featuring Mammootty in a regal yet sinister look, generated a lot of hype on social media. Actor Arun Ajikumar, the brain behind these posters and the creative head of Aesthetic Kunjamma, an Instagram page-turned-poster designing firm, shares his experience working on Rahul Sadasivan's dream project and how Mammootty played a key role in making the posters exciting.

So, the first-look poster of the film was enough to excite fans. How did it unfold?
The first-look poster featured Mammootty in a sitting posture. As per the plan, we had envisioned the veteran actor in a simple sitting position with focus on his character. However, Mammootty improvised and leaned forward in his seat to make it more appealing. He also brought in that smile to generate a special aura for his character. It was so different from what I had conceived and not the expression I expected from Mammukka. As a creative head of poster designing, it made me understand how different a product can be when you allow actors to take control over the narrative.

The rest of the posters, including the still featuring Mammootty's sinister laughter...
The rest of the posters, including Mammootty's laughter, were designed using clicks captured during the shoot of the movie. We felt the photos taken from the movie shoot captured the essence of their characters well. Only the first-look poster and the one with Mammootty in a lying posture were staged. We were insistent about a separate photoshoot for the first-look since we wanted to generate an impact around Mammootty's appearance. I believe it created a lot of hype when it got released on Mammootty's birthday.

Was this your first project with Mammootty?
We had designed posters for Mammootty's previous hit 'Kannur Squad'. But this was an entirely different experience. Mammootty had a horror-inducing look on the sets of 'Bramayugam' and that was so different and exciting to work on. 'Bramayugam' was among our many projects. We first worked with Rahul in his earlier film 'Bhoothakaalam'. It is fun working with Rahul since he is so like-minded. He is also someone who is willing to accept new comers. None of us in our team studied poster designing organically, but he never had any qualms about collaborating with us for the second time.

When did this project come to you?
Rahul approached us immediately after Bhoothakaalam. He told us he is working on a new black and white film with Mammootty and asked us to prepare a pitch deck for it. I was excited from the moment I heard about it. Soon enough, we were selected to be part of the film. From making fan-made posters for Mammukka on his birthday to creating posters for a pan-Indian film featuring him was a huge step for us.

The creative process behind designing the posters...
We kept looking for references. We spent almost one and a half months on creating the title poster alone. We wanted something that was aesthetic but also minimalistic. We were also adamant that it should not be reduced to a drawing. We created several layers for it. We were satisfied when we saw people trying to decode the movie and its nature when we released the title poster.

Aesthetic Kunjamma started off as an Instagram page?
Yes. Me and the co-founder Deepak started Aesthetic Kunjamma out of our love for movies. I started off as a theatre artist and have acted in a few Malayalam movies too. Through Aesthetic Kunjamma, we initially worked on creating re-imagined and re-designed posters of vintage films. Our content was a hit on social media. None of us had any formal training in poster design, but realised we had the potential. Slowly, yet steadily, we started our own poster designing firm. We have designed posters for several movies now. We recently designed the poster for Crime Files Season Two.

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.