The film’s cast looks new. But the director disabuses the impression. “Actually only three of them are newcomers. The rest are known actors.

“I Am Not Used To  This,”  A Rare Interview With The Manjummel Boys  Director 889684

Manjummel Boys director Chidambaram S Poduval can’t believe what has happened to his sophomore film. “I am not used to this. I am getting a lot of calls and messages. A lot of interview requests. It is all happening too fast. I am a bit dazed now. It will get better eventually. Manjummel Boys has surpassed all my expectations , and it’s way beyond my control no. We tried to make a good film, but never expected this kind of impact. We knew we had a good product. But to get so much love from all over India irrespective of the language they speak…It is a big achievement for the Malayalam film industry. And I am thankful to all the people who invested their time and money into watching the film and also told others to watch it.”

Although Manjummel Boys has become the highest grossing Malayalam film, Chidamabram is not dazzled by the boxoffice figures. “Numbers are only important as long as they encourage filmmakers to make bigger larger and more daring content.As far as I am concerned, I don’t run after numbers. I value the love that is coming from every Indian state more than the boxoffice numbers.I didn’t expect it to go this far.Outside Kerala, it has connected the best with Tamil audiences for the Kamal Haasan, Guna and Ilayaraja’s classic song Kanmani Anbodu Kathalan.It is also strong in the North India Hindi belt. All this is truly humbling.”

Speaking of the genesis of Manjummel Boys, Chidambaram recalls, “Soon after I made my first film Jan-E-Mann my producer Shawn Antony came to me and told me about the incident . He told me a one-liner and I was really interested. We quickly got up and went to see the real Manjummel boys , sat with them and chatted with them. We were quickly convinced that this story must be told to the world. It was a long process. We started work on Manjummel Boys as soon as I finished my first film. Now we are finally here.”

The film’s cast looks new. But the director disabuses the impression. “Actually only three of them are newcomers. The rest are known actors. They all have done work earlier in Malayalam. But thankfully , new or not, they were all natural before the camera. They were all my friends and they really stood behind me during this tough shooting. This film was really hard to shoot, both physically and emotionally.”

The real Manjummel boys were a part of the filmmaking process. “They were an integral part of the writing process.As soon as I met them I started a conversation with each of them individually,got them to narrate their experience on that day when the incident happened. This gave me the blueprint for the script. All the actors corresponded with the real Manjummel boys whenever they had a question . So the real boys were always in the loop.”

Chidambaram reveals the film was shot in both the actual cave and a secure environment. “We shot in the real Guna caves. Subhash(the character who falls in the abyss) ’s dream where he comes out naked from the abyss was the real Guna cave. The rest of the cave sequences were shot in studio as there were too many practical problems like heavy rains, etc. The actual cave is very dangerous so we had to build the abyss on studio set . We brought leaves plants and stones from the outside to make it look real.So yeah, we shot both in the real cave and outside.”

About his next, the directors reveal, “For me the hardest and longest part of making a movie is the pre-production . A lot of time went into researching and writing. But I assure you, my next film will be coming much sooner. At least I hope so.”

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