Priyanka Nair, the Kerala State Award-winning actor who works predominantly in Malayalam and Tamil cinema, will next be seen in a single-character bilingual feature, the film’s writer and director Abhilash Purushothaman confirmed to Silverscreen India.
The yet-to-be-titled film, produced by Nufais Rahman under the Nabeeha Movie Productions banner, will mark the directorial debut of Abhilash, who is a full-time banking professional based in Thiruvananthapuram.
“The film will be released in Tamil and Malayalam and it will have only one character throughout, played by Priyanka. Filming is underway and we have simultaneously begun dubbing as well. We are hoping to complete the film in August,” says Abhilash.
According to the filmmaker, his upcoming feature will be India’s second single-character film led by a female actor after the Nithya Menen-starrer Praana.
Noting that most single-character films are set in the horror or thriller genre, Abhilash tells us that his upcoming feature will be an “emotional psychological drama.”
“The film will follow a woman who goes through multiple emotions while encountering certain situations in her life. It predominantly features monologues that will convey the story from the protagonist’s perspective,” the filmmaker adds.
On choosing Priyanka Nair for the role, Abhilash notes that the actor has the potential to lead a film all by herself and the ability to express intense emotions convincingly. Her fluency in both Malayalam and Tamil was an added advantage.
The film’s technical crew includes National Award-winning cinematographer Pratap P Nair, editor Sobin K Soman, lyricist Shyam K Warrier, and music composer Deepankuran Kaithapram.
Abhilash reveals that it took more than one-and-a-half years for him to complete the script. “Initially, when I began writing the story, I had three to four characters. Later, as I developed the protagonist’s character I realised that it had immense potential to carry the film solely. Around the same time, I happened to watch Prathiban’s Oththa Serupuu Size 7 (a single-character Tamil film) at IFFI in 2019. Inspired by that film, I decided to rework and enhance the characterisation of my protagonist and turn this into a single-character film.”
“Priyanka was involved in the scripting process and this helped her prepare for the character,” the filmmaker says, adding that not having multiple characters will also ensure that the actor’s performance is not overshadowed.
Although it is an experimental film, the director says the film will also have commercial elements, including a couple of song sequences. “The crux of the film is universal so it will be relatable to all types of audiences beyond language and cultural barriers. We are also planning to screen it at film festivals before the public release,” he adds.
Abhilash has so far made three short films while working at his bank job. “I believe if we are passionate, dedicated and work hard, managing both a profession and our passion is possible. I have never taken extra time off to make my films.”