Don Max, the editor-turned-director who predominantly works in Malayalam cinema, tells Silverscreen India that his upcoming directorial, titled ‘@’ (At), is based on the concept of cyber crimes that take place in the dark web.
The film’s title poster was released by actor Prithviraj Sukumaran on social media and the film was formally launched with a ceremony on February 11. It is produced by Kochurani Productions and Don Max says the project will go on floors next week.
The editor-turned-director, who has also written the film, adds, “Set in the thriller genre, @ will discuss the crimes that take place in the dark web part of the cyber world, that is commonly unseen by people.”
The film features debutant Akash Sen in the lead role. Sen is a former IT professional who later trained at an acting school in Mumbai. The cast also includes actors Shaju Sreedhar, Rachel David, Aradhya Laxman, and Sanjana Doss.
Don Max reveals that the film will also introduce several new actors, who were selected through a series of auditions.
On choosing to make a film about the dark web, the director says, “I have always been inclined towards the thriller genre. My previous directorial, 10 Kalpanakal, was also a thriller. Later, when planning to make my next film, I wanted to work on a different subject that could potentially add a new dimension to this genre. Four years ago, I got the idea for this concept based on the dark web. It has not been explored a lot in Malayalam films. So, I thought it would be interesting to work on this.”
He adds that the subject is very relevant to contemporary times, with the growing usage of social media and internet services. “The film aims to provide awareness to people about such content and crimes, so that they can be cautious while using the internet.”
The director further notes that extensive research has gone into the film. “We learnt about how the content server works, the procedures and what type of crimes take place. We did a lot of background reading, and since there are so many new developments in this area every day, we had to keep updating the story.”
About the film’s title, the filmmaker says that he wanted something related to the story and also easily understood by people. He adds, “We have added a lot of relevant elements to the title poster. For instance, you can see symbols of bitcoins, tattoos, drugs, and much more. This gives you a glimpse of what the film will be about.”
The technical crew of @ includes music composer Ishaan Dev, cinematographer Ravichandran and editor Shameer Muhammed.
Don Max has previously edited Malayalam films such as Chappa Kurishu and Best Actor, and Tamil films like Kuruvi and Jilla, among several others.