Right wing groups have demolished the sets of a church constructed for filming Tovino Thomas’s upcoming superhero film Minnal Murali (Lightning Murali). The film’s producer Sofia Paul said, in a statement, “Minnal Murali is an ambitious super hero project which is under production and we have filmed almost a major portion of the film. The film required almost two years of preproduction and planning owing to the scope and scale. The remaining portions of the movie will be shot as soon as restrictions for movie production is lifted. The next schedule is planned in Kaalady and we had constructed a massive set of a church where the climax was to be shot. Unfortunately due to the pandemic we couldn’t resume the shoot and were waiting for government guidance regarding the permissions to resume shoot. The set at Kaalady was planned and built for one of our most important scenes. All required permissions to build the set at the location was taken. Today’s incident is so unfortunate and a colossal loss.”
In a show of brazenness, Hari Palode, the State General Secretary of AHP (AntarRashtriya Hindu Parishad) has shared the images of the sets being destroyed and signed the message off with his mobile number on his Facebook account. Hari claims the set was destroyed as it was near a temple in Kaalady. He also claimed that they ‘warned’ against the building of the set there. “We do not have the habit of begging so we demolished it,” he said. He also thanked the Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Ernakulam President, VHP, Malayatoor Ratheesh, for demolishing the sets.
The film’s director Basil Joseph too posted a message on his Facebook page. “I don’t know what to say. For some this may be funny, or for politics, but for us this was a dream. I was proud that this was a set of our movie. The art designer and the crew worked under the hot sun to make this set. At this time (lockdown due to Corona) we didn’t expect such a thing to happen,” he wrote. He also said that all necessary permissions were taken and the producer had spent a huge amount of money on this.
On his birthday (January 21) last year, actor Tovino Thomas announced that his next film will be titled Minnal Murali and that he will work with director Basil Joseph. The actor and director last worked together in the 2017 film Godha. The film is produced by Sophia Paul of Weekend Blockbusters who previously co-produced Bangalore Days, and produced Kaadu Pookkunna Neram, Munthirivallikal, and the 2018 film Padayottam, by director Rafeek Ibrahim.