Filmmaker Kannan Thamarakkulam’s upcoming Malayalam film based on the Maradu flat demolition incident is now titled Vidhi. It was earlier titled Maradu 357.
The first look poster of the film was released on Surya TV’s social media pages on Friday.
Speaking to Silverscreen India, director Kannan said that the film’s satellite and digital rights have been acquired by the Surya TV network. “Vidhi is a big canvas film with over 120 artists and it will be a great experience to watch in theatres. So we are aiming to release the film in the theatres first, followed by OTT and TV premieres,” he added.
The film, which is based on the demolition of the flats that violated the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules in Maradu, Kochi, was earlier scheduled for release on March 19. However, the release was stayed by the Munsiff’s Court in Ernakulam as there was an ongoing criminal case against the builders.
“After the case was heard, the Kerala High Court directed the central government’s ministry to review the film’s certification. As per their recommendations, we changed the title and some of the dates mentioned in the film. Post this, the film was provided with the new ‘U’ certificate. The stay order on the film’s release has also been vacated,” said Kannan.
With screenplay by Dinesh Pallath, Vidhi is produced by Abraham Mathew and Sudarsanan Kanjiramkulam under the Abaam movies and Swarnalayaa Cinemas banners.
Kannan noted that Vidhi is not only about the flat demolition incident but also discusses a lot of other concerns. “We have used the demolition incident just as the background to tell a larger story. There are multiple tracks and we have tried to convey the stories of many people in this film. I’d call it a family thriller with some sentiments and emotions.”
The director said he and his team began researching the history of Maradu flats even before the demolition as it was a widely discussed topic in Kerala. “As part of the research, we spoke to a few of our friends, who were residents of the apartments. They were deeply affected in many ways and they all had tears in their eyes when they told us about the issue. We realised that their experiences could be made into a film. At that time, we also had another story idea and we decided it would be a good pitch if we blended both ideas. Our producers liked the pitch and gave us the go-ahead to make this film immediately.”
Vidhi was shot at an apartment complex very close to the demolished flats and some of the residents of Maradu flats have also acted in the film. Filming began in the last week of December 2019 and the flats were demolished on January 11 and 12, 2020.
“Vidhi is a 100% socially responsible film that will be relatable to everyone beyond language and cultural barriers,” said Kannan, who is currently also working on an upcoming Malayalam-Tamil bilingual starring Arjun Sarja, titled Feast.