In conversation with Silverscreen India, writer-director Kamal says, “Set in 1996, Pada is a period film based on real events. It is the story of the resistance to the Adivasi Land Act. In generic terms, this film can also be called a thriller.”
Pada features a stellar cast, which also includes Prakash Raj, Unnimaya Prasad, Indrans and Salim Kumar, among several others. Actor Arjun Radhakrishnan, who was last seen in Rocket Boys, will making his Malayalam debut with Pada. Ahead of the film’s release, the makers have been unveiling posters of the various characters via social media.
Talking about how the project took off, Kamal says, “We started working on this idea in 2018. Since it is based on real events, I had to meet a lot of people, including the people of the community, those who worked with them, like officials, advocates, and many others who were related to this issue. We did rigorous research and interviewed several stakeholders for this film. Overall, the writing, shooting and post-production work took us nearly four years.”
“Our aim is to remind the audience about a forgotten history. The issue happened over 25 years ago but it still holds relevance in current times. By knowing about this, we will be able to analyse how far we have come and what has changed,” the filmmaker adds.
Pada is a huge production as it required thousands of junior artists, says Kamal, adding that most of the film was shot before Covid-19 set in. Only one sequence with actor Prakash Raj was filmed during the pandemic. Pada was predominantly shot in Thrissur and Palakkad over a period of around 60 days, by cinematographer Sameer Thahir.
“We have utilised a palette that will evoke the year 1996. Also, the colours incorporated in the film are used to convey the idea of resistance,” the filmmaker says.
Vishnu Vijay has composed the music, while Shan Mohammed has edited the film.
Kamal has previously directed the acclaimed Hindi film I.D (2012), led by Geetanjali Thapa and Murari Kumar.