Route Map, the upcoming Malayalam film, is a comic survival thriller set during the initial phase of the Covid-19 lockdown, director Sooraj Sukumar Nair told Silverscreen India.
Produced by Sabarinath G under the Padmasree Media and Infotainments banner, Route Map features actors Maqbool Salman, Noby Marcose, Shaju Sridhar, Dijo Jose Antony, Sinseer, and Sunil Sukhada, among several others. Director Sooraj has written the script along with Arun R Pillai.
Sooraj explained that the story connects a series of events from the day before the Janata curfew was announced to the first 10 days of lockdown. “Route Map will take the audience down memory lane by recollecting the initial lockdown experiences. Though it’s a thriller, the film will have a mix of comedy, sentiments, and love,” he added.
About how this project took off, Sooraj said, “Earlier, we were working on a film called B Nilavarayum Sharjah Palliyum, starring Jagathy Sreekumar. It is a comparatively big film and we were unable to start it. When that project was stalled, my team and I had nothing to do. So we told the producer that we could work on a small film which could be made in the current circumstances. Once he gave the go-ahead, we finished scripting in a week and went on floors.”
He added that this effort has proved that they can make a film even with limited resources and in a challenging situation.
The film was shot after the first 21-day lockdown was extended. The primary locations were Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai and Kochi. “We first brought all the cast and crew to a house and quarantined them. Since there were a lot of Covid-19 restrictions, we shot the film mostly in closed buildings and at our houses. In fact, art director Manoj Greenwoods created a hospital set at my home. The art department played a significant part in the film,” the director said.
They had a three-day schedule planned in Chennai, but Sooraj was unable to go there as inter-state borders were closed. So, he coordinated with his associate who was already in Chennai over a video call to shoot some portions.
The film also demanded a few exterior segments and the team shot these last month once the relaxations were announced.
In November, the makers released one of the three songs in the film. Called Lockdown Avasthakal, it is sung by Vaikom Vijaylakshmi and composed by Prasanth Karma.
On the film’s release, the director said, “Route Map is in the final stage of post production. We are doing the digital imaging currently and are hoping to have a theatrical release sometime in January 2022.”