Udal, the upcoming Malayalam film led by veteran actor Indrans, is a family drama that explores the evolution of relationships across generations, says debutant Ratheesh Reghunandan.
Speaking to Silverscreen India, Reghunandan, who has also written the story, screenplay and dialogues, says, “Udal explores the change in the dynamics of relationships across different generations. I believe that the depth of relationships changes over the generations. This is the core idea of the film. It’s mainly a family drama that also has some elements of a thriller. Indrans plays the lead character, named Kuttichayan.”
Reghunandan adds that Kuttichayan is a migrant farmer, who lives in a village near the hills. “Kuttichayan is a man who has dedicated his life to his family. I drew inspiration for his character from my native village. I am from a farming family in the hills in Kollam district. I developed Kuttichayan’s character, looks and personality based on the people I have come across in my own village. He also has poor vision. I added that element as it was needed to take the latter part of the story forward. ”
The film also features Dhyan Sreenivasan, Durga Krishna, and Jude Anthany Joseph. The filmmaker says that Jude Anthany plays Indrans’ son in Udal, while the bond between the characters played by Dhyan and Durga is complicated.
Talking about how the project took off, Reghunandan says that he had initially planned to make a big-budget biopic on late actor Sathyan, but it was temporarily halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “So, I was looking to do a comparatively smaller film that could possible be made under the Covid restrictions. That’s when I suddenly recalled an incident from my childhood. I was around 12 years old when I witnessed a scene in my neighbourhood, which stayed with me for many years. I used this as the base for Udal.”
After Reghunandan completed the story’s outline, he told his best friend Dhyan, who had encouraged him to work on it. The filmmaker then pitched the story to Indrans and Durga, and they immediately came on board.
“I finished writing the script in four days. The filming began ten days after the production house took up the project. We primarily shot at Thoduppuzha, with Manoj Pillai handling the camerawork. We began filming in September last year, when relaxations were announced after the second wave, and wrapped up in 20 days.”
Reghunandan adds that the background score plays a significant role in the film and they have been incorporated it in a way that helps to add depth to the scenes. Udal‘s music has been composed by William Francis.
The filmmaker also tells us that there are some raw action sequences in the second half that have been choreographed by Mafia Sasi.