Award-winning director Vidhu Vincent, whose debut film Manhole became the first film by a female director from the state to have been selected in the competition section at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), has announced her next movie Stand-Up with Nimisha Sajayan in the lead.
Speaking to Silverscreen Vidhu Vincent confirms that the movie revolves around stand-up comedy, but she does not want to tie it down to the title. Vidhu says that the film is has multiple layers to it. “The movie is not about stand-up comedy. It just so happens that the protagonist of the movie does stand-up comedy for a living. So the drama unfolds with the stand-up as a background.”
“Also stand-up is an avenue through which the protagonist narrates anecdotes from her life. Having a story-teller as the protagonist presents me with the opportunity to have a story within a story; thus blurring the line between the real and the imaginary.”
This also presents the director with ample scope for dark humour as the audience are made to laugh at the protagonist’s joke and simultaneously sympathizing with her upon realizing that these incidents were from her life. “This would add a certain amount of novelty,” she says.
The first look poster of the movie was unveiled on social media by Aashiq Abu, Lijo Jose Pellissery, Anjali Menon and Geethu Mohandas.
Here is the first look poster of my next film.#StandUp
Posted by Vidhu Vincent on Sunday, April 7, 2019
Vidhu Vincent reunites with her Manhole writer Umesh Omanakkuttan for the film that will be produced under the banner of Silicon Media.
Though stand-up has been quite the rage across the country, Kerala is one state where the trend is yet to catch on. But Vidhu Vincent seems least bothered about this. “One cannot say that stand-up is alien to the Malayali audiences.”
She believes that Keralites were one of the earliest people to get a taste of stand-up through the traditional art form of Chakyar Koothu – a performance art in which the performer would appear in front of an audience and narrate tales with a strong satirical flavour to it.
“The only difference is that unlike metro cities like Bangalore and Delhi, we haven’t explored the possibilities of stand-up. Having said that, I believe a stand-up culture is slowly taking roots in the state. I have friends who perform in hotels in Cochin.”
When asked what went into the casting of Nimisha Sajayan, Vidhu Vincent says, “She met the requirements of a stand-up comedian.” The director also revealed that a lot of Nimisha Sajayan’s traits have gone into the making of the character. “Everything from her body language to her Malayalam diction has helped build the character.” Nimisha Sajayan won the year’s State Award for her performances in Chola and Oru Kuprasiddha Payyan.
While Vidhu Vincent admits that stand-up is part of the urban culture and story transpires among the urban population, she guarantees that the movie will have a universal appeal. And this sets the movie apart from her previous film.
The change in setting and audience doesn’t seem to faze the director. “The fact that I am not having to repeat myself here is one of the factors that has got me excited.”
“I believe one should strive for diversity in his\her art,” she adds.
Vidhu says that things have turned out well this far. “In fact, a couple of distributors have got in touch already.” She attributes this to the clout currently enjoyed by Nimisha Vijayan and Rajisha Vijayan, who is also part of the cast.
“I am confident about the movie reaching the mainstream audience,” Vidhu Vincent says. The movie will go on floors by June and will be shot across Ernakulam and Cochin. Stand-Up is slated for release in November.
Image Courtesy: malayalam.indianexpress.com