Written by Unni
It is not often that a Malayalam movie is based on a play and that too by a foreign writer. Jayaraj’s Kaliyattom is one such rare example which was based on Shakespeare’s “Othello” (Incidentally a Hindi movie by name Omkara, inspired from the same play is about to be released). Kaliyattom was a masterpiece and fetched the National Award for Suresh Gopi. Another example is K P Kumaran’s upcoming movie Akasha Gopuram which is said to be inspired from the Ibsen’s famous play Master Builder.
The movie which may otherwise have warmed the producers’ cans, shot into limelight when it was announced that Mohan Lal would play the lead role of Halvard Solness, the architect in Master Builder.
Master Builder tells the story of Halvard Solness, the middle-aged architect whose expertise in the field has seen him gain recognition. However like most accomplished scientists/engineers he also has a few emotional idiosyncrasies. The other main characters in the play include his wife Aline, his admirer Hilde in whom he confides. The entire story can be read here.
On the whole, Akasha Gopuram looks to have an interesting plot. One cannot help reminiscing Perunathachan, which had a slighly similar subject and where Thilakan enacted the famed ashari who is overtaken by jealousy towards his son and kills him.
Solness will be a challenging role for Mohan Lal who is trying the path of variety now-a-days. Incidentally he is not totally new to the role of the architect as he played a construction engineer in Mayamayooram and a carpenter in Rasathantram. It may even turn out to be an award winning role for him.
K P Kumaran is best known for co-scripting Swayamvaram with Adoor Gopalakrishnan. He has not done a lot of masala movies. So one can expect a certain standard from the movie. Guaranteed it will also be taken to a lot of film festivals. However, the success of Akasha Gopuram will depend on how he customises it to suit the Malayali milieu. Also it faces the risk of being classified under the “art” genre, which hopefully would not be the case going by the long list of actors in it.
The other characters include Meera Jasmine, Bharat Gopi, Manoj.K.Jayan, Nedumudi Venu, Geethu Mohandas and Shwetha Menon. It is rumored that Shwat Menon plays Lal’s wife Aline and Meera his admirer, Hilde. Incidentally the producer Taizoon F. Khorakiwala’s Median Entertainment co-produced the Bollywood film Mangal Pandey.
Akasha Gopuram will be shot in London, famous for its Gothic/Tudor styles of architecture.
It will be released in December.