“ Dasan : Vijayaa, namukkentha ee budhdhi neerathe thonnaththatu?
Vijayan : Ellathunum athintethaya samayamundu Dasaa”
Those words that reverberate across each Malayalee’s mind are going to make a comeback. In an exclusive interview to Narayan Radhakrishnan for Old Malayalam Cinema, Sreenivasan opens his mind.
It seems that wisdom has finally dawned- and the time is ripe for the long awaited return of the duo – Dasan and Vijayan which has been confirmed by Sreenivasan. There has been speculation in the media over the alleged rift between Mohanlal and Sreenivasan following the Padmasree Saroj Kumar debacle. Putting an end to all those rumours, Sreenivasan said- that there was absolutely no differences between them and that only certain people who claimed to be Mohanlal’s cronies created the whole issue. The relation between him and Mohanlal is as strong as ever.
In an exclusive interview, Sreenivsan opened his mind regarding the fourth innings of detectives Ramdas and Vijayan, tentatively titled “Dasanum Vijayanum”. He said “For long there had been persistent demand for a fourth instalment of Nadodikattu (1987) – but I was reluctant to go ahead with the subject. Initially Rafi-Mecartin and then Roshaan Andrews had voiced interest in the subject, but it fizzled off. Both Mohanlal and I are not ‘youngsters’ anymore. We needed something that would do justice to our age. It is more than 23 years since Akkare Akkare Akkare (1990) was released. I was hard on work of this script for the past five years. Finally the script is ready. Dasan and Vijayan are now seniors in the department-and in the limelight of their careers. Save for the past glory, nothing has happened to them over the past twenty years, and often they become the subject of ridicule from new hotshots in the department who use brain and brawn to tackle criminals. Dasan and Vijayan need one good case- one last hurrah before they can retire holding their heads high. So do they get a case – or will they create a case – is the plot of the story. Eventually they get a case, a murder that has occurred in Dasan and Vijayan’s hometown. When they reach Kerala, they are astounded to see that Ananthan Nambiar’ son (to be played by Shammi Thilakan himself) has established himself as a doyen criminal in Kerala from Chennai.”
The original Ananthan Nambiar from Nadodikkattu (1987)
“Though the heroine is a new face, Shobhana, Innocent, Mamukoya, Nedumudi Venu, Janardhanan, T.P. Madhavan, Rajan Padoor, Johnny, Mala Aravindan, NL Balakrishnan, and KPAC Lalitha who were part of the earlier three movies – Nadodikattu (1987), Pattanapravesham(1988) and Akkare, Akkare Akkare (1990) will be there in the new movie. Maniyanpillai Raju, Ambika, Parvathy, Paravoor Bharathan and Mukesh will make guest appearances. It will be the first time Parvathy is facing the camera after her marriage with Jayaram. She will be acting as the wife of CID Unnikrishnan BA BEd (1994) – a cameo to be enacted by Jayaram himself. Fresh faces would also include Suraj Venjaramoodu, Saikumar and Riyaz Khan. Director I.V. Sasi will be acting in a full length role in this movie.”
Jayaram in CID Unnikrishnan BA BEd (1994)
“In a way I want this movie to be a befitting homage to the CID-Detective movies in Malayalam cinema; and at the same time, I shall try to close some loose ends of the previous three movies. We have had our own legacy of CID movies right from the days of Sathyan’s Chekuthante Kotta (1968); Nazeer’s famous CID Nazir (1971) and even Detective 909 Keralathil (1970). We also have a steadfast readership for CID comics including that of CID Moosa, CID Mahesh – originally created by Kannadi Viswanathan, CID Nazir created by Professor Somanathan and Toms version of CBI Mammootty. Dasan and Vijayan try to emulate the success of spy legends of the silver screen. The reason why there was a delay on completion of the script was that I wanted an extended cameo for Mammootty as Sethurama Iyer; for Jayaram as CID Unnikrishnan and Dileep as CID Moosa. Mammootty and Jayaram nodded their assent only a few days back. We are yet to hear from Dileep. All actors whom we approached were enthusiastic about this project.”
And of course, the highlight of the movie would be the brief appearance of Roger Moore who acted as James Bond – as a retired international CID man. We had approached Roger Moore through Resul Pookutty; and told him about this movie- and the influence of James Bond in Kerala. An amused Roger Moore has given his consent for a cameo role. He also reminded that he had acted in a cameo role in a Pink Panther movie as Inspector Clousseau and that he is all game for acting in an Indian movie. Thus this year Mohanlal will be sharing screen space with Roger Moore for the first time ! Talks are going on to see whether we can use the name “James Bond” or “007” to this character or whether there are legal impediments standing in our way” – Sreenivasan continued. I have also requested Priyadarshan to ask Saif Ali Khan whether he would be interested in doing a cameo as Agent Vinod ”.
Roger Moore as James Bond in Live and Let Die (1973)
Sreenivasan himself will be directing the movie – the first time the ace actor would go behind the camera after the success of Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala in 1998. Mohanlal himself will be producing the movie. “Both Sathyan Anthikkad and Priyadarshan have blessed this project and have asked me to go full steam ahead, ” Sreenivasan said. He added that “the writing of the script was an emotional roller-coaster as many of the actors who etched memorable characters are no longer with us. “Shankaradi chettan, Thilakan, Karamana, Somanchettan, Philomina Chechi, Meena Chechi, Shanta devi chechi, Pratapchandran, Azeez, Kothuku Nanappan, Bobby Kottarakkara and Oduvil chettan who gave some memorable performances in the early three parts are long gone. Paravoor Bharathan has retired from acting. It’s hard to replace the characters enacted by them, and so I had to drop those characters from the final draft.”
Meena and Shobana in Nadodikkattu(1987)
Though we pestered Sreenivasan to divulge more information, in his characteristic style, he refused saying that everything can be seen on screen and that he has said more than enough. However, he said that there both Vineeth Sreenivasan and Pranav Mohanlal will make guest appearances, as two bumbling and lazy loafers who are working in the old office of Dasan and Vijayan, and are frequently causing trouble to T.P. Madhavan. “You will also know whom Dasan and Vijayan married, just wait and see” Sreenivasan said with a twinkle in his eye.
To the question asked by us regarding how he views the movie Pavanai 99.99 starring Captain Raju in the title role of Pavanai (of Nadodikattu fame); Sreenivasan replied that there is nothing wrong in going for such a venture. “A director or writer can give another dimension to an already established character. Saroj Kumar was not a sequel per se of Udayananu Tharam – it was exploring another facet to the character first introduced in Udayananu Tharam. Many of the characters and dialogues of our previous three movies are now part of our popular culture. Dasan and Vijayan are part of Malayali popular culture. In fact Mamukoya had enacted the role of Gafoor- with the famous ‘Gafoor ka dost’ dialogue intact in Kilukkam Kilukilukkam.
K.E.S.U from Padmashri Bharat Dr Saroj Kumar (2012)
More recently, Babu Namboothiri reprised his famous role of Thangal from Thoovanathumbikal in Trivandrum Lodge and so did Innocent reprise the role of TTE Nadar of No. 20 Madras Mail in Husbands in Goa. So if any director makes a spin-off, I view it as a testament to our success”.
Sreenivasan signed of saying that “sadhanam kayyilundu” and the same will be released on April 1st 2014.
He, along with me, wishes each and every one of you a ROLLICKING ALL FOOLS DAY.