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I am Confident Telugu Audience Will Enjoy ‘Manjummel Boys: Director Chidambaran S Poduval

Mythri Movie Makers have bought the theatrical rights for the Telugu dubbed version and they are releasing it on a grand scale

By:  Tupaki Desk   |   30 March 2024 12:15 PM GMT
I am Confident Telugu Audience Will Enjoy ‘Manjummel Boys: Director Chidambaran S Poduval

If there is one film that has become the talk of tinsel town, it is Malayalam flick ‘Manjummel Boys’. This survival thriller is inspired by a real event that occurred back in 2006. It shows how the boys from Kochi made history and this film collected over 200 crores making it the biggest Malayalam film till date. The film received a landslide reception from other language audiences as well. Written and directed by Chidambaram, the film has Soubin Shahir, Sreenath Bhasi, Balu Varghese, Ganapathi Poduval, Lal Jr, Deepak Parambol and others playing lead roles.

Mythri Movie Makers have bought the theatrical rights for the Telugu dubbed version and they are releasing it on a grand scale. Prior to the movie’s release on 6th April, the film’s director Chidambaran S Poduval interacted with the media. Here’s what he had to say about his movie and Telugu cinema in general.

ongratulations, Chidambaram S Poduval! Your biggest blockbuster has rewritten box office records in Malayalam!

-Thank you. It received a great response from Malayalam audiences. It brought much joy to our team.

Did you anticipate collecting 200 crore before the movie's release?

-No, not really! We made a good film. We believe in the content. We hoped this film becomes a big hit. However, we didn't anticipate a collection of 200 crore. We didn't make the film for collections. Neither I, nor the producers, nor the cameraman, nor the music director ever thought about collections.

When did the idea of making "Manjummel Boys" come to you?

-My first film "Jan.E.Man" was released in 2021. After that, I got to know about the incident that happened to some friends from Kerala who went to Guna Caves. Their stories, and friendship, excited me. Since then, I started working on it.

Did you personally meet Manjummel Boys? What kind of research underwent to make the movie?

-Yes, I did. Everyone shared their life experiences. I understood that their story has the required material to make a movie. I concluded that this is a story that needs to be told to people. They excitedly agreed to share their story for the film.

Your first film "Jan.E.Man" was released on November 19, 2021, and "Manjummel Boys" on February 22nd. It took almost three years for your second film to release.

- Writing stories based on real incidents is a tough process. It took me a year and a half to write the script of 'Manjummel Boys'. We spent six months on pre-production work. Then we spent another six months on post-production work. It's been quite a journey for each process.

You've shot a lot on real locations and also built sets for some scenes! Tell us about that process.

-Almost all the scenes that needed authenticity, like the road trip, and cave scenes, were shot in real locations. We built sets for scenes to be shot inside the cave. The set work took about four months. Shooting was relatively easy. We were like a family, roaming and playing in real locations while making the movie.

Your brother also acted in the movie! So, it was like a family trip!

-(Laughs) My brother Ganapathi S Poduval played the role of Dr. Faisal. It was a great experience working with him and producer Sobin Shahir. Our family also joined us for shooting. We'd sit around and share stories every night. We really enjoyed making the film.

"Manjummel Boys" is not a typical commercial format film. How did you convince Sobin Shahir and the producers?

- Sobin Shahir traveled with me, ever since the research work and script writing began. So, convincing him wasn't difficult. He wanted to produce the movie. He identified the spark in the story. But as you mentioned, it's not a regular format film. Otherwise, it would've been a bigger film.

About the cinematography and music...

-Shaheer Khaleel is one of the best cinematographers in Kerala. He has done many beautiful films. It's our fortune that he worked on our film. Sushin Shyam didn't use much electronic music. He gave us what we needed for a survival thriller.

You used a song from Guna as a tribute to Kamal Haasan. When you thought of making the film, did you consider using that song?

Yes, indeed. The song from 'Guna' comes to our mind first when we think of Guna Caves. It sets the tone for a friendship story. That's why we used it.

Did Kamal Haasan watch the film? How was your meeting with him?

The entire team is a fan of Kamal sir. Meeting him was a magical moment for us. I really gave us great joy, when he said that he really liked the film. It was nothing short of receiving a big award. We are thankful to Kamal sir for spending his valuable time with us.

Do you like to work with Kamal Haasan in a film?

Directing Kamal Haasan is every director's dream. If that opportunity comes, who would refuse it?

Do you have any ideas for a film with Kamal Haasan?

I have many ideas. But the writing part is a tough process. We can’t say what happens in the future.

Pan India production house Mythri Movie Makers is releasing 'Manjummel Boys' in Telugu. Tell us about their support.

Mythri Movie Makers is equally popular in Malayalam. They made the blockbuster 'Pushpa'. I've spoken with Mythri Ravi sir. I'm very happy and proud that our film will be released through their banner. Our film got great support. I couldn't have asked for more.

On April 6th, a film is releasing in Telugu. What would you like to say to Telugu audiences?

We watch a lot of Telugu films in Kerala. Malayalis love Telugu films. Allu Arjun has a huge fan base in Kerala. I hope the excitement that 'Manjummel Boys' generated in Malayalam will repeat in Telugu as well. I'm confident Telugu audiences will enjoy the film.

If the opportunity arises, which hero would you choose to work with in Telugu?

There are many heroes I admire in Telugu. I won't name just one. There's Chiranjeevi garu, Balayya garu, Allu Arjun garu, Mahesh Babu garu, NTR garu, Ram Charan garu... There are different actors. I'm excited to work with all of them.

The director has revealed that he is yet to decide on his next film yet. With Mythri Movie Makers releasing the film, 'Manjummel Boys' is sure to get a huge release. It will be released with the same title in Telugu as well. It is based on the true experience of the youths from Ernakulam Manjummal who rescued their friend who got trapped in Gunacave in Kodaikanal in the year 2006. There are decent expectations on this film and let us see how the Telugu audience embrace this movie.