Santosh Sivan, who has been described as the “real hero of Raavan” due to his stunning cinematography, has moved on and started work on a new film as director. It’ll be a bilingual and a period drama in Malayalam and Tamil with a working title — Urumi (a flexible sword) — and will star Prithviraj and the hot and happening Genelia.
Says Santosh, in an exclusive interview, “Yes I’m making a film titled Urumi with Prithvi and Genelia. The rest of the cast is yet to be finalised. Urumi is the 8-ft long flexible sword that has been used in Kalari fights for a long time. Sankar Ramakrishnan, who had directed the promising short film Island Express in the Kerala Cafe anthology, is writing the script. The film, a bilingual, is set in the 15th century and will be made for the international audiences.”
Santosh’s last directorial ventures Beyond the Rains (2007) and Tahaan (2008) have been critically acclaimed and were also marketing successes. “The filming of my next flick will commence in August in Kerala. I have directed and photographed all my films,” says the ace cameraman-turned-director.
The grapevine is abuzz that Urumi is about a group of men who wanted to assassinate Vasco Da Gama, the Portuguese explorer who set foot in Kappad in Calicut in 1498. However, the director is tight-lipped about his plot. On his casting coup of bringing Prithviraj and Genelia together, Santosh says, “I’m looking forward to working with Prithviraj again; he is very passionate about cinema and is a very talented and earnest actor. This will be my third film with him. I’d first directed him in Ananthabhadram (2005). Then, we met for Raavanan in which I was the cinematographer. Genelia exudes innocence and seemed right for the role and has great potential.”
The cinematographer has been getting accolades from all over the world for his brilliant cinematography in Mani Ratnam’s Raavan and Raavanan. The critics who have been harsh on the film however say his camera and the locations are the only silver linings in the film and that he is the “real hero of Raavan”! Quiz him about it, and he states, “I think the visual appeal is always the vision of the director. All my films with Mani have varied visual styles. He’s always experimenting. Though everyone is a critic today, I feel they have been harsh on the film.”