Director K R Praveen discusses his upcoming Malayalam movie ‘Thami’

As ‘Thami’ that stars Shine Tom Chacko gears up for an OTT release, the debutant director speaks about the movie and working with the late actor Sasi Kalinga


K R Praveen is keen to keep under wraps the intrigue that drives his upcoming film Thami forward. The reason is understandable, at least going by its taut, give-nothing-away trailer that points to an apparent ‘murder investigation’.

“There’s a death in a family. Even as they mourn, there happens to another ‘death’ shrouded in mystery. We get to see what really happened,” says Praveen. “The entire film happens in a day’s time, with flashbacks throwing light on the backstories. The movie also has a women-oriented message,” he adds. The movie stars Shine Tom Chacko in the lead.

The title, Thami, ups the curiosity quotient and Praveen, formerly an ad filmmaker, explains why he was particular about retaining it. “It means ‘darkness’, and I felt that this in one word encapsulates the crux of the movie on a symbolic level,” he says.

But the filmmaker from Thiruvananthapuram quickly adds that, “The treatment, however, is not fully as dark as it sounds. It is essentially a drama thriller, interspersed with several elements of romance and relationships with a murder mystery at its heart.”

Scripted by Praveen himself, Thami was shot for a theatre release but the makers are now planning to release it on an OTT platform, though an official announcement on the same is awaited. It was originally slated for a summer release in theatres and was postponed due to the pandemic.

Reel and real

  • Praveen lists Bollywood filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani, Tamil filmmaker Mani Ratnam and Hollywood actor-director Mel Gibson as his inspirations. He is also fond of works by veteran filmmaker and scenarist K G George in Malayalam.

The film was shot predominantly at Urallur in Koilandy, Kozhikode, and in Malappuram and Mangaluru, and Praveen says cinematography by Santhosh C Pillai posed a unique challenge. “We zoomed in on an old-style house in Urallur as the principal setting for the action scenes. So the tight interiors proved tricky as regards camera-work and lighting,” says the 34-year-old, adding that he steered clear of the “cinematic gimmicks” and attempted to keep the flick “rather realistic”.

The film features four songs and the lyrics are by Nidheesh Nadery and Fouzia Abubacker. Praveen says he has steered clear of the “cinematic gimmicks” and attempted to keep the flick “rather realistic.”


Thami is also the first Mollywood movie to release a 3D poster with its first-look poster back in late 2018 when the production started rolling.

Apart from Shine, others playing key roles include Sohan Seenulal, late actor Sasi Kalinga, Sunil Sukhada, Disney James, Geethi Sangeetha (who is in Lijo Jose Pellisery’s Churuli) among others. The film also features many newcomers. Although not his last appearance in movies, Thami is perhaps among the final film of Sasi Kalinga to come out.

Praveen reminisces about the relationship he shared with the veteran actor. “His feedback was invaluable,” he signs off.