The short film, produced by filmmaker Jibu Jacob, shows an underdog’s outbursts in the face of repeated humiliation
In 6.49 minutes, Vishnu Prasad’s short film Kalam (field) hits out at disparities in society in the name of caste, colour, looks, talent and stature. The action sequences, performances and cinematography have come in for much praise for the film produced by filmmaker Jibu Jacob.
Jibu says that he was so impressed by the passion and attitude of the team that he immediately came on board to produce it. Director of the surprise hit, Vellimoonga, Jibu was all set to roll out his production house and launch a new director when the pandemic-induced lockdown brought the industry to a standstill. Nevertheless, he went ahead and unveiled the company, Jibu Jacob Entertainment, and his YouTube channel with the same name. Koodevide, a short film that he directed, was the first project under the banner. “When the team of Kalam approached me with the finished product I was happy to help them out. Driven by their love for cinema, the youngsters have put their heart and soul in Kalam,” says Jibu.
The film, set in Elamkunnapuzha beach near Vypeen, Kochi, is about a youngster who is always ridiculed for his lack of privileges. His nickname is ‘Colony’, a reference to his humble dwelling and his social stature. However, he detests such attempts to make fun of his identity. His pent up rage breaks lose during a game of cards when four men in the neighbourhood make fun of him and his love affair. The scuffle that follows takes a serious turn when the base instincts of all the five come to the fore. The open-ended film concludes on a sombre note with the arrival of a mob.
Vishnu, also the cinematographer of the short, says the project did face many hurdles. “When I found that the subject didn’t enthuse many producers, I made the film first and then started looking around for a producer. Luckily, Jibu chettan liked it and he took it up from there,” says Vishnu, an associate cinematographer of films such as Iblis and Kakshi: Amminipilla. He adds that the story, written by Deepak Vijayan Kaliparambil, is close to real life. “The title of the film stands for that circle of privilege certain individuals or groups draw around themselves to claim their supremacy,” says Vishnu.
The 27-year-old has choreographed the action sequences as well. Vishnu says he looked at it from a cinematographer’s perspective and went for a single shot sequence that was fully filmed in slow motion. “The actors and crew rehearsed for nearly a week to get it right. It helped that I had a bunch of terrific actors,” he adds.
Pranav Yesudas plays the lead. Other actors are Jerin Joy, Shibukuttan, Sreekumar and Savith Sudhan. Ajmal Sabu, who shot to fame with his mash-up videos, is the editor. Music by Kishan Mohan and sound design by Rajeesh KR are highlights of the short.
Meanwhile, Jibu is in discussion with Vishnu for another project. The banner has also produced a film, 99 Crime Diary, starring Sreejith Ravi, which might have a release on a social media platform. As for his next feature film, Ellam Shariyaakum, a political drama starring Asif Ali and Rajisha Vijayan, Jibu says that he will start the first schedule in a few months’ time. “We need crowds in many sequences. Since that is not possible now, we will start shooting the other scenes in the film,” he says.