Kurup, which releases in theatres on November 12, has been really taking shape for some time yet director Srinath Rajendran isn’t griping. He sees the time the group got to work at it as a little something extra. With the release date approaching behind the scenes, constantly there is next to no time on to extravagant on post-production. “The two-year break was a good thing. Not getting time to work on post-production is a curse for the Malayalam film industry, we could take all the time – a year and a half – for post-production!” says Srinath.
Srinath says making this film was his ‘fate’, as he was brought into the world around the time the occasions relating to the crime occurred. The thought for the film came haphazardly, he says. It was imagined in 2012, before long the arrival of his first film ‘Second Show’. He says the years since ‘Second Show’ have been preliminary for the group.
“Kurup is a ‘period film’, some time has passed since the event but people who are part of the story are still alive.” Telling the narrative of one of India’s most needed criminals that traverse urban communities and nations would set aside time and exploration, which included addressing individuals who knew him. There were rare sorts of people who were hesitant to share their accounts.
“We can never forget that an innocent man [Chacko] is involved, that there is another side to the story!” Srinath says. For some’s purposes, Sukumara Kurup is a conman and killer; for other people, he is a secret. Nobody knows whether he is alive or where he is. The case is as yet open, so the film is ‘inspired by’ and the lead character’s name has been changed.
With the story by Jithin K Jose, it has been a tightrope to walk. Kurup got its portion of fire for lionizing Kurup: Jithin Chacko, child of Chacko (who Kurup killed), even sent a lawful notification to the film’s makers. The issue was settled after a screening for Jithin and his mother Santhamma, which eased their apprehensions.
The narration of the film is certifiably not a simple one to tell. There are a few viewpoints on Kurup, all of which must be thought of while composing the content. “This [film] is the journey of Kurup’s life, told from our perspective but culled from those of others who are part of this story. We have done it passionately and we hope everyone likes it.”
The film confounds Kerala and India — Alappuzha, Thrissur, Palakkad, Mysuru, Bengaluru, Mangalore, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Mumbai — other than areas in West Asia as well. Instead of building sets, it was shot in genuine areas. “If the film was set in the 18th century, it would have been easy to recreate using our imagination. But this is not in the remote past, people remember the 1980s. Each department, including set and costume design, had to do their research.”
Dulquer came on board when he knew about Srinath’s thought, which functioned admirably for the film, he says. “All of us involved in the film have matured. Dulquer is the same guy he was then, he has evolved as an actor. We have all grown more.”
Rather than taking the film on the OTT platform, given the vulnerability around theaters returning. Srinath says, “All of us thought about it. But we had faith that theatres would open. Kurup was made for theatres.”