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Exclusive! Asif Ali saved me by doing a cameo in Vellimoonga: Jibu Jacob on Ellam Sheriyakum lead star

The director’s upcoming film with Asif Ali and Rajisha Vijayan is set to hit theatres on November 19

Sanjith Sidhardhan
Nov 17, 2021
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Asif Ali and Jibu Jacob

Director Jibu Jacob’s Vellimoonga was a surprise hit in 2014, almost turning the fortunes of everyone who were part of the movie including its lead actor Biju Menon. The filmmaker is now all set for the release of his next movie Ellam Sheriyakum, which again is a family entertainer told against a political backdrop.

Jibu, however, is quick to dismiss any comparisons. “While Ellam Sheriyakum has given importance to romance and action like other family entertainers, it also deals with a serious topic. That’s what makes it different from the previous movies I have done,” he tells OTTplay in an exclusive chat, ahead of the Asif Ali and Rajisha Vijayan-starrer’s release on November 19.

The movie marks the second collaboration between Asif and Rajisha after their hit film, Anuraga Karikkin Vellam. On how their characters in the two movies are different, the director says, “Ellam Sheriyakum deals with romance after their characters’ wedding. That’s probably the most crucial period in any romance because you come to terms with reality too. We have used their current age as well in the movie. While Anuraga Karikkin Vellam showed their impulsiveness, here their characters are more mature.”

Further on the role of Asif, who plays a political party member named Vineeth, Jibu explains, “Vineeth has a soft-spoken character. He tries to balance his family life and is a submissive husband of sorts. But he has his own political ideologies.”

Ask him the reason for choosing to tell stories with a tinge of politics in the backdrop and the director says, “Our state has always been in the front in terms of political awareness and education. We have a population who keenly follows politics and casts their vote based on each party’s ideologies and efforts. So, when we do a movie, I believe our audience is discerning enough to understand the politics we are trying to present.”

Ellam Sheriyakum also marks the second time Jibu is working with Asif, after a cameo in Vellimoonga. “Asif became part of Vellimoonga only because of his friendship with Biju Menon. I had approached many artistes to play the role and after failing to cast anyone, I requested Biju to help out. He said he will call Asif and that’s how he joined the movie. Asif saved me in a way,” he says.

The filmmaker is all praise for the actor’s work in both movies. “It’s only because someone like him had played that role, it stood out despite it being just 3-4 scenes. While working in the movie, I also realised that he’s the type of actor who would give his best to satisfy the director and the cinematographer. The only grouse people had was that he wouldn’t pick calls but even that helps a lot at the sets because he gives you his undivided attention while shooting,” explains Jibu.

Meanwhile, it’s been a long wait for the film to go on floors and find its way to the theatres. “It was totally out of our control, with the pandemic, floods and landslides. In a way, the title of the film is relevant because everything will be fine,” he says.

Jibu also explains that he is delighted that family audience are now coming back to theatres. “The reception of Kurup is what gives all of us great confidence. Even though Ellam Sheriyakum isn't of the same genre as Kurup, our entire team is confident that people will come to theatres to watch the movie,” he signs off.

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