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Exclusive! Jiju Asokan: Dev Mohan’s finesse as an actor helped control the character's varying graph in Pulli

The Shaakuntalam actor is playing a convict in his second Mollywood venture after Sufiyum Sujatayum

Sanjith Sidhardhan
Jan 13, 2022
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Dev Mohan

It took Dev Mohan almost a year after his debut venture Sufiyum Sujatayum to pick his second Malayalam venture – Jiju Asokan’s Pulli. The filmmaker, who had earlier helmed Urumbukal Urangarilla, sounds chuffed and confident that Dev has made the right choice. “We hear actors say they are choosy but Dev has the acumen to pick good scripts. If you tell him 50 bad scripts, he will wait till he hears a good one to select a project. Not many actors have that patience or judgment,” says the filmmaker to OTTplay.

In the upcoming movie Pulli, which is in its final stage of post-production, Dev plays a convict named Steephan, a far cry from his poised avatar as a sufi saint in his debut film. On the role, Jiju says, “His character was convicted once and had served a jail term. The movie picks up when he returns to the jail after his second conviction. Steephan doesn’t realise that he had made enemies during his first stint and how this impacts him forms the plot. It’s not a movie with a big message and filled with twists; it’s a light film that I believe will be engaging to the audience.”

On what prompted the filmmaker to cast Dev in the role, the director says, “Dev had played a refined character in Sufiyum Sujatayum, someone with a lot of grace. I think that’s exactly also what landed him the lead roles in the big budget venture Shakunthalam, for which they had approached several leading actors. He has those features to play someone regal. His most striking feature is his voice, which has the depth and throw, and it comes naturally to him.”

Apart from Dev, Indrans plays an important role in Pulli. “His character has no connection to how Indrans chettan is in real life. He plays the senior-most prisoner in the jail; someone who reads a lot. He has been in the prison for 40 years after being convicted multiple times and so he knows the geography of the jail inside out, even better than the cops.”

Senthil Krishna, Kalabhavan Shajohn, Sudhi Koppa, Vettukili Prakash, Rajesh Sharma, Abin Bino and Sreejith Ravi are the other cast members in the film, which has Meenakshi, who played the teenage version of Nyla Usha’s character in Porinju Mariyam Joseph, as the female protagonist.

The movie also has a lot of actors such as Tara, Prathap, Satheesh Kunnath, Unni Raj and Akhilesh, who have a background in theatre.,“Every character has their importance and even if they are there for just 1-2 scenes, they have a huge impact on the movie,” says Jiju.

The film’s shoot had concluded several months ago, and the director informs us that they are aiming at a theatrical release this February. “We don’t know how the pandemic situation will pan out but the movie will be ready by February and we will be kicking off the promotions too,” he says.

While several films such as RRR and Dulquer Salmaan’s Salute have deferred the release owing to the COVID-19 situation, Jiju, however, isn’t worried even if his film’s release does get delayed. “Dev has many films coming up too; he is starring in Vijay Babu’s upcoming pan-Indian movie and has two big Tamil and Telugu movies. So, even if we have to wait longer to release the film, it would work to our advantage,” he concludes.

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