Corona Papers, which has Shane Nigam and Siddique in the lead, is set to release on Disney+ Hotstar
Not many Malayalam audiences would be surprised if a Priyadarshan film is inspired by a movie made in another language. But the filmmaker’s craft lies in him expertly adapting that story to Kerala and its socio-political scenario. His latest movie Corona Papers also draws heavily from two cult movies.
The crime-thriller, which is set for its OTT release, has Shane Nigam, Shine Tom Chacko, Siddique, Gayathrie Shankar, Jean Paul Lal, Hannah Reji Koshy, Sandhya Shetty and Vijilesh in pivotal roles.
Corona Papers revolves around a police gun that gets stolen and is then used for a robbery and a homicide. How the cops track down those responsible for the crimes and how the robbers evade them for the plot of the movie, which is also scripted by Priyadarshan.
The film’s inspiration, as stated by the makers, is legendary director Akira Kurosawa’s Stray Dog. The movie, which was released in 1949, starred Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura. Like Corona Papers, the film also revolves around a series of events that happen after a homicide detective loses his pistol. Through the cop’s investigation, Kurosawa also laid bare the prevailing socio-economic situation of Japan, which was then only recovering after World War II. However, the marked difference between the two films is how Stray Dog was considered as a buddy cop film – probably the first in its sub-genre.
That’s why Corona Papers is closer to Sri Ganesh’s Tamil movie 8 Thottakkal, which had Vetri, Aparna Balamurali and Nassar in pivotal roles. The film’s plot revolves around the same thread as Stray Dog and Corona Papers, but the makers have paid more focus in developing its central protagonist – the rookie police officer and the antagonist, essayed by MS Bhaskar.
In an earlier interview with OTTplay, Priyadarshan said that he was contemplating making Corona Papers for over five years now, but got a “clever twist” during the pandemic and that’s what prompted him to go ahead with the movie.
“While making a crime film, I have observed that you shouldn’t cheat your audience. They shouldn’t be able to predict the ending. I believe Corona Papers will keep the audience guessing and also on the edge of their seats,” he said. Corona Papers is set to begin streaming on Disney+ Hotstar on May 5.