Aanaparambile World Cup, which also has Lukman Avaran and Balu Varghese, is set to hit theatres soon
Debutant director Nikhil Premraj has been waiting for almost two years for the release of his film, Aanaparambile World Cup. He had completed its shoot back in 2020 but the pandemic had played spoilsport. But the timing couldn’t have been better, he tells OTTPlay, as gears up for the release of the children’s film starring Antony Varghese, Balu Varghese, Jumana Khan and Lukman Avaran.
On the movie, the filmmaker says, “Seven children play the main characters in the film. They love the game but they don’t have a ground or even funds to buy a football. How a group of youngsters help them out and train them for a U-14 tournament held by Kerala Blasters that has several big teams, form the plot.”
Apart from being a children’s sports film, it also has elements of fantasy. “The movie is set in a fictional village named Aanaparambu; the people there have always loved the game of football. The movie also has a fantasy element. There’s a character of hajiyaar in the movie and we say that there’s a treasure inside the house that no one has ever seen. We had shot at a house where the people had found shelter during the Malabar rebellion. This is the first time they are letting people shoot in the house, which has close to 22 rooms. Also, the women in this village wear hijabs and so their faces are never seen.”
Nikhil is also gung-ho about the child artistes in the film. “It’s a children’s film akin to Chillar Party. I think it’s after a long time that a proper children’s entertainer is coming out in Malayalam,” he says.
Incidentally, there are parallels between what has happened in the lives of the child actors to their reel-life counterparts in the film. “The lead child artiste, Danish, had shared a video of him taking a corner kick that was also liked by French footballer Antoine Griezmann. What’s even more amazing is just like the film’s climax, Danish was selected to Reliance Football Academy in real life. Another child actor Amal got a prominent role in Mohanlal’s Barroz,” he says.
The team of the film recently tied up with Kerala Blasters to promote the movie, which is set to release in theatres on November 11.