The movie, which stars and is produced by Unni Mukundan, marks Vishnu’s debut directorial
Unni Mukudan’s Meppadiyan was one of the few films that had completed the censoring process and was ready to release if theatres reopened during Onam. However, the rise in COVID-19 cases in Kerala means that audience and filmmakers will have to wait longer.
Meppadiyan’s director Vishnu Mohan, however, tells OTTplay that while theatrical release is still the priority for the team, they might also have to look at other alternatives. “We were willing to wait for another 2-3 months, but now reopening on theatres in the near future looks uncertain. We will have to look at other options if the decision to reopen to theatres is pushed indefinitely. It’s my first film and also Unni’s first production, so we wanted it to be released in theatres first,” he says.
The team had released a poster this week that reflected the rural milieu it was set in and also the mood of the movie. “Meppadiyan has to be watched in theatres. It’s a family entertainer. We shot it right after the first lockdown and it’s probably one of the few movies to be shot in such a wide canvas during the pandemic. There are scenes with almost 450 junior artistes and we have shot at 58 live locations,” says Vishnu. “Most of the OTT releases, on the other hand, are shot in a room or are set within a house.”
While he admits that the wait has been frustrating, the debutant director is also looking at it positively. “The movie was supposed to go on floors in 2019. As far as I am concerned, something positive has always come out of it every time it was delayed. For instance, Unni came onboard as a producer and I could do the movie the way I wanted it,” he says.
Unni and Vishnu are also set to team up again in a political thriller Pappa next. On the status of the film, Vishnu tells us, “I am currently writing Pappa. The first draft is over. It’s again to be made on a big canvas and we can only shoot it after the pandemic. We went ahead with Meppadiyan because it was to be shot in March 2020 and we were ready. That’s why we took the risk. But for Pappa, we want to be more prepared. Unni also has a few more projects including BroDaddy, 12th Man and a Telugu movie.”