Abhishek KS is set to make his directorial debut with Oh Meri Laila, which hits theatres on December 23
Jallikattu and Angamaly Diaries actor Antony Varghese’s next release Oh Meri Laila is a special film for him for several reasons. The movie, which not only marks his first romcom, also has him teaming up with his friend and director Abhishek KS – who had shot short films with the actor during his college days.
On the film, which is set for a December 23 theatrical release, debutant director Abhishek tells us, “It’s a college romance. It’s a light-hearted film with doses of humour. The short films that I have done also have the same flavour. Those are the kind of films that I like to watch as well as to make.”
Ask him how much his and Antony’s friendship and their college life in Maharajas College had influenced in the making and conception of the film and he says, “With Antony, the movies that he has done previously were all action-oriented and had him in macho roles. He wanted a break from those roles. He knew the kind of films that I am interested in as it was also same type of film that we used to make during our college days. So, he had suggested that we make such a campus movie. It so happens that this is a genre that I am most comfortable in.”
Was doing a full-length feature film different from the college short films a decade ago? “I never had to deal with Antony as an actor. Usually when you work with a star, you have to give them their space, have to factor in their image and requirements. We didn’t have any of those restrictions,” says Abhishek. “This movie was more like a collaboration between a group of friends and for him too, it was liberating in a way. If you see a couple of scenes in the trailer or the songs, you know notice that his body language is freer. It never felt like we were making a feature film.”
Antony essays the role of Lailasuran in the movie and will be seen in two get-ups. Oh Meri Laila, which is scripted by Anuraj OB and music by Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey composer Ankit Menon, also has three relative newcomers as actresses – Veyil fame Sona Olickal, Sivakami and Nandana Rajan. The director also reveals there was a reason behind choosing newcomers as part of the cast.
“We had an extensive audition process for selecting the female cast in the movie. We had decided from the get-go that we wanted a debutante to play the lead as the character wouldn’t work otherwise. If it’s a familiar actress, it wouldn’t be convincing for the audience. It took us a few months before we found Sona,” he says.