In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, Pawan Kumar talks about why Dhoomam happens to be a Malayalam original and not a Kannada film
Last Updated: 03.43 PM, Apr 23, 2023
When Hombale Films released the first poster of their maiden Malayalam venture Dhoomam, the audience's response was rather peculiar. On the one hand, many were thrilled to see the very talented Fahadh Faasil headlining it and what pleased them all the more is the fact that a filmmaker like Pawan Kumar was at the helm. On the other hand, the response of Pawan and Hombale Films' fans back home in Karnataka wasn't particularly encouraging, with a majority of the opinions expressing concerns over the combined decision to conceive a Malayalam or a 'non-Kannada' film.
"No words, really painful to see Pawan Kumar and Hombale Film combined to make a non-Kannada film," wrote a Twitter user at the time of the release of the Dhoomam poster, echoing the sentiments of many others. A few others wanted to see the same poster being released with Kannada text, wanting to see the project directed by a Kannada filmmaker receiving equal importance as a Malayalam film. Comments and remarks of all kinds continued to emerge from all corners over time, to suggest that although Kannada cinema patrons were delighted about the fact that Hombale Films was going places after the success of KGF 2 and Kantara, they still expected, or rather hoped, that the production house remained Kannada at heart.
But for Pawan Kumar, quite interestingly, the option of making the film Malayalam is purely practical, considering that the same story could not find buyers in the Kannada Film Industry. The script of Dhoomam, as many would already know, has been in development for over a decade for Pawan with C10H14N2 being the original title of the project.
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"I had always wanted to make the film in Kannada but it just did not come together here. Actors weren't willing to dabble in an idea of this kind and producers did not want to invest in the old script so, it was really difficult to get this made here. But, in a way, I am glad that the film took the amount of time that it did because the script evolved over time and also, I was able to find an actor like Fahadh Faasil. Fahadh is really at his best here and now that I have made this film with him, I can't think of anyone else taking his place. And Aparna [Balamurali], funnily, was still in school when I first conceived the idea! I have cast at least a dozen female actors for her part over the last few years but I just know that she is perfect for the role. Everything just fell in place this time around," shares Pawan, in an exclusive chat with OTTplay.
But could he have made the film in Kannada with the same cast? The option always existed, sure, but Pawan feels that the spoken language of any film holds a lot of importance and having someone like Fahadh Faasil struggle with Kannada just did not seem right to him.
"Fahadh speaks Malayalam so fluently so it made all the sense to make the film in the same language. I mean, why make him struggle to speak a language that he isn't good at? Also, subtitles are a common feature these days so it didn't seem like a reach to make a Malayalam film. And more importantly, I was able to get the cast that I really wanted - Roshan Mathew is really the find of the last few years and I am so glad that he is part of this. In fact, he was almost not part of the film because of scheduling conflicts. Vineeth, too, is an important player along with Achyuth [Kumar] sir, who has even dubbed in Malayalam!" adds Pawan.