Roshan Mathew also plays the lead role in the Aashiq Abu-directed movie.
A month after its theatrical release, Neelavelicham has dropped on Prime Video. The horror-thriller film is a new-age adaptation of Vaikom Muhammad Basheer's iconic story of the same name. Interestingly, it's also the remake of the 1964 film Bhargavi Nilayam, which is touted to be the first horror film in Malayalam cinema. Tovino Thomas, Rima Kallingal, and Roshan Mathew play the lead roles in the Aashiq Abu-directed movie.
In Neelavelicham, a young, rebellious writer (Tovino) checks into a forlorn mansion where there is talk of a ghostly woman (Rima) who died by suicide after being betrayed in love. This new take on the classic by Vaikom Muhammed Basheer is a fascinating blend of old-school storytelling and cutting-edge filmmaking.
Earlier, during an interaction with Film Companion South, while talking about Neelavelicham, Tovino said that it isn't just a horror film because of its jump scares; it's much more than that because of the emotion, not fear, that the protagonist feels towards the ghost. The movie has a lot of action. The history between the writer and the spirit is romantic and integral to the film's plot. They gave it their all to make the movie work in a modern context.
While Aashiq said that if one reads the script for Bhargavi Nilayam now, one will see that Basheer put as many feelings into it as the biggest scriptwriters do nowadays, the closest genre to describe it would be a romantic horror thriller. Even Basheer claimed that a genuine miracle that had happened to him served as inspiration for the story.
Talking about his initial reaction when being approached to play the lead in Neelavelicham, Tovino told OTTplay that it made him happy. Vaikom Muhammed Basheer has a tremendous fan base. Neelavelicham is more of a reimagining than a remake. This is their interpretation of the Bhargavi Nilayam script. Because of this, they didn't base their interpretation on the film's performances, and aside from the narrative, they had complete creative control over every aspect of the film, including the camerawork. Since the film Neelavelicham takes place in 1964, audiences should expect noticeable changes in the quality of the acting, music, and special effects. That's why he believes it would provide a new sensory experience for the audience as well.