Sulaikha Manzil, which has Lukman Avaran and Anarkali Marikar in the lead, is slated for an Eid release on April 21
Malayalam actor Lukman Avaran has been going from strength to strength with his recent movies. Last year alone, his roles in Thallumaala and Saudi Vellakka have expanded his fan base while also serving as reminders of what he’s capable of. For his upcoming film Sulaikha Manzil’s director Ashraf Hamza, Lukman’s talent was never a doubt.
“I have known Lukman from his school days. He had been part of several plays that I had watched. So, I have always been aware of his calibre,” says Ashraf, in an exclusive chat with OTTplay. “But I didn’t know where to place him in my films before and that’s why we didn’t collaborate till Sulaikha Manzil. In this film, we found an apt role and he more than lived up to what was expected from the character. Right now, I like him more as an actor than a friend; I am sure the audience too will get that.”
Ashraf, who had previously helmed Vinay Forrt’s Thamaasha and Kunchacko Boban’s Bheemante Vazhi, has chosen a wedding as the core subject for his third directorial. “The movie’s story spans from the previous day of the wedding to till it’s over. A wedding is also an event that is pregnant with emotions – where you are welcoming people, letting go of those you love. The whole ‘blood, sweat and sacrifice’ aspect is there in every wedding, and the family audience can relate to such films easily,” he says.
With his previous movie also focusing on subjects such as body shaming, insecurity of one’s looks and a neighbour dispute, are the common man’s problems that appeal to Ashraf the most while choosing the subject for his directorials? “What I always try to do is to tell an interesting story. In our daily lives, what we face the most are small and trivial issues; these make us sad, angry and sometimes make us want to overcome these. In films alone, the protagonists have to face a massive issue for the movies to work. I fundamentally don’t believe in that. That’s probably why I gravitate towards such subjects,” he says.
Sulaikha Manzil, which also has Shabareesh Varma, Ganapathy, Mammukkoya, Chemban Vinod Jose and Adhri Jose, as part of its cast.