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Kuruthi Star Prithviraj Sukumaran: Malayalam Cinema is Now No Longer Just for Malayalis

By: Shrishti Negi


Last Updated: August 07, 2021, 09:01 IST

Prithviraj Sukumaran in a still from his upcoming film Kuruthi.

Prithviraj Sukumaran in a still from his upcoming film Kuruthi.

Actor Prithviraj Sukumaran, who will next be seen in Kuruthi, talks about how streaming has helped expand the reach of Malayalam cinema to a wider audience.

Actor Prithviraj Sukumaran, who is currently gearing up for the release of his upcoming production Kuruthi on Amazon Prime Video, believes that OTT platforms are benefitting regional cinema a lot because they have a wider reach. He says that streaming has not only changed how we consume content but also what we watch and who we see on screen, thereby shining the spotlight on some of the best of Malayalam cinema.

“It is indeed the case that today, Prime Video is pretty much the showcase of some of the best of Malayalam cinema and a lot about how Malayalam cinema is now no longer a cinema just for Malayalis- its credit should go to the streamer. I know for a fact that there are people who discovered Malayalam cinema and have become fans of Malayalam cinema through it," says Prithviraj.

Kuruthi, which releases on August 11 on the first day of Onam, is directed by Manu Warrier and written by Anish Pallyal. The crime thriller boasts a talented cast including the likes of Prithviraj, Roshan Mathew, Murali Gopy, Shine Tom Chacko and Srindaa. The film follows Roshan’s Ibrahim, who leads a lonely life in the mountains trying hard to leave behind bitter memories of the past. On a fateful night, an injured cop barges into his house with a prisoner and seeks refuge. When a powerful enemy burning with vengeance follows them into his house, Ibrahim is forced to confront testing questions about his own beliefs and convictions.

Prithviraj hopes that the release of Kuruthi will propagate the trend of positive conversation around Malayalam cinema “even further." Even though he said that Malayalam cinema has always been revolutionary, streaming has given it a chance to come to the forefront.

“Malayalam cinema is traditionally known to make great content and we are going through what I would like to call a great phase where we are consistently coming up with really good content and executing it well. I believe that the streamer has given us a platform where the world can now discover us. This whole conversation around Malayalam cinema might be very new to somebody who has not been following Malayalam cinema, but for us, it is just that we have finally got a platform where we can put our content on and our talent on and showcase our skills, technicians, writers, directors and tell the world that there is a small industry where we really punch much above our weight," the actor said.

“Also being the producer of this film, it’ll just seem like I am saying this because I have produced this content but even if I had not or even if I was just playing the part as an actor alone, Kuruthi still would have been special. It’s a very personal and a very special film. For us Malayalis, Onam is always about going to theatres and watching a film with our family and coming back and having Onam Sadhya. It’s always been that since childhood. So, the big Onam film that Malayalis hopefully will watch with their families this year will be Kuruthi," he added.

Further talking about his experience of being a significant part of Kuruthi, Prithviraj said, “I knew from the beginning that Kuruthi was all about performances. It is about casting the right actor for the right role and I had told Manu that it might take longer than we hope but unless and until I get the best actors for the correct roles in this film I don’t think I’d want to go on floors. But as luck would have it, Roshan was the first person I reached out to. He immediately agreed. I don’t think I have gone to a second option for any character in this film. Everybody who heard this story or heard the narration from Anish immediately said we wanted to do this. So it was very quick. We shot the film in under a month. And, we were so excited about what we had created and then this wait of not being able to bring this film to the theatres has been the most frustrating of the entire process."

The actor said he eventually decided to release the film on a streaming platform because he was not very comfortable with the idea of calling people to theatres amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Given the circumstances, I would have not been comfortable coming in front of the camera and saying, ‘Hey, come to the theatres with your family!’ I would rather say that sit at home in the safety of your own household and enjoy this Onam day with your family and watch Kuruthi together," he said.

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first published:August 07, 2021, 09:01 IST
last updated:August 07, 2021, 09:01 IST
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