Saturday, November 26, 2011

Masters of the game

‘Masters,' starring Prithviraj and Sasikumar, is an investigative thriller that is crammed with twists and turns.

Inside a classroom at St. Berchman's College in Changanacherry, two friends are revisiting their good old days in the college. It's a scene for director Johnny Antony's ‘Masters,' which has Prithviraj and Tamil actor-director Sasikumar in the lead.

“ASP Sreeramakrishnan (Prithviraj) and journalist Milan Paul (Sasikumar) were classmates in this college, and the two have remained friends ever since. Sreeramakrishnan requests his friend to use his journalistic contacts to help him out with an investigation. So they join hands against a social issue that is relevant today. The movie chronicles their efforts and struggles in this regard,” says Johnny Antony, who has directed light-hearted entertainers such as ‘CID Moosa,' ‘Kochi Rajavu,' ‘Thuruppugulan,' and so on.

Serious theme

“‘Masters' is not a comedy. It's a serious story and it's being dealt with the kind of seriousness that the story demands,” adds Johnny. Piaa Bajpai, who was recently seen in the super hit Tamil film ‘Ko,' and Ananya are the heroines.

During a break, Prithviraj talks about the movie and his role: “I really think it is a promising script, and it is quite unlike the usual investigative thrillers –whodunits which begin with a crime and ends with the wrongdoers brought to book. In ‘Masters' there are so many leads going in lots of different directions and the answers to those questions is the climax of the film. Also, beneath all the investigation, suspense, and crime, it is an interesting film on relationships and friendship.”

The actor has also started shooting for his maiden Bollywood film ‘Aiyya,' an Anurag Kashyap production directed by Sachin Kundalkar, which has Rani Mukherji as the heroine.

Cinematographer Madhu Neelakantan gives instructions to his assistants as they get ready for a shot, with the camera atop a trolley. After a quick rehearsal, Sasikumar delivers some lengthy lines in Malayalam with remarkable ease. Meanwhile, director Blessy drops in for a chat, and spends some time exchanging pleasantries with the cast and crew.

On choosing Sasikumar for the film Johnny says: “It was the look, especially the fire in Sasikumar's eyes, that suited the character of the journalist and prompted me to sign him for the role.” Sasikumar is all smiles as he listens to Jonny and adds: “I was busy shooting for director Samuthirakani's ‘Poraali,' when this character was narrated to me and I thought it was well written. I am quite overwhelmed by the appreciation that my films have received in Kerala in the past, especially ‘Subramaniapuram.' For me, Malayalam films have always been a source of inspiration.” Sasikumar has directed and acted in ‘Subramaniapuram,' directed ‘Easan,' produced ‘Pasanga,' and acted in ‘Nadodigal.'

‘Masters' is being produced by B. Sarathchandran under the banner of Sincere Cinema. Lyrics by Shibu Chakravarthy have been composed by Gopi Sundar. Still photographer is Paul Bathery.


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