Ace cinematographer-director Santhosh Sivan' has almost completed the shoot for the period film 'Urumi'. The movie which is made in a gigantic scale in a budget of 20 crores boasts of some of the biggest names in Indian cinema in its cast and crew list.
Planned as a historical thriller, 'Urumi' zooms in on some years after the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed at Calicut in 1498. Set in the backdrop of the fierce warrior clans of Northern Kerala in the sixteenth century, Prithviraj plays Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar, who is the leader of the group that plans to kill Vasco da Gama. The film presents the time between the second and third visit of Gama to India and archives a different adaptation of how Gama could have met a bloody death in AD 1524.
Kelu in his mission to end the intruders, has to encounter a number of conflicts within the Kings, ministers, peasants and a warring Muslim warrior princess, Ayesha of the famed Arackal Sultanat. Kelu tracks his mission through the scheming ways of deceit and a concealed infatuation to create his own army of the local people to fight the mighty Empire. His feat in creating a planned revolt thus becomes the first unrecorded movement against the first Colonial Advance in India. The movie is said to feature a massive climax scene ever to have in Mollywood, till date.
'Urumi' the title of the movie refers to a kind of sword of 8 feet, which has a strong presence in this film. It is usually used in Kalari fights. Kelu has a gift in a legendary golden Urumi made from the left over ornaments of the dead women and children who were burnt alive in the massacre of a Mecca Ship, Miri, and drowned by Vasco da Gama, in one of his visit to Kerala. The movie will also mark the debut of Genelia D'souza into Malayalam films. The bubbly actress who comes up in a sensuous avatar, dons the role of a Ayesha, the Arackal princess, in the period drama. She is paired opposite Prithvi for the first time.
Kelu is supported in his endeavours by Vavvali, played by Prabhudeva, his childhood friend who is a Muslim. The film also has mystical characters like VidyaBalan, who plays Makkom, a displaced Devi Diety in the Oracle form. Prithvi who is all excited about his film has already befriended a horse named 'Alibaba' at the sets. He rides in this horse in the movie
Shankar Ramakrishnan, the director of Island Express, one of the ten films in the Kerala Caf anthology, has written the script of the movie, which will also star Tabu, AmolGupte, Nithya Menon, Jagathy Sreekumar, Ankur Sharma and Vidhya Balan in other pivotal roles. Deepak Dev is the music director and Sunil Babu is the art director
Santosh Sivan has earlier directed 'Ananthabhadram' in Malayalam, which also had Prithviraj as the protagonist. The young superstar of Mollywood has also turned producer with this high profile project which will be made in Malayalam, Tamil and English. He will associate himself as a producer with Shaji Nateshan and Santhosh Sivan himself, in the banner of August cinema.
The English version of the has been titled 'Vasco Da Gama', while the Tamil version is 'Pathinaindham Nootrandu Uraivaal' (PNU). The film is releasing worldwide in four languages on March 31, 2011 as the big summer release.