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Ahead of Mammootty’s CBI 5 The Brain release, director K Madhu discusses Sethurama Iyer

Ahead of CBI 5 The Brain's release, director K Madhu on the franchise and its hero, Mammootty.

Written by Goutham VS | Kochi |
Updated: April 30, 2022 8:18:46 pm

As the long-awaited film, CBI 5 The Brain, is all set to release worldwide on International Labour Day, May 1. The film will see the return of Mammootty’s iconic character Sethurama Iyer, a sharp CBI officer. The film franchise has won fans across generations and has changed the investigative thriller genre in Malayalam cinema. As the successful combo of director K Madhu, writer SN Swami and Mammootty join hands for the fifth time, movie lovers expect another nail-biting investigative thriller. In this interview with indianexpress.com, K Madhu tells us about CBI 5 The Brain, Mammootty, and how he has faith in this franchise.

The fifth part of CBI franchise with central character Sethurama Iyer is coming after a gap of 17 years. Malayalam cinema has changed a lot over these years in terms of aesthetics, narrative style, and technical aspect, and even the viewing habits of the audience has significantly changed. Has CBI The Brain adapted to these changes?

Yes, the first movie in the series Oru CBI Diary Kurup was different from other movies of that time. Coming to Jagratha, it improvised in terms of technical aspects and narrative style, and the third and fourth movies of the series were made for a different generation of audience. We as filmmakers have also observed changes in the visual language and narrative style in these years and believe that the fifth part reflects those. As a director I’ve tried my best to make this fifth edition appealing to the new generation of audience

What made you come up with a new iteration?

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We felt that people were waiting for a fifth part. Many people have told us that they were waiting for the return of Sethurama Iyer. The CBI movies are repeatedly shown on television channels, which shows that people are still interested in the franchise.

The teaser of the movie mentions about the assassinations in the Gandhi family.  Does CBI 5 The Brain investigates a case of national importance?
I can’t reveal anything regarding the storyline (laughs).

When is the film set? Has Sethurama Iyer aged in this fifth edition?

No. He is still investigating the case during his official time period. There’s no age or timeline mentioned in the movie. We are presenting this character to new generation of audience, so they don’t bother about age.

Mammootty comes to CBI 5 after the much celebrated movie Bheeshaparvam and his role as Micheal Appan. How was Mammootty’s transformation from such a popular character to an established character like Iyer?

Mammootty is an actor who understands his characters in depth. So there’s no problem in terms of switching characters. Cinema is a passion for him. He’s updated about movies, about his characters. He really is a great actor in every sense. I feel, he has become sharper as an actor.

All of the movies from CBI franchise has a basic template. Does CBI 5 also follow the same format?
All these questions have inspired us to make this fifth edition(laughs). As a director, I won’t claim anything. Though the viewing habits and narrative aspect of movie has changed over the years, the basic rhythm of the movie hasn’t changed much. The basic formula or ‘how to make a film’, especially for CBI series can’t be changed much.

Will there be a sixth part for CBI?
If God wishes, there will be a sixth part.

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