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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham was Mohanlal-Priyadarshan’s dream for over 20 years

Malayalam superstar Mohanlal revealed that the idea for Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham germinated during the making of Kaalapani.

Written by Manoj Kumar R | Bengaluru |
March 22, 2019 8:23:21 pm
Mohanlal Mohanlal opens up about Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham.

Malayalam superstar Mohanlal has penned a poetic and passionate blog about his upcoming magnum opus Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham. It is clear that it is not just his most ambitious and expensive film, but is also very close to his heart.

“They say when you truly want something the whole universe conspires to make it happen. When I gave my first take for Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham, I realised it was true. Without the blessings of the known and unknown forces of this universe, I think it would have been impossible for us to make this film,” he said.

In the blog, he revealed that the idea to make a film on Marakkar germinated more than 20 years ago. But it seems nothing happens before its time. “It was T. Damodaran master who told us that there was scope for a big picture in the story of Marakkar. Master was a voracious reader of history and so is Priyadarshan. We can say that Kaalapani happened because of the association of two history lovers,” he said.

Priyadarshan directed critically acclaimed film Kaalapani (1996) from the script written by Damodaran.

The 58-year-old superstar recalled that the film on Kunjali Marakkar was discussed at length during the making of Kaalapani in Kozhikode. “Even as Priyadarshan and I continued making other films, Marakkar remained in our hearts. Even after passing of Damodaran master, we continued to talk about the project on and off,” he said.

It was during a vacation in Portugal that the actor felt he cannot wait any longer to make the film about Kunjali Marakkar. “A tourist guide there showed me a place of worship and told that it was built using the money that was made through selling black pepper that was brought in from Kerala. The grandeur and the scale of that place reminded me how much of my country’s wealth was plundered. I was disheartened. But I also felt proud when I remembered Kunjali Marakkar, who fought against the Portuguese risking his own life,” he said.

Mohanlal said working on the sets of Marakkar at Hyderabad’s Ramoji Film City was like living with a big family under the same roof. “For 104 days, a huge team worked round the clock to finish this film. At times, there were 200 people on the set, including my son, Priyadarshan’s daughter and son (Kalyani and Sidharth), Keerthy Suresh, daughter of our friends Suresh and Menaka, son of IV Sasi and Seema’s son. Everyone on the set worked to make this ambitious project and we knew that we were part of a great chapter of history.”

He promised that the audience will know why Marakkar is Arabikadalinte Simham (lion of the Arabian sea) when they watch the film on the big screen. “We have just finished shooting the film. Still, we have a year-long post-production work to finish. We continue our journey knowing that big dreams take time to complete.

The film is being made at an estimated budget of Rs 100 crore. It has a star-studded cast including Mohanlal, Arjun Sarja, Sunil Shetty, Prabhudheva, Prabhu, Manju Warrier, Keerthy Suresh, Kalyani Priyadarshan and Pranav Mohanlal among others.

Mohanlal, meanwhile, is waiting for the release of Lucifer, which is set to hit the screens on March 28.

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