CPI(M) veteran V S Achuthanandan, who has been the central character in many a political drama in his party, Saturday made his debut as a film actor.
Achuthanandan, who turns 93 in October, acted in a scene alongside a group of college students for a movie titled Campus Diary. But the veteran didn’t need any make-up or rehearsal. For, Achuthanandan plays himself in the movie — a mass leader who extends support to a students’ agitation. The shooting was held at Koothuparamba in Kannur district.
Director C K Jeevandas said the film is about campus students standing up against illegal exploitation of water and natural resources. An agitation against a water bottling plant is one of the central themes of the movie, Jeevandas said.
Hundreds of people turned up at the government-owned industrial estate at Koothuparamba to watch Achuthanandan in action.
The veteran arrived two-and-a-half hours late and spent one-and-a-half hours on set. The scene involved a group of students protesting against the water bottling plant, and Achuthanandan visiting them to extend his support.
As cameras started rolling, he addressed the students, reading from a prepared speech. But the speech lacked his popular mannerisms, which have become fodder for mimicry artistes in Kerala.
As a crane-mounted camera moved in front of him, Achuthanandan said, “I came to know about the company’s water exploitation through media reports… A situation would come wherein we would be forced to queue up before supermarkets for air,” he said.
The scene ended with Achuthanandan leaving the venue, and hundreds shouting slogans in his support.
In another scene, he is shown visiting protesters at the water plant. Jeevandas said Achuthanandan had been briefed about his role and that everything was “hassle-free”. Apart from the speech, VS has no other dialogues in the movie.
The film is produced by Koothuparamba-based Drasya Arts Club. It features popular actors such as Mamukkoya and Joy Mathew.