Oman's majestic mountains, idyllic beaches and historic souqs are set to mesmerise movie buffs as the first foreign film fully shot in the Sultanate hits theatres today (Friday).
The Malayalam language movie, Velli Velichathil (In the limelight), is expected not only to put Oman on the international movie map, but also provide a huge boost to tourism in Oman.
The film had generated huge interest during the production phase itself, as it brought together an array of acclaimed film personalities, including India's national award winning director Madhu Kaithapram and prominent Indian literary figure C.V. Balakrishnan, to name a few.
There was a casting coup of sorts too, when the director brought in prominent television journalist, John Brittas, in the lead role, which raised many eyebrows. It was on February 11, 2014 that the filming began in Muscat. The 46-member crew worked day and night for three weeks to complete the shoot on March 2.
A day prior to the release, Madhu Kaithapram, when contacted by Hi Weekly, expressed confidence that the film would do well at the box office. "I am satisfied with the final product. I believe that it will catch the attention of moviegoers in Oman."
C.V. Balakrishnan, who wrote the story and screenplay, also felt that the film would not disappoint audiences in Oman and elsewhere. "I got good feedback from those who watched the preview. It's an engaging movie. Muscat hogs the movie's limelight, thanks to the unique character of the city. It plays a perfect host to anyone who comes here. It fosters friendships.
No other place in the world has such a vibrant culture. These unique qualities invariably put
Muscat in the lead role," he said.
|Direction: Madhu Kaithapram|
Story & Screenplay: C.V. Balakrishnan
Cinematography: Sinu Siddarth
Lyrics: Kaithapram Damodaran Namboodiri
Cast: John Brittas, Lalu Alex, Suraj Venjaramood, Sudheer Karamana, Sreejith Ravi, Tini Tom, Raveendran & Iniya (lead opposite)
Producer: Ramesh Nambiar (Well Flow Talkies).
Lead actor John Brittas said 'Velli Velichathil' would be a visual treat. "The makers have given a meticulous touch to even the minutest aspects. They have captured the beauty of Oman in all its splendour and showcased different facets of the lives of expatriates. The movie is unique in more reasons than one. Barring me, all other actors are experienced. The director, scriptwriter, cameraman, editor, the lyricist, composer and singers like Chithra and Hariharan also make the movie quite worthy."
"As debutant actor my challenge was to virtually undo my television image. The character of Upendran demanded a complete makeover. And I believe that I have done justice to the role," he said. He requests the viewers to forget John Brittas, the television personality, while watching the movie. "Please see it through the eyes of Upendran, the lead character."
The film also stars leading Malayalam actors Lalu Alex, Suraj Venjaramood, Sudheer Karamana, Sreejith Ravi, Tini Tom and Raveendran in prominent roles. Iniya, who starred in many Malayalam and Tamil movies, plays the lead opposite.
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