This is one film that whipped up quite a storm the very moment it was announced. After much media flurry and endless discussions on social networking sites, Blessy’s Kalimannu is finally reaching theatres. “This film is my tribute to motherhood, the loftiest experience a woman can have. It’s an ode to all mothers and it’s a film aimed at all kinds of audience,” Blessy says about his latest starring Shweta Menon and Biju Menon in the lead.
There are many films that celebrate motherhood, but Kalimannu belongs to an all-new realm - it zooms into the relationship between an expecting mother and her unborn baby.
“There are references in Bible and Mahabharatha about unborn babies communicating. But at the same time it’s not a mere myth. Scientific studies have proven that from fifth month onwards the baby can sense the world around through his mother. I was intrigued by the mere profoundness of this experience - two lives residing in the same body,” says the director.
Blessy says his subject is all the more important in an era where womanhood is brutalised every other day. He expects the film to shake and wake a generation who guiltlessly welcomes the convenience of old age homes. “The film explores the organic bond shared between the two. It shows how much a mother is emotionally connected to her kid and how incomparable their kinship is,” says Blessy.
Set against the bustling backdrop of Mumbai city, Kalimannu portrays the eventful life of Meera, a club dancer who aspires to be an actress. The film unravels the drama in her life as she becomes an item dancer, actress and mom-to-be.
“Certain creations are capable of conjuring up immediate visuals. Think of a lullaby and what comes to your mind is a mother putting her baby to sleep. Kalimannu takes you one step ahead where the baby is still in its mother’s womb. I don’t think this concept has been given a visual interpretation anytime earlier,” he says.
The film created another buzz when Shweta Menon’s item dance stills surfaced. “Yes, they are unalloyed item numbers, but they are part of the narrative. They were not included to add spice or for commercial reasons. The storyline demanded it,” says Blessy.
Kalimannu first created a slew of headlines when it was announced that the film will feature Shweta Menon’s real-life pregnancy and delivery visuals. Though the controversy it kick started still continues, Blessy remains quite unaffected by the flutter.
“My film is my explanation to all those who jumped the gun branding it profane and improper.” He adds if one expects to see graphic depiction of childbirth on screen, the problem is with his perspective. “How you visualise pregnancy and delivery completely depends on your aesthetic sense. There may be people who consider it obscene and ghastly, but Kalimannu sees it through the eyes on an artist.”
Blessy and his crew waited for an entire year to complete filming, but the filmmaker says taking the easy route by casting a normal actress never crossed his mind.
“We could have wrapped up the movie in months, but I was ready to brave all odds for the sake of originality. Another risk factor was the possibility of a C-section. The highlight of the film is the moment the baby is delivered. Since Shweta’s pregnancy was real nothing could have planned,” says Blessy who adds that it took him nearly two years to complete the film because of the kind of subject he opted for. Along with the cast, a spate of well-known personalities make cameos in the film.
“Sunil Shetty, Priyadarshan, B Unnikrishnan, justice K T Thomas, Jameela Prakasham MLA, Sreekandan Nair and Anil Panachooran are also part of the film,” adds Blessy. The film produced by Thomas Thiruvalla hits the theaters on Thursday.