Arun Gopy sounded cheerful as he spoke on the other end of the phone. Two months ago, it was not the case. Upset over the arrest of Dileep, the hero of his debut movie, Arun was fumbling for words and had ended the short conversation with ‘I don’t know what to say’. Now, he is happy as his Ramaleela is all set to hit the screens on the 28th of the month.
“I am literally jumping up and down,” says Arun, who has been in the industry for over seven years as the assistant of K. Madhu and Lenin Rajendran and the associate of several others.
The movie scripted by Sachy is produced by Tomichan Mulakuppadam, whose previous production was Pulimurugan. Ramaleela has all the qualities of a dream debut — a popular star, a hit-maker writer and a big, bankable producer.
The movie was in its final stages of making when Dileep was arrested in the actress abduction case. Things went haywire since then. The film fraternity split into two — those with the actor and those with the actress. The release posed a dilemma.
“It was a big crisis; the solution was not in our hands. It was as if the road ahead had collapsed. I couldn’t choose what to do — whether to go ahead or not. Everything was blank and uncertain. We had to carefully plan how and when to release the movie. There was no objection from the part of exhibitors or theatres. We just had to finalise a date of release,” says Arun, who adds that he is not aware of any division in the industry over any issue. “The movie was planned as a post-Onam release. And I am happy that we can release it like we hoped for,” he says.
Arun doesn’t feel that the public sentiments against the actor would affect the movie’s prospects. “Every movie is a world we create. We invite the audience into an imaginary world; there are no real issues in that space. If the movie is good and interesting, people will come and watch it. I believe people will welcome mine too,” he hopes.
The political thriller stars Dileep, Prayaga Martin, Radikaa Sarathumar and Ranji Panicker among others. The pre-production had begun four years ago and Dileep was cast back in 2013. Arun has been toiling hard for Ramaleela for almost five years. The movie is narrated against a political backdrop. Would there be controversial references? “Ramaleela’s politics is like that of any movie. It’s not an attempt to tarnish any political party or even about the current political scenario,” he clarifies.
Even as Arun speaks, an online campaign is going on with audience being asked to boycott Dileep’s movies. Choosing to ignore all such moves, he says he is armed with ample confidence. “No one can do anything about it. My trust is in the audience. Also, what I have learnt is that after spending a lot of years in the industry, one loses the power to judge a movie and assess its merits and demerits. Ultimately, it’s not the filmmaker, but the audience who makes a movie successful,” he winds up.