When Sunny Leone took to her social media page to announce, “I am so excited to announce my debut in Malayalam movies with “Rangeela”!!, it was almost like water down a thirsty man’s parched throat. Soon social media went into a tizzy with the news going viral and being shared widely.
The unprecedented Sunny fever in Kerala was on show when she had arrived in Kochi for a shop inauguration some time back. Pandemonium reigned when streets got swamped with her fans, who climbed on hoardings and buildings and broke barricades, just to get a glimpse of their favourite actor in the flesh. Sunny herself was surprised and took to her social media platform to express her gratitude to the people of Kerala for that unwavering love. Seems it is that same sea of love that had her nodding her head to the project, which is produced by Jayalal Menon under the banner Backwater Studios, and directed by Santosh Nair. Incidentally, Sunny is a part of the filmVeeramahadevi, a multilingual to be made in Malayalam, too. In the film, directed and written by V.C. Vadivudayan, she plays a warrior princess who is adept at martial arts.
Coming back to Rangeela, producer Jayalal Menon confirms, “Yes, it was the reception that she got in Kochi that made Sunny receptive to working in Malayalam films.” So what magic did they work to get Sunny to sign on the coveted dotted line? Jayalal reveals the formulae, “We are producing the P. T. Usha’s biopic in Hindi; so we already had a few contacts in Bollywood. We felt only Sunny could do justice to the role. When we approached Sunny for the role, she gave a patient ear to us, heard the story and then told us that she was excited about her role which is something she had never attempted before.”
That certainly evokes curiosity about Sunny’s role and Jayalal is more than happy to explain. “Sunny plays a Hollywood-Bollywood actor named Sandra.” Wait; don’t let your thoughts run ahead of you. There is more beyond the actor part. “The film is about a travel that Sandra embarks on — to Kerala among other places. The idea is that celebrities often lose out on a very valuable asset — their personal freedom — which they cherish when they get a chance to savour it. Sunny felt that she could relate to that character a lot,” he explains.
The film will be shot in locations in Kerala, Hampi, Goa etc. and is basically set as a travel movie with dance and music liberally sprinkled in large dollops.
The final cast is being worked out, but Jayalal reveals that there would also be four young characters.
If anyone is wondering about Jayalal’s and Santosh’s credentials, here is a small glimpse. Jayalal has produced films like Life of Josekutty, Karinkunnam Sixes, Ore Mukham and the upcoming Kalidas Jayaram-Gokul Suresh Gopi starrer. This is his fifth project.
Santosh has directed films like Money Ratnam starring Fahadh Faasil and the upcoming Sachin starring Dhyan Sreenivasan and Aju Varghese.
The shooting of Rangeela will begin in February. Sunny was part of a web series, Karenjit Kaur - The Untold Story of Sunny Leone, which ended recently. Before winding up, Jayalal reveals what Sunny shared with him, “I want to do more films in Malayalam.” So, all aspiring and veteran directors and producers can make a note of this....