As kids, all of us must have wished at least once to see ourselves as a superhero with immense powers, which would help us easily finish our homework or get our favourite chocolates and ice-cream anytime we wanted. Secret identities and fights against crimes are the characteristic tropes of superhero stories, which, in addition to the costume that includes tights, capes and masks, make them hugely popular with a strong fan base. Characters like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Thor, Captain America, and so many more are household names across the globe. All these characters, however, are foreigners. There is probably no ‘desi’ superhero that kids adore. But wait, Mollywood will soon introduce one!
Being a creative space open to experiments, our film industry is all set to incorporate the genre that has not been attempted yet. Meanwhile, actor Anson Paul is all excited about the film Gambler, which will mark the beginning of a true change in Malayalam cinema — a change that, according to the actor, will provide the audiences with a next level visual treat. It will also be a family drama that deals with the intricacies of relationships.
As Anson gets vocal about his character in Gambler, his excitement is evident in his voice. The actor, who is just a couple of movies old in Mollywood, was in talks with the director of the film Tom Emmatty for quite some time regarding various scripts. One fine morning, Tom told him that he had a script that was apt for Anson. The actor says that the director kept it as a surprise. When he liked the plot and agreed to do the movie, Tom finally revealed that Gambler would also have a superhero element in it. Anson says he hopes that the movie will open the golden gate to success in his film career.
The actor stresses that Gambler has every element that the Malayali audiences expect from movies. “It is a family drama that talks about the relationship between a father and his son. The movie elaborates on various phases of parenting that a young couple goes through. In addition to these realistic elements, the film has seamlessly encompassed a superhero element as well. Once the viewers watch it, I think they will not be left with an option other than to see the film as a superhero one. The most surprising part is that though the realistic phase of the character and the superhero phase have two different platforms in the movie, the transition is very smooth yet evident. This could be one of the reasons why the audience will not feel that everything is exaggerated, which is a sure possibility in case of genres like this.”
Talking more about working on a genre that was entirely new for every person associated with the movie, Anson says, “It was actually a challenging as well as a hectic task to make Gambler happen because there were many factors that we were unprepared for. They kept on popping up as and when the work progressed. Having too many international references and no local ones was both an advantage and disadvantage for us. The numerous popular superhero characters have made a perception of how they look on people’s mind and, therefore, it was challenging to come up with something different that will break the stereotype. Also, as we had very few local references. It was upto us to create a benchmark. The major factor of the superhero character, the suit, has been made by Rithika and she had to get elements from different countries and finally assemble them here.”
The actor adds that movement is restricted when one wears a heavy bodysuit. Since there was only one such suit available, sometimes he had to wear it all day long. “We also had to film while it was raining and the costume got drenched. But there was no option to change it and I had to go with it the entire day. The viewers should understand that even superheroes have their share of difficulties,” Anson giggles, and adds that the greatest challenge was to maintain the physique that the superhero character was supposed to have and donning the suit that was pretty much heavy to handle.
“I was not allowed to put on even a single kilo as the measurements were fixed according to which the suit was custom made. It could not be altered,” he adds.
He is of the opinion that the low budget with which Malayalam movies are made is one of the reasons why such wide genres remain unexplored. “We had multiple constrains while making Gambler. However, we could come up with a high quality product. I think that our producers should be more welcoming to such out-of-the-box ideas and there is no doubt that Malayalam film industry will be able to make world-class movies in the coming years.”
Anson is happy that more movies of superhero genre have been announced in Mollywood and feels that it is an indication of how open our industry is about accommodating new ideas and treading unbeaten paths.
The actor has a few Tamil projects in his kitty and is in talks regarding some Malayalam movies....