Chicken Kokkachi was one of the most watched Malayalam short films of recent times. The film got so popular that its makers decided to remake it as a feature film by the same name, with an interesting cast of newcomers and seasoned comedians. The film released this Friday.
The director and lead actor Anuranjan Premji, who plays the role of a hotel cleaner in the movie has a background that is the exact opposite of the role. Anuranjan owns a bakery and restaurant in Thrissur. “After the film was a hit on Youtube, we got thinking about making it a full-fledged movie,” he says.
He shares his journey: “Cinema was a dream for a long time. Although I studied MBA, cinema was always on my mind. Acting is what I really like; I’ve always wished to act in movies. When this short film happened and found success, people asked if we are planning to go ahead with a bigger plan for this. So finally I got down to the business myself and made the movie.”
About the experience of movie making he says, “I had to live through every bit of the struggle that a person without a background in filmmaking has to go through. That initial difficulty was there, but I overcame it day by day.”
Slipping into the bakery owner mode he says, “This movie is based on a restaurant, which is why it has this name. ‘Chicken Kokkachi’ is the name of a dish in that restaurant.” When asked if the dish is part of his restaurant, he laughs and says, “No, it is not something we served, but I will be introducing it.” On stepping out from the shoes of a restaurant owner to play the role of a restaurant cleaner, he says, “Since I am in the industry, it was easy to play the role of the restaurant cleaner as well, since I see them everyday. I had a hang of what they would wear, their character and what they are like basically.”