Enthinada chakkare nee achan pattathinu .poye? (Sweetheart, why did you join priesthood?) This phrase has been doing the rounds on social media as memes and trolls for the past few days. A dialogue from the short film Ente Hridayathinte Vadakku Kizhakke Attathu was an instant hit with its YouTube version receiving 24.81 lakh views and counting. “It was surprising for us too,” says Anup Narayanan, who penned and directed the short film in which a girl expresses her love for a priest. All the characters have a smile on their faces throughout.
“That’s because we didn’t want the audience to feel the sadness from the characters’ faces. Gauging from the responses, I hope we succeeded,” says Anup, a Kochiite who is proud of his sixth short film. An entrepreneur who runs a cyber security firm, Anup’s earlier works include five English short films and five ad films. The story was born during his visit to St Aloysius Church, Mangalore. The setting and ambience was very cinematic and on him dawned an idea – of a girl falling for a young priest in her church. “The script was written in one go. The conversation between the priest and the writer was added later,” he recalls. The shooting and dubbing took two months and the music – beautifully composed by Joel Johns – took another six months. Everything was covered in Rs 2 lakh shelled out by Anup himself.
The trolls – the funny ones and the degrading ones – are all part of the game and he enjoys it as much as everyone else. Congratulatory calls and messages have been pouring in. Only a day ago had actor Nivin Pauly shared the short film on his Facebook page. The most valued comments came from unexpected corners – from the theatre artistes from Thrissur School of Drama and a group of priests who called up. “A Malayali priest from Germany called me yesterday and talked for hours. He was very surprised that I had no theology background nor had I referred to any religious scriptures for the script. Meaningful feedbacks like these make our work worthwhile,” he adds.
The actors – Aneesha Ummer, Bibin Mathai, Roshan Anand and Vishnu Vidyadharan – delivered their best and now, all of them, including Anup, are flooded with offers from Mollywood. Bibin, who played the priest, is all set to act in a film directed by a newbie. The others are yet to make a move. But Anup knows his plan, “My dream is to direct a movie, but it’s not something to be done in a hurry. I am taking it slow.”...