‘Amen’ is a festival of music, laughter, dance and positive energy,” says Malayalam director Lijo Jose Pelliserry, describing his film, out in the UAE on Thursday.
“There is never a dull moment. But then, you can’t watch the film with hypocrisy. Leave that behind.”
Produced by Fareed Khan and scripted by P.S. Rafeeq, this story features Indrajit as Father Vincent Vattoli, the priest of a village church.
“A jovial man, Father Vincent is high on energy and loves music,” continues the director, the son of late actor Jose Pellissery.
Fahad Fazil plays Solomon, a simpleton who enjoys playing the clarinet and aspires to play in the church band. He is in love with Sosanna, a rich girl. Their love story is known to everyone in the village much to the disapproval of her parents. Sosanna, however, is the brave one in this relationship and takes the bond further.
Telegu actress Swati makes her Malayalam debut with this film as Sosanna.
“She was amazing,” says Pelliserry. “She learnt all the dialogues well, understood them perfectly before coming to the sets and delivered it like a Malayali actress. She did not require any prompting.”
Pallissery, who grew up surrounded by his father’s theatre company, Chalakudy Sarathy Theatres, (where the late Tilakan directed plays), remembers being addicted to films during his growing years.
“I had to watch at least one film every day.”
He was in class X when he expressed a desire to work in films to his father, who told him to get a degree first. After graduation, Pelliserry did a management course and worked for six months, by when he realized that “this was not my cup of tea.”
“One fine morning, I walked away from my job. I then assisted ad film makers, V.K. Prakash and Manoj Pillai for a year.”
“I have grown up with Priyan’s [director Priyadarshan] films and it was a joy when he called me up to say that he liked my work and the method of story- telling.”
Pallissery began his career with ‘Nayagan’ in 2010, a crime thriller that was well received. His second film, ‘City of God,’ was a hit too. ‘Amen’ released in Kerala on March 22 has been doing well.
Producer Fareed Khan says, ‘In Kerala it has been screened at 64 theatres and the gross collections touch six crores. In Bangalore, it is running to packed houses even in the fourth week of its release. In Chennai, ‘Amen’ will be extended into more screens the coming week.”