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There’s a line in Prithviraj and Basil-starrer ‘Guruvyaoor Amabalanadayil’ that suggests marriage is the answer to everything in life. Their latest goof-ball comedy, also starring Basil, is set against a vibrant wedding in Kerala. So when Gulf News got a chance to catch up with Prithviraj in Dubai earlier this week, we asked the happily married actor if he endorsed that punchline about marriage being a universal fix.

“Marriage is not the answer to anything; forget everything,” said Prithviraj in his most pragmatic tone. In real life, the actor-producer-director has been married to Supriya Menon, a journalist and producer, since 2011. They have a nine-year-old daughter.

“If you find that partner and both of you want to live together and want to have a family, then marriage definitely provides that structure that we live in… Our society deems that we ascribe to that institution so that there’s a structure designating us as a family. As unemotional as it sounds, that’s what it is. So don’t look for marriage as an answer to something or a solution to any problem,” said Prithviraj.

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Prithviraj, Nikhila Vimal, Anaswara Rajan, and Basil Joseph in 'Guruvayoor Ambalanadayil', out in UAE cinemas now

In his situational comedy directed by Vipin Das of ‘Jaya Jaya Jay Hey’ fame, this versatile actor plays Anand, who develops an interesting bond with his prospective brother-in-law Vinu, played by director-actor Basil. Prithviraj describes it as a creative product borne out of the collaboration between the late iconic British comedian Peter Sellers and comic author PG Wodehouse.

“The film is about people who are all a little cuckoo… That line about marriage being the answer to everything should tell you how messed up in our minds our characters in the film are… We are so wrong about so many things,” he added. He describes both Anand and Vinu as fragile men with even more fragile egos.

“They are weak men, emotionally, and they have all the classic chauvinistic traits of covering it up with false bravado… Humor lies in taking a step away and finding them amusing. The core plot of the movie is about these two men, and the entire narrative springs off a situation that develops between them… The narrative is not linear, and it’s a delightful film,” said Prithviraj.

This film is a stark departure from his previous release, ‘Aadujeevitham’. In the sobering and gritty survival thriller directed by Blessy, the 41-year-old actor played Najeeb, who gets abducted and is forced to become a goat herd in a desert. Director Blessy famously put aside 16 years of his life for his passion project, which is now a blockbuster with a global box-office earning of over Rs1.2 billion. Prithviraj also shrunk dramatically to play the role of an emaciated worker treated brutally by his cruel and toxic boss. While Prithviraj is chuffed about the movie’s stupendous critical and box-office success, he is surprisingly clinical about his contribution to it.

Prithviraj in 'Aadujeevitham: The Goatlife'

“I can’t sit here and claim to have given 16 years of my life to ‘Aadujeevitham: The Goat Life’. That’s Blessy’s journey. I was doing some other films during the process of making Aadujeevitham… But I truly believe that I am way richer as a man, as an actor, as a father, as a husband, and everything after having gone through the process of making that piece of art. There was a lot of investment going into it in terms of effort and skill. I always look back at the experience of having made that film with utmost love, respect, and obligation,” said Prithviraj. As an artist, Prithviraj – who is busy directing Mohanlal in ‘Empuran’, the follow-up to his directorial debut ‘Lucifer’ – claims he’s in a “happy space”.

“I have been in this happy space for a long time now. I now make the kind of films I want to make in the way I want to make them. I pick a script or a project I like and make sure that it’s made into a film I like and it’s in my control… Even with ‘Guruvayoor Amalanadayil’, I have a certain control over this project. But from May 16th onwards, the movie will belong to the people who go to watch the film. So crying over a film or celebrating over a film for too long is not my style. ‘Aadujeevitham’ is by far my career’s biggest hit, but that’s done and over now. I am moving on to my next.”

Prithviraj, who made his Malayalam film debut with the 2002 romance ‘Nandanam’, is now working with a younger raft of actors in his relatively sprightly new release. Apart from Basil, Anaswara Rajan, and Nikhila Vimal also play crucial roles in the movie. Incidentally, Prithviraj was meant to play Basil’s role initially, and a much older actor was supposed to play his role. But the casting got dramatically altered when Basil was brought on board.

“That casting switch made the film a lot fresher and younger, for lack of a better way to put it,” said Prithviraj, who claims he loves being involved in the art of making cinema – genre no bar. So what did he learn from the younger lot of actors in this film?

“When you watch this film, you will get to see a bunch of boys and girls who are all very good at what they do. They are all confident and come from a world of Instagram reels. They are not afraid of being judged because they are judged every day when they put out their reels… They don’t care about being judged, and their confidence is just very endearing…”

About Basil, he has the most interesting anecdote.

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Prithviraj and Basil Joseph in 'Guruvayoor Ambalanadayil', out in UAE cinemas now

“I was having dinner the other day at Jyothika’s place, and she encapsulated the appeal behind Basil, the actor. She said in ‘Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hai’, she wanted to punch him in the face but felt that Basil has a face who can get away with pretty much anything… I couldn’t have said it better.”

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‘Guruvayoor Ambalanadayil’ is out in UAE cinemas now