After the hit BTech, Asif Ali is teaming up again with director Mridul Nair for Thattum Vellaattam, a theyyam-based film set in North Malabar. The title poster of the film, which will also star Soubin Shahir, Saiju Kurup, Lal Jr and Ganapathi, was launched by Asif Ali.
Speaking about the project to Cinema Express, Mridul says the film will deal with intense themes within the format of commercial cinema. "The last theyyam-based commercial film was Kaliyattam, and since then we have not seen any film in Malayalam centered on the art form. I'm hoping to do a more mature film than BTech this time, and incorporate elements of Kannur politics as well as the myths and superstition revolving around theyyam into the film."
Elaborating on the title, Mridul says, "Thattum vellattam is a special, very ferocious kind of theyyam, and there exists a myth that anyone who gets the first hit from the performer wouldn't live to see the next performance. But there have also been instances where no one died."
Pre-production work of the film has already begun and Mridul is in the process of assembling a talented technical crew to help him realise his vision. The filming is expected to begin by the middle of the year.
Apart from Thattum Vellattam, Asif is expected to appear in more promising titles this year, including RJ Mathukutty's directorial debut Kunjeldho, Sugeeth's Parannu Parannu, Jibu Jacob's Ellaam Sheriyaakum, an untitled police story directed by Rajeev Ravi, and an untitled Padmakumar directorial.