He weaved romance with his rustic tales in the 2015 Malayalam film '100 days of Love' starring Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menen. Now, in 2019, director Jenuse Mohamed is back with one-of-a-kind movie '9'. The trailer of the Prithviraj-starrer, which showcases conflicting emotions and relationships, is out and the over one-minute video shows how 'fear' occupies a kid and how its father ventures for rescue. The visually soothing and pumping background score makes one hooked and root for the movie.
As the buzz of the trailer is rising up and being noticed online, director Jenuse Mohamed and son of acclaimed filmmaker Kamal, talks to Onmanorama about the making aspect of 9:
Jenuse revealed that the makers had thought of releasing a pre-trailer too for '9'.
"The initial plan was to release a teaser or pre-trailer prior to this, two weeks before the release of the movie. But when we sat at the cutting table with my editor Shameer Muhammed, we realised that the scale and the scope of the movie was quite big. And so, we felt that aspect should be revealed to viewers before the movie hit the screens. Thus, it ended up being a full-blown theatrical trailer. The trailer which you have watched has almost the exact same pace of the movie," he said.
VFX and delay
The film, which was slated to release on November 16, was postponed. Prithviraj, himself had then shared on his Facebook page that although the team is happy with how the film has turned out, they wanted to tweak the VFX to ensure that the technical quality is top notch.
Talking about it, Jenuse said, "As seen in the trailer, the movie '9' has heavy VFX works. The two major aspects involving VFX are finance and time. For a VFX-driven cinema, time plays a crucial role to reach its completion stage. The shooting of the film was finished six months ago and many were asking me repeatedly as to when is the release. I felt, we needed more time. And it very rarely happens that a director or a VFX company gets more time from a production company. I'm grateful to Prithviraj Productions and Sony Pictures that we got ample time during the post-production work which I have used in the best possible way."
'9' is being bankrolled by Prithviraj’s wife Supriya Menon under their home banner along with SPE Films India. It will be distributed by Sony Pictures.
Jenuse also recalled the most challenging part in the making of the film. "As seen in the trailer, the film has many night shots. As the script itself demanded them, we planned about the night shoots during its pre-production stage. We decided that the night sequences will be shot as such at night itself. Why this was a challenge? You will get to know as you watch the movie. But getting a source light was the biggest challenge and wide shots were resorted to within thick forest and on top of mountains with very feeble source light. That's where you will get to see the magic of a cinematographer," he said.
The director also added that the film was a challenge not just for the director but equally for the cinematographer Abhinandan Ramanujam.
The support team
As a prelude to the trailer, the makers released character banners introducing the lead and crucial players in the movie. Prithviraj is Albert. The two female leads are: Wamiqa Gabbi (who last appeared in Godha) as Ava and Mamtha Mohandas as Annie. Master Alok, as Adam, is playing yet another pivotal role as Prithvi's son.
Prakash Raj as Dr Inayath Khan has a very special role. "When I wrote Dr Inayath's character, I had in mind that someone as special as him should be there. Malayalam cinema is known for its good content. And today, with so much of access, everybody is curious and with the potential we have it's been definitely been an advantage for a movie like '9'. The film, although released in a regional language, has a universal subject with lot more universal thoughts on it. Films like '9' will come up a lot more in the future," said Jenuse.
Prithviraj termed the upcoming movie as 'a genuine first of its kind for Malayalam cinema". Jenuse revealed how the actor came on board as producer.
"I first approached Prithvi as the lead actor of the film never knowing that it will be the first film of Prithviraj Productions. Just before the pre-production stage, Prithvi told me that he was looking for a really exciting script for a planned production venture. Subsequently, he expressed his desire to produce '9'. I genuinely felt happy that two people who really understood the film came forward and willingly supported '9'."
Stay tuned for video.