Priyadarshan: Thugs of Hindostan was fantasy, Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham is steeped in history
Before big-budget war drama Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham rolls, Priyadarshan undeterred by comparisons with Aamir Khan's Thugs of Hindostan
Priyadarshan's ambitious trilingual, Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham, rolls on December 3 at Ramoji Rao Studios in Hyderabad. Featuring Mohanlal, Suniel Shetty and Manju Warrier in pivotal roles, the historical revolves around Kunhali Marakkar, the famous naval chief of the Zamorin of Calicut.
Said to be mounted on a budget of over Rs 100 crore, the film will have extensive sea warfare sequences in keeping with the theme of the film. One can't help but draw parallels with Thugs Of Hindostan, which revolved around pirates fighting for freedom from the British Raj.
While the Amitabh Bachchan-Aamir Khan starrer may have bitten the dust, Priyadarshan is undeterred in his retelling of the 16th Century hero. "Thugs is a fantasy film, but Marakkar is steeped in history," he says.
A poster of Thugs Of Hindostan
In his bid to be authentic to the subject, the director made production designer Sabu Cyril build four ships in the Hyderabad studio. "During those times, Indians would use ships made in Egypt as part of their barter system. So we built four similar life-size ships, boasting 200x200 metre tank, in Ramoji Rao Film City. We also roped in action directors from Thailand to teach sword-fighting to the stars."
The director admits to being nervous as he gets ready to helm his "dream project". "This is the first time I am shivering before starting a film because it is easy to write a story on paper, but bringing it alive on screen is a challenge. We also have to be prepared to handle the war and VFX sequences. This is where some of the Hindi films look tacky."
The film marks the debut of Mohanlal's son Pranav and Priyadarshan's daughter Kalyani.
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