'Thuramukham' revolves around the workers' struggle against the 'Chappa' system which was practised at the Mattancherry harbour in Kochi.

Nivin Pauly in mundu and shirtFacebook/Nivin Pauly
Flix Interview Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - 12:36
Written by  Subhash K Jha

The teaser for Nivin Pauly's upcoming film Thuramukham set the internet on fire recently. Directed by Rajeev Ravi, the film is said to be a historical drama and also stars Nimisha Sajayan, Darshana Rajendran, Poornima Indrajith, Manikandan, Indrajith and others. Nivin's last release was the critically acclaimed Moothon, directed by Geetu Mohandas.

Thuramukham is set to premiere at the 2021 International Film Festival Rotterdam. The story revolves around the workers' struggle against the 'Chappa' system which was practised at the Mattancherry harbour in Kochi. Set in the 1940s and '50s, the film documents how metal tokens called chappa would be thrown at the workers who would then have to fight to obtain it to get a day's work.

From the loverboy image of his early films, Nivin has evolved into a much more serious actor. In an interview, Nivin discusses why he accepted Thuramukham, how prepares for his roles and more. 

Your stunning performance in Moothon seemed a hard act to follow up. But you seem to have managed it in Thuramukham. What was your motivation for accepting this project above others?

I always look at the content when it comes to selecting a movie. The way it is narrated, and of course how it will be made. When it came to Thuramukham, I didn’t need to think twice as it’s from the legendary Rajeev Ravi. Working with him itself gives you the motivation. He is such a multi-talented filmmaker. When I first heard the story, I immediately wanted to do the film because I knew how this will come out.Trust me, it will be a visual treat for movie lovers.

Looking back at Moothon, I still feel it is a flawless performance.Is there anything that you would like to change in that performance?

Moothon was done after carefully studying, preparing and researching on the character. In fact the credit must go to its director Geetu Mohandas for the way she penned and developed the film. I am still receiving rave reviews on it. I don't think anything needs to change in terms of how I portrayed Akbar. It’s one of my personal favourites.

Thuramakham is a period drama dealing with a slice of history. Did you undertake any research for this?

The writer Gopan Chidambaran knew the period best and he narrated the nuances of my character and of coursem he also told me the stories of that time as well. I researched in detail about the characters in that chapter of Indian history before we started the film.

How important is preparation for an actor? And how important is it for you?

What I have learnt over time is that when it comes to doing any movie, your experiences helps a lot.But you’ve to remember, every movie is a new experience.If you do your homework well, especially on your character, before the shoot, that helps. I do that always and for any actor this is important.

How far behind in your schedule has the pandemic placed you? On the other hand are you enjoying this time with your wife and children?

The final schedule of Padavettu is pending.Other than that we have completed the shoot of three other projects — Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham, Mahaveeryar and Thuramukham. Yes, this has been a long break and it has given me some good time to spend with the family.

Watch the teaser of Thuramukham below:

Tell me about your other projects please?

We have just announced Tharam which is a rom-com, and Gangster of Mundanmala, an action flick.

Do you agree that the way forward for cinema is the digital platform?

The beauty of cinema is to watch a movie in a theatre itself,, to enjoy the real feel of it, and as actors, that’s what we all dream of: to see it all on the big screen. But having said that, with the current conditions, things are getting difficult for producers and for some of them, digital is the way forward. But honestly, I still believe we all will go back to theatres to watch movies when the COVID-19 situation improves.