The ‘strange’ goings on at a palatial, old bungalow when a woman and her five sons move in is the basis of the plot of Achu Vijayan’s directorial debut — Vichitram. He says the film, which includes stars such as Kani Kusruti, Lal, Shine Tom Chacko, Balu Varghese, and Jolly Chirayath, is a mix of horror, comedy and suspense.
“ Writer Nikhil Raveendran, a friend, called up and asked me if I would like to direct the film for which he had the script ready. I liked what I read and knew that this would be a film that would get people to theatres,” says Achu. They had worked together on Nidra, Swantanthram Ardharaathriyil, and Djinn. Vineeth Jose co-wrote the script.
By the time Achu came on board, Shine Tom Chacko was already part of the project. “ Nikhil was adamant that Shine and Kani should be part of the cast. The script came with both, so to speak,” he says.
The film, located in Thrissur, is about Jasmine (Jolly Chirayath) and her five sons. “Her family disinherits her for marrying a football player of humble means. She returns to the family bungalow with her sons, after her brother’s death . The rest of the action is about what happens once they move in and the strange things that happen when they reach there.” Her five sons — Jackson, Joyner, Justin and twins, Stephan and Savio — are essayed by Shine Tom Chacko, Balu Varghese, Vishnu, and real-life twins Shihan and Shiyan respectively.
“Each of the sons has a distinct personality — Jackson wants to make a quick buck, while Joyner aspires to be an Instagram star, the only person who plays football is the third son, Justin, a goalie. The mother, since she married a footballer, wants her boys to be a ‘5s team’.” It is a delicate balance of horror, with a dash of situational comedy.
Achu began his career as a spot editor on Second Show (2012). He always wanted to direct films, and he sees the years that passed as preparation to don the director’s cap. Meanwhile, besides editing, he was also making medical videos for a medical diagnostic laboratory. He was chasing a ‘big project’ when Vichithram happened.
No spoilers, he says. Except “you may think you are alone at home, what if you are not?”