Indian cinema stalwarts join hands for Pazhassi Raja film


MUMBAI: Six of the biggest names in Indian cinema – actors Mammootty and Sarath Kumar, Gyanpeeth award winner M.T. Vasudevan Nair, music director Ilayaraaja, National award winning director T Hariharan and Oscar award winner Resul Pookutty – have joined hands for a movie on the forgotten history of India’s first revolutionary hero – Pazhassi Raja.

Pazhassi Raja, the Lion of Kerala, was the first Indian warrior to raise the flag of rebellion against the British East India Company in 1797, which is almost 60 years before the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.

The movie has been tited Pazhassi Raja and is being produced by Gokulam Gopalan. It will be released simultaneously in five languages including Hindi and English on 2 October, 2009.

Shot extensively in the forests of Wayanad, the home of Pazhassi Raja’s rebellion, the film involved approximately 1000 actors.

Apart from Mammootty and Sarath Kumar, the film also stars Manoj K. Jayan, Thilakan, Padmapriya, Kanika and Jagathi Sreekumar.

Director Hariharan says, "The starcast is just apt for a period film as grand as this. Choosing Mammootty for the role of Veera Kerala Verma Pazhassi Raja came naturally to me looking at the personality and talent the stalwart carried with him. In fact, all actors were fixed in my mind beforehand for each and every character. Pazhassi Raja, the film, will not only make Indians aware and proud of a great son of this nation, but encourage them to re-discover similar such lost and unsung heroes."

Mammootty described his association with Pazhassi Raja as, "the biggest film I have ever done."