A young girl in a blue and white school uniform emerges out of the bathroom, dripping wet. The vacant look on her face leaves a knot in the pit of your stomach, convincing you that she has been through something terrible. Without uttering a word, Nimisha Sajayan who plays this schoolgirl in her latest film Chola has already gripped her viewers in the 4 minute promo which released on Wednesday. The actor’s performance has been lauded by critics who have watched the film, and she won this year’s Kerala State Award for Best Actress.
The clip goes on to show Nimisha staring into a mirror. Behind her, a man (Joju George) is seen sitting on a chair. He later gets up and comes behind Nimisha, moving creepily close to her. Joju won Best Character Actor (Male) for his performance in this film and Joseph. In the next scene shown in the clip, we’re taken to a dark lane filled with shuttered down shops. We hear a baby wailing as well as the muffled screams of a girl. The camera then stops before a deserted looking ‘Paradise lodge’, its walls painted blue and white matching the wall paint in the first room where Nimisha stood. A man is then seen hurrying to the lodge with a parcel in his hand.
This 4 minute video of Chola which is directed by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan is the award winning director’s fifth outing as a feature filmmaker. Starring Joju George and Nimisha, the film is on an important incident that happens in the lives of three people. Sanal had, in an interview, also said that the film would revolve around the idea of power politics and the feminine identity, adding that the film was meant for a ‘mature’ Kerala audience.
The director, who shot to fame with his film S Durga, said that he wanted to take advantage of the current audiences in Kerala who are interested in films with unique plot lines. Chola was written together by Sanal and write MV Manikandan nearly ten years ago. It is set to hit the theatres in July this year.
Nimisha Sajayan who we saw in critically acclaimed films such as Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum and Eeda also won the State Award for her performance in Oru Kuprasiddha Payyan. In the film, which stars Tovino Thomas, Nimisha effortlessly plays the nervous new lawyer who fights for justice for a defenceless labourer who is falsely accused in a murder case.
Joju George was last scene in Joseph, a neatly executed investigative thriller which was well received by Malayali audiences.