‘Pranaya Vilasam’, which marked Sunu AV’s debut as script writer alongside Jyotish M, released on February 24.
The New Indian Express’ reviewer wrote: “There are some films where I don’t find it necessary to focus too much on the craft because the emotions take centre stage. Pranaya Vilasam is one of those. It struck an emotional chord.”
The Hindu’s reviewer called it “… a fairly entertaining take on lost love and the need for understanding in relationships.”
Like any Malayalam movie buff, Sunu grew up dreaming about films. But being a part of the film industry in any role was never in his dreams.
After a post graduation in mass communication and journalism, he moved to Kochi in 2016 and joined Maitri Advertising as Copywriter. That’s where Sunu met his co-writer and friend Jyothish, also his room mate. The usual discussions on movies led to some interesting story ideas, which the duo started penning down.
“It was after moving to Kochi and joining Maitri that I realised dreams can turn into reality. Jyothish and I have written several scripts which we discarded before finalising the theme for Pranaya Vilasam. That’s when the pandemic hit us, and we both were at different places. Further discussions and writing was done over phone,” reminisces Sunu, now Ideation Manager at Maitri and also a published author.
It helped that the director of the movie Nikhil Muraly was also a former colleague at Maitri.
“When Nikhil was at Maitri we used to commute to the office together. I used to discuss movies and the scripts I was working on with him. He was also passionate about films and filmmaking. The first draft of the movie script was completed during the pandemic and once the situation started improving, we came in touch with the movie producer Ranjith Nair and later he decided to produce the movie along with Martin Prakkat and Sibi Chavara,” reveals Sunu.
The day he saw the film with the entire crew was an emotional moment for Sunu. Seeing his name on the big screen in the credits was a high he had not experienced before. “It was an overwhelming experience when the movie opened to positive reviews and is running successfully across theaters,” he reveals.
His inspiration includes parents and friends to whom he owes his growth and success to.
“I hail from a small village in Kerala and my parents wanted me to succeed, but didn’t know how to support me through the entire journey. Their moral support is something which I am indebted to. The support I have received from Maitri is immense; they allocated me leaves and adjusted work accordingly. When the movie was released, Raju Menon, Managing Director at Maitri, sent a message in the work group requesting everyone to watch the movie saying the ticket money would be reimbursed. That was another emotional moment for me,” added Sunu.
Sunu is now finalising the themes for the next movie. A ‘90s kid, he believes in the power of genuine storytelling.
He has written several short stories for leading literature magazines in Malayalam. A collection of his short stories ‘Indian Poocha’ was published by DC Books in 2021. It was well received by readers and also won second prize at the Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters.
The multi-faceted creative is now being approached by publishers for the next book. He has written six short stories to date. “Once four more short stories are completed, then the content for the next book is ready,” says Sunu.
Given the writer’s mooring, one can guess that it would be the next of many books to come. But one can be reasonably certain that his name will be part of the credits of many films to come.