Jayaram, who is currently basking in the success of his last released movie Nadan, is on a high. His next movie Swapaanam, which is yet to be released, had its global premiere at Mall of the Emirates during the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) at 8 pm on December 8.
Swapaanam was the first Malayalam movie to get its first screening outside India. Jayaram is donning the role of chenda artist (drummer) in this movie that he occasionally takes up in real life too. Swapaanam depicts the tragic life of Unni, a temple percussionist. Unni's passion for the chenda takes him through forbidden territories, challenging traditional values.
The rest of the cast include Siddique, Sajitha Madhathil, Vineeth and Bengali actress Kadambari, who plays the lead female character, Nalini, a Mohiniyattam dancer. Shaji N Karun, who is the director of the film, is best known for his award-winning films Piravi, Vanaprastham and Kutty Srank.
In Swapaanam, a Mohiniyattam dancer will be seen matching her steps to the beats of a chenda, instead of the traditional edakka. Shaji said that chenda as a percussion instrument has some unique characteristics. She said, "It is the only drum that can be orchestrated as symphony of music with over 150 such instruments. Chenda Melam and Thayambaka are concerts on drumbeats and a unique interpretation of loudness. There is no such classical realisation to compare."
In the movie, Unni and Nalini are drawn to each other by an affection that transcends the devotion to their respective art forms. The pulse of their passion cannot hold up against the hardships of Unni's life. A brother and a father figure, whose love sours to jealousy and hatredness; a wife who despises his drumming and a mother from whom the truth about his birth is not forthcoming all hasten the tempo of a mental imbalance rooted in Unni's childhood to an inevitable dark end.
Swapaanam is produced under the banner of Horizon Entertainment. The script has been written by Harikrishnan and Sajeev Pazhoory. Saji Nair has wielded the camera for the film and the music has been composed by Sreevalsan J Menon. Lyrics are by Manoj Kuroor. Chenda maestros PD Namboodiri, Udayan Namboodiri, Eswaran Unni and a host of talented and well-known chenda players also appear in the film.