Muscat: Many budding Omani artists and Indian expats will hit the big screen with the release of Raastha – Oman’s full-length Malayalam movie – on January 5, 2024.
The newly formed ALU Entertainment, a brainchild of Abdul Lateef Uppala, Managing Director, Badr Al Sama Group of Hospitals and a Board member of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is all set to see its first movie in the Malayalam language to be screened in over 80 theatres in Kerala state, Oman and other GCC countries and also in rest part of the world.
Nearly 40 crew members along with film and theatre personalities comprising mostly Indian expats from Oman and also Omani nationals have put their heart and soul into this 125-minute Malayalam movie.
The story is written by two thick friends from Sur in the Batinah region – Shahul and Faiz, who were pondering a real story that happened in 2011 in the deserts of Rub-Al-Khali, which is one of the biggest deserts in the world. Rub-Al-Khali is spread over 650,000 km, from Oman to its border nations – UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
The duo after much difficulty managed to interact with Abdul Latheef and the story narration motivated him to make Raastha (Path) as it is based on facts and it showcases the true nature and culture of Oman.
“As a Board member of OCCI, I feel it is my responsibility to contribute to the promotion of the entertainment and tourism industry of Oman and this movie is the first such step in this direction, Abdul Latheef said.
Sharing his experience of shooting the movie in Oman, the film director Aneesh Anwar was all praise for the Omani authorities and the locales for their whole-hearted support.
The beauty of Oman ranging from brown mountains to blue, olive green seafront and the open blue sky mesmerized the film director, who said, Oman is a dreamland for any filmmaker and he will share his experiences with his friends from the film fraternity, back home in India as Oman is not only a friendly nation, but a filmmaker’s dreamland to showcase its beauty on screen.
The Malayalee film has actors –Sarjano Khalid, Anagha Narayanan, Aaradhya Ann, Sudheesh, Irshad Ali, T G Ravi, Aneesh Anwar, Lovel Edathil Balakrishnan, Prakash Vijayan, Sabitha Lijo and Ansar amongst others, and is produced by Linu Sreenivasan.
Lovel Edathil Balakrishnan, a native of Thalasshery in northern Kerala Kannur, who has been in Muscat for more than two decades, is a well-known classical dancer and a noted actor, who is known as “Mahabali” carrying the traditional umbrella on the Onam day.
Sabitha Lio John, a resident of Muscat plays the role of a housemaid Fato working in an Omani house, is excited as it is her first venture.
Prakash Vijayan plays the role of a hotel manager Baiju, he is the last person to meet missing persons in the desert. He has a significant role in the 160-minute movie, where he coordinates with Ashraf played by (Lovel Edathil Balakrishnan) in searching for the missing persons.
Chairman of the Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Faisal Abdullah Al Rawas, expressed his satisfaction and excitement upon knowing that the movie was completely shot in Oman and how it showcases the beauty of Oman. He wished all the best for the movie and assured the crowd that he would watch the movie in the theatre along with his family.
Humaid Al Amri, Chairman of Oman Film Society while sharing his experiences said the movie will give a boost to Oman’s entertainment industry and will inspire more movie makers to come to Oman and shoot movies here.
Vishnu Narayanan is the cinematographer, while Avin Mohan Sithara is the music director of the film which is edited by Aftar Anwar.
Raastha boasts stellar performances complemented by the artistic direction of Venu Thopil. The Malayalam film features outstanding songs sung by Vineeth Srinivasan, Alphonse Joseph, Suraj Santhosh, and Avin Mohan Sithara.