Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Prithviraj Sukumaran: The Goat Life is an essence of the human spirit of survival

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Actor Prithviraj Sukumaran says it took him and director Blessy a decade to mount their passion project The Goat Life,  a real-life survival drama, as revenue models in Malayalam cinema weren’t as streamlined back then as they are today.
Based on the 2008 bestselling novel Aadujeevitham by Benyamin, the film follows Najeeb, a Malayali immigrant labourer who finds himself forced into slavery as a goatherd on a secluded farm in Saudi Arabia.
It was never about funds, said Prithviraj, as Blessy has also pulled double duty as a producer.
“I was in the middle of doing multiple films at that time, and I had not yet gotten the time to get around to reading them. But Blessy gave me a copy, and that’s the copy I read, and that was back in 2009,” he recalled.
“The fact that this is a true story and that there is someone who lived through it and survived. This person who’s among us alive and well today to be able to tell the tale is just incredible. The spirit of survival is something that cannot be articulated, but this film will make you feel it when you see it. That is the essence of the human spirit of survival,” he told PTI.
When they started shooting for the movie, the pandemic broke out. The crew was stranded in the Jordan desert for 70 days from March to May 2020 due to the pandemic’s restrictions.
To prepare for the role, the 41-year-old actor said he met with Najeeb, whom he described as the “epitome of human strength.”
“I’ve met him more than once. Imagine the amount of strength he must have carried within himself and the faith he must have had to keep.”
Prithviraj, who is also distributing the film in Malayalam through his banner, Prithviraj Productions, said Malayalam cinema is slowly finding a distribution network.
Produced by Visual Romance, The Goat Life also features Amala Paul, K.R. Gokul, as well as Hollywood actor Jimmy Jean-Louis and Arab actors Talib al Balushi and RikAby in pivotal roles.
Academy Award winners A.R. Rahman and Resul Pookutty have given music and sound design, respectively.
The film is set to release in theaters worldwide on March 28.
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