The movie is edging towards the Rs 100 crore mark.

The movie is edging towards the Rs 100 crore mark.

The filmmaker opted to explore a fresh talent from Delhi’s National School of Drama for the pivotal role of Najeeb.

Malayalam director Blessy has made a successful adaptation of the novel Aadujeevitham for the big screen and the film starring Prithviraj Sukumaran has been having a great run at the box office. Shot primarily in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, the story involves a Malayali immigrant to the country who is forced into slavery by goatherds on farms in the desert by native Arabs. Blessy has stayed largely faithful to the novel by Benyamin and Prithviraj Sukumaran has been widely praised for his role of the ill-fated immigrant Najeeb. But did you know that Blessy was not the first one to approach Benyamin with an offer to make a film out of his novel? According to reports, director Lal Jose, famous for films like Chandranudikkunna Dikhil, Diamond Necklace and Immanue,l was the first to approach Benyamin for the rights to the film.

There is a rumour that Lal Jose withdrew from making Aadujeevitham because of the release of the movie Arabikatha, directed by himself, based on the life of the Gulf Malayalis. But this is factually incorrect. Arabikatha was released in 2007 whereas it was not until 2008 that the novel Aadujeevitham was published. After reading the novel, Lal Jose decided to make a film on it. He went to Bahrain to talk to Benyamin and he agreed. Just to produce the film himself. Lal Jose started his production company LJ Films Private Limited.

Lal Jose opted to explore a fresh talent from Delhi’s National School of Drama for the pivotal role of Najeeb. His decision stemmed from the lengthy process involved in shaping the character’s physique. Lal Jose was reluctant to undertake such a substantial risk with an established superstar. He envisioned a film of international calibre, set on a grand scale. Considering the considerable investment required, he also contemplated foreign co-production. Lal Jose aimed to wrap up the project within approximately four years, encompassing pre-production, script development, four years of filming and subsequent post-production.

However, when news reached Blessy that Lal Jose was making the film, he contacted Lal Jose and told him that he was also making a movie on it and the screenplay was ready. He asked Lal Jose if he could drop the project or if it was too late. Since Lal Jose had not started on the screenplay yet and was in the very initial stages, he wholeheartedly gave the film to Blessy.

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