Murali Gopi is a man with many layers and we can even call him a shapeshifter in the Malayalam film industry. He is an established journalist, a firebrand scriptwriter, an elegant singer and moreover a top rated actor. This multi-talented personality is now enjoying the success of his latest film Lucifer directed by Prithviraj Sukumaran. Apart from Mohanlal's scintillating screen presence, it was Murali Gopy's script, actually a contemporary take on Indian power politics that played a crucial role in determining the box-office success of Lucifer.
In an exclusive talk with International Business Times, India, Murali Gopy opened up about the possibility of making a sequel to Lucifer with Mohanlal in the future, his alleged connection with Illuminati as claimed by a section of social media users, and restrictions on freedom of arts in India.
How do you feel after the overwhelming success of Lucifer, especially when most of your previous films garnered critical acclaim with its uncompromising cinematic language, but failed to make a huge impact at the box office?
I feel validated. Specifically, since there was this assumption in the industry that my threads and my writing styles were not mainstream enough to be huge box office successes. It's good to know that Lucifer has spoken for me.
Lucifer is such a movie which seems like a normal mass masala entertainer in its first watch, but when we go deep, we can see different layers in the story. As you recently revealed 'L' is just the tip of an iceberg, what more should the audience interpret from Stephen Nedumpally?
Lucifer, although it is drawn peripherally as a blue-blooded mainstream entertainer, is woven within multiple layers of codified dramatic clues. What you see on screen is only the tip of the iceberg. There is more to Lucifer than what meets the eye. On repeated views, it can and will be revealed in its own ways.
How do you rate Prithviraj Sukumaran as a director? Why?
He is one of the most hands-on directors I've seen and worked with. His grasp of the filmmaking technique and syntax is phenomenal. And there is a great creative vibe that I share with him. He has just begun his directorial journey. And I dare predict that he would attain great heights there.
The final moments of Lucifer end in an open note. Can we expect a sequel that narrates Stephen Nedumpally's mysterious past or future?
Lucifer is definitely designed as a franchise, and it is very evident from its structure and progression that it is one. I will abstain myself here from giving you any further leads.
Several people allege that Murali Gopy as a writer is intentionally trying to propagate Sangh Parivar ideas through his movies. When it comes to Lucifer, you have exposed the tactics of contemporary power politics embraced by both left and right democratic fronts, but you did not talk anything about Sangh Parivar or BJP. Would you mind telling something about this?
Either such people are blind or they feign to be so. I don't feel there is any need on my part to respond to such baseless allegations.
A section of people believes that Prithviraj Sukumaran and Murali Gopy are part of Illuminati, a group that controls the world with their clandestine clutches. Interestingly, some scenes in Lucifer portrayed Illuminati symbols including the 'All Seeing Eye'. Was that a mere coincidence?
Nothing is coincidental about what you see on screen here. However, it would be a very immature thing to say that the makers are a part of what they show on screen.
This question may seem a little weird. Do you believe in Illuminati or any other secret shadow group that controls the governments?
Again, the creator of a work of art need not answer such questions. It is like asking Shakespeare whether he was a Roman because he wrote Julius Caesar.
What is your take on restricting artistic freedom, especially in the wake of the recent complaint lodged by Kerala Police regarding the controversial poster of Lucifer?
No comments there. Art is free. So are people to file complaints. One has to speak out only when it comes to restricting art on the basis of such complaints.
Why are Mollywood audience hesitant to watch movies like Kammara Sambhavam which portrayed deceptions in history? Murali Gopy's Tiyaan also faced the same fate even though it handled a very serious issue. As a writer, are you finding it difficult to balance between class and mass elements, especially while making movies in a large canvas, and the only exception is Lucifer?
Unlike Lucifer, both Kammara Sambhavam and Tiyaan were mainstream experiments. Why they were not accepted at the box office, is a question that the audiences have to answer.
Tell us more about your future projects.
As a writer, I've committed to a few projects, the specifics of which would be announced later. As an actor, I just finished doing Kiran Prabhakaran's Thakkol, and have agreed to do a few others, including Maqbool Manzoor's Vala Vala.