Ignored for the chief minister’s position, red-faced Marxist veteran VS Achuthanandan is set to don the greasepaint. Age might have dented nonagenarian VS’s political ambitions, but the 93-year-old is still a hero in the reel world.
In the film titled ‘Campus Diary’, Achuthanandan will play himself, as a favourite crusader of the middle-class. The shooting will begin in north Malabar’s Koothuparamba next week. Mainstream actors such as Sudev Nair, Mammokoya and Gautami Nair will rub shoulders with the veteran in the film.
“The film revolves around burning ecological issues of the world. We all think about today not tomorrow. Since green issues are close to the heart of VS, we thought of roping him in,” said producer CK Sarasappan.
The plot revolves around a group of students who accidentally reach a village in the midst of a severe drought. They find that a gushing river once flowed through the village but dried up due to mindless exploitation, and begin a mass movement to restore the course of the river.
Hearing about the efforts of the students, VS goes to the village to express solidarity with them. “Once he reaches the village, he takes on the mantle. We find him best-suited for the role,” said the producer.
For the sulking VS, this new role will be an interim relief. Though the central leadership of the party approved a suitable position for him, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, his arch-rival in the party, is in no mood to accommodate him.
In the just-concluded state assembly election, the veteran leader had crisscrossed the state with the vigour of a young man, but was overlooked when the party rose to power. When announcing the elevation of Pinarayi as CM, party general secretary Sitaram Yechury dubbed the old warhorse the Fidel Castro of India. Now his detractors often call him “Kerala Castro”.