"The film 'Adbhutam' (Wonder) is about euthanasia and it will be released in the first week of January."
Only one camera was used to film 60 artistes on a hospital set at the Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad. Filmmakers D. Ramanaidu and C.C. Reddy observed the process.
Jayaraj, who won the national award for "Kaliyattam" (1997) and is famed for bridging the gap between commercial and art cinema in Kerala, has also made movies in Telugu.
"Adbhutam" is the fourth in his "Navarasa" (nine expressions) series and is based in the Oregon, US, which has legalised mercy killing.
The bilingual film in Malayalam and English stars Suresh Gopi and follows "Karunam", "Shantham" and "Bheebhats" in the "Navarasa" series.
Jayaraj's assistant Anwar said: "Everything went off well. There were no retakes thanks to all the rehearsals we had. We used only one camera so that the entire shooting was done under the direction of Jayaraj."
"Atbhutham" is about a terminally ill world-renowned playwright and director named Chandrasekhara Warrier, who migrated to the US when young and has not gone back to his native place In India again.
He has been suffering from pancreatic cancer for two years. When he finds his pain too excruciating, he asks for death. His US-born Malayali wife and his attorney decide to help him.
On the day of his death, he meets important people in his life in the hospital. They include his parents, a close friend, his wife, his special "lady friend" who is an American, and a Tamil actor he had picked up from the streets of Chennai and who made it big in the US.
The story starts at 10 a.m. in the hospital and Warrier is supposed to die at 11.30 a.m. What happens in those 90 minutes is the story of the film.
For Suresh Gopi, who plays the lead, it was an emotionally and physically draining experience as he is portrayed as being bedridden throughout the film, with tubes protruding out of all parts of his body. His character is unable to speak too, as his trachea is pierced.
The entire crew was at Ramoji Film City for the past five days to rehearse, and the last two days were spent on shooting preparations so that there would not be any problem on the final day of shooting.
Except for seven Malayalis, all the other characters are from different parts of the world.