Malayalam News

‘For Godha,everybody had to learn wrestling’

Now that the Godha teaser is out, and already gone viral, director Basil Joseph talks about the arduous journey of making the sports-comedy

Published: 13th February 2017 10:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th February 2017 06:54 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

It was during the shoot of Basil Joseph’s debut movieKunjiramayanam that  he met scriptwriter Rakesh Mantodi, who shared with him the interesting  thread of a story on wrestling. Basil was impressed and decided to make it his next.  

But then, like most Malayalis, they too weren’t well versed about wrestling, which is yet to be a popular sport in Kerala. (This was much before Sultan and  Dangal happened).
“To write the script, we needed to know what wrestling was. So, we approached wrestler Minnal George, at Fort Kochi, to learn more about the sport, before embarking on the scripting process,” says Basil.  
Even penning it came with many prerequisites. “Nobody knows much about wrestling. So, the movie had to convey the basics. We had nothing to refer  to, not even a foreign movie. Another issue was that, unlike boxing or any other sport, wrestling does not have any adrenalin-pumping moments. Rarely does a take-down happen as well. So, to hook a viewer, we needed the script to be edgy, and that was the real challenge,” says Basil.

By the end of 2015, the script was ready. Basil roped in Tovino Thomas, Ranji Panicker and Punjabi actor Wamiqa Gabbi. Then, it was the turn of the artists to learn wrestling.
“Tovino stayed at Minnal’s ‘Akhada’ for a month to learn  wrestling. Ranji had to bulk up for the role of an yesteryear wrestler.  Wamiqa took wrestling lessons, but hurt herself badly. This affected our schedule. Otherwise, the shooting went off well,” says Basil.

Having survived the problems caused by demonitisation, the movie soon had a fresh challenge in the form of Dangal. Basil says he was apprehensive about how Dangal would affect Godha. “I began the work of Godha, much before Dangal went on the floors. When it hit the theatres, I was apprehensive about whether people would compare it to Sultan and Dangal. But, seeing the response the teaser garnered, I am relieved. People were tagging it, “Nammude Dangal (our Dangal). It has come as a huge relief,” says the director.
However, Basil clarifies that there is nothing similar in Sultan or Dangal and Godha. “I can vouch for that. Godha is a sports comedy and an entertainer,” says the director.

Stay up to date on all the latest Entertainment Malayalam news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.