It’s quite common for filmmakers to make films based on popular books but even advertising has inspired directors. A user recently took to Twitter to talk about the old Greenply reincarnation campaign which seems to have inspired Malayalam film Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam. The film has been directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery (LJP), an actor and director who works in the Malayalam cinema.
The movie, available to stream on Netflix, credits the Greenply ad stating “To the old advertisement that gave the seed of thought.”
“LJP has mentioned this in the movie, "inspired by an ad." Wanted to share this when I saw this movie in the theatre, but waited for the OTT release. The TV ads from the mid-1990s to 2010 were legendary. Fevikwik, Greenply, Bajaj Avenger etc,” the user wrote on Twitter.
The 2005 Greenply Ad film which inspired LJP to make the Malayalam movie 'Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam'.— Advaid അദ്വൈത് (@Advaidism) February 24, 2023
In the commercial, a young Sikh boy suddenly starts speaking Tamil. pic.twitter.com/nEGEJ885J1
The folks behind the ad:
Agency : Lowe Lintas, New Delhi
Idea+Concept+Writer : Rupesh Kashyap (Brand, Content, OTT)
Creative Directors : Chockalingam S Jaju T K
Tamil Song : Chocka
Creative Head Delhi : Prithi Nair
Account Management team : Pratik Seal Vineet Kindra Syed Amjad Ali
Art Director : Tulika Seth
Film Director : Prakash Varma
NCD : Balki
The film portrays incidents in one of the key characters named Jameson's life. After visiting Velankanni, Tamil Nadu, a group of Malayali tourists take a bus back to Kerala. James (played by actor Mammootty) stops the bus at a village in rural Tamil Nadu. He enters into a house nearby, and starts acting like a member of the Tamilian family, Sundaram. He begins to behave like a Tamilian and speaks in Tamil like a local of the area. It confuses everyone who travelled with him as well as the local people of the village.
The movie, which was released in December 2022, is clearly inspired by an old Greenply advertisement which follows a similar storyline.
Made by advertising agency Lowe Lintas, the Greenply ad features a Sikh family (mother, father and son) travelling on a bus in South India. Suddenly, the boy, speaking in Tamil, asks the bus driver to stop and barges into an ancestral home.
He spots a table and a flashback shows a man writing at the same table. He reads out a name – Savitri. He then reclines on a chair, as an old woman watches him. She realises her husband used to recline in a similar fashion and runs to the boy, saying ‘Swami’. The boy holds her hand, calling her ‘Savitri’. The spot ends with a tagline “Greenply, janam janam ka sathi.”
The subtle messaging behind the idea of tying up the strength of the ply with reincarnation makes it clever and humorous. An interplay of contrasting cultures of North and South adds to the humour.