The Long Journey of The Goat Life

The Goat Life is an upcoming Malayalam drama film. It’s based on the 2008 novel Aadujeevitham by Benyamin. The book is inspired by a true story about a man named Najeeb who goes missing after becoming a slave in Saudi Arabia.

Here is a table summarizing some key information about The Goat Life:

CategoryDetails
Original TitleAadujeevitham
Directed ByBlessy
Based OnNovel by Benyamin (2008)
Lead ActorPrithviraj Sukumaran as Najeeb
Lead ActressAmala Paul as Sainu
Production CompaniesVisual Romance Image Makers, Jet Media Production, Alta Global Media
Filming LocationsKerala, India; Jordan; Algeria
CinematographySunil K. S.
Film EditingA. Sreekar Prasad
MusicA.R. Rahman
LanguagesMalayalam, Arabic
Release DateMarch 28, 2024
Running TimeEst. 2 hours 30 minutes
Filming DatesMarch 2018 – July 2022
BudgetUndisclosed

Director Blessy wanted to turn the novel into a movie right after reading it in 2008. He got the rights from Benyamin and started writing a screenplay. Blessy cast Prithviraj as Najeeb back then too. But finding a producer who could fund such a big project was tough. It wasn’t until 2015 that wealthy businessman K.G. Abraham agreed to produce it.

Filming finally started in March 2018. The first scenes were shot in Kerala, India where Najeeb lives before leaving for Saudi. More filming happened in 2019 in Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert. Things got crazy in March 2020 when COVID-19 hit. The crew of 58 people got stuck in Jordan for 70 days! Flights were cancelled, so the Indian government eventually rescued them. Even with the pandemic trouble, they managed to film some key scenes there.

After that nuttiness, the team didn’t film again until 2022. They shot in the Sahara Desert in Algeria and went back to finish up in Jordan. The last leg of filming wrapped up in Kerala in July 2022. Phew, it was quite the journey over 4 years!

Prithviraj had to gain and lose a bunch of weight to show Najeeb changing physially from his life in India to his time as a slave. The guy lost 30kg…that’s intense! Amala Paul plays Najeeb’s wife Sainu. The film also stars actors Jimmy Jean-Louis and newcomers from the Middle East.

A.R. Rahman is handling the music. It’ll be Rahman’s first Malayalam film song in over 30 years. He already recorded tracks with singers Vijay Yesudas and Chinmayi. Rahman said the tunes are “mostly situational, more like a lullaby, lament-like.” Cool, can’t wait to hear it!

The crew is still finishing up special effects and other post work. But it looks like The Goat Life will likely premiere at a major film festival in 2023 before hitting theaters in late 2023 or early 2024. I’m pumped to finally see Blessy’s vision come to life after so many years in the making!

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