|HOME | MOVIES | QUOTE MARTIAL|
|June 6, 2000||
'Creating comedy is a painful process'
It could be because my subconscious mind wanted to be an extrovert. In films, you want to be what you are not in real life. I cannot be a police officer in real life but, in the movies, I can. These are all my dreams.
Do you consider yourself a good actor?
I have never cared to pamper the actor in me. The director Balachandra Menon always ignored the actor Balachandra Menon. In Samantharangal, I was trying to test my acting ability. I don't think I am a bad actor at all.
How do you want to be known, as an actor or as a film-maker?
Definitely as a film-maker. You get a sense of satisfaction only when you make a movie. As an actor, you are only a small part of a big film.
Is that why did you decided to make a movie like Samantharangal, which is so different from all the other films made in Kerala now?
I really do not know. I just wanted to make such a film and I made it.
Was the agony you had to go through in creating Samantharangal more when compared to your earlier films?
Have you seen the people who carry a heavy load on their backs and climb the hill? They shout, 'Yeslassa, yelassa,' all the time. They do that to ease the tension. That was how I made the film. I didn't feel the burden at all. The character I had portrayed was an old man. I didn't have to worry about my looks, wig, make-up or any such paraphernalia. I had to just wear a dhoti and act. I was shouting yelassa all the time..
Your earlier films were commercially successful but not critically acclaimed. Samantharangal won awards, but it was not a hit at the box office. What makes you happier, awards or hits?
It is like looking for greener pastures. Both make you happy, but in different ways. I know how it feels when your film is a big hit. But this gave me a different kind of satisfaction. Both are good, I'll say.
When you look back, do you feel Samantharangal is your best film?
Which role of yours do you like more -- Balachandra Menon, the writer or Balachandra Menon, the actor?
I love being a writer because I am a very private person. Nobody interferes with my work when I am writing. I can sit in my room and create people. It is like giving birth to a baby. For example, there is not even an iota of me in the old man in Samantharangal (the role for which he won the national award). But, as I was creating him, I could visualise even his smallest gestures.
As far as I am concerned, the most difficult part in film-making is writing the story. I am not talking about ordinary films. I am talking about sensible, serious and meaningful films. When you are making a sensible film, the characters will start questioning you and you have to answer their questions.
Do you see them in front of you as live characters?
Of course. Sometimes, you even become the characters. Before you portray a murderer, you have to commit a murder in your mind. You are free from the clutches of the law but, in your mind, you are a murderer.
What type of characters trouble you the most?
All types. Whether the character is comic or tragic, the effort is the same. Funny characters and funny situations make people laugh in the theatre, but only you know the agony you have to go through to create them!
Why do you say that?
Creating comedy is a painful process. You have to have the craft to incorporate comedy and comic situations in a film. It is not easy. It is like delivering a baby. Is it not a very painful experience?
People laugh when they see comedy on screen. Do you laugh when you write?
No, I don't. But you feel the effect even when you write. You can feel the spark, but you don't laugh. Do you cry when you write a dramatic scene?
That was what Lohita Das told me. He said he experienced the emotions of all his characters. That, while writing a script, he laughed, cried and got violent too...
Not in my case. I have written some very emotional and powerful scenes sitting on the sets with lots of people around me. And those scenes have become quite a hit with the audience.
Can you make people laugh in real life?
No, I can't. I am not a humorous person. Not many people have made me laugh. I do not know why.
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