Are you back in comedy with ‘Anandam Paramanandam.’?
Yes, I am back in a full-length comic role after a long gap. Also, Shafi has attempted something different than his usual comedy films. I am happy to be part of this film. It is about people who celebrate life alone. The film is produced by Sapta Tarang Creations.
About getting serious characters back-to-back…
When you get the same kind of characters, naturally you might not be able to enjoy it after a point. Though I would want to do something different, I might not be getting enough opportunities. And also, if the character has a soul, you can really enjoy playing it.
You embarked on movies in 1981. What has changed for you?
I would say big changes are happening in cinema daily. Be it in technology or storytelling. Today you don’t even need a story to make a film. Sometimes it will revolve around a small incident. And all the changes that have happened in our lives have been reflected in cinema.
There seem to be fewer full-length comedy films now…
It isn’t easy to write and make such a film. It requires a lot of patience and hard work. To make people laugh isn’t a small thing at all. I doubt if there are people who approach cinema with that much patience today. You can see filmmakers without any background who stun you with the mastery of their craft in a short span.
Do you think comedy scenes have lost their relevance in cinema now?
Earlier in the script, they used to give space to accommodate special comedy scenes. There is no such space in today’s cinema. Earlier we had the opportunity to develop such scenes according to our presence of mind. Now we have stories that need to be quickly told. Therefore there is only space for organic humour in today’s narratives.
You have been a target of body-shaming jokes. Even recently there was an unsavoury incident involving a minister.
I think some people are forgetting that such comparisons are inappropriate in today’s times. Today’s generation notices all these things. Since I am an elderly person, such things don’t bother me. Having said that, he was being truthful.
How is political correctness affecting cinema?
If you don’t have the freedom to tell what you want through art, it will turn redundant. If a character requires some peculiar physical features, you need to show it, right? If you keep saying that such things are politically incorrect and should be avoided, filmmakers will be in a fix, no? And already we have to fear the censor board when we write a dialogue or scene.
How are film reviews affecting cinema?
I have noticed that healthy film criticism is slowly diminishing. The creative bankruptcy which has affected various fields is also affecting film criticism. If a film is good, the audience will make it a success no matter the negative reviews.
What are your upcoming films?
Aanandam Paramanandam is a Xmas release and will be out on the 23rd of this month. ‘Kadina kadoramee andakadaham’ and ‘Jackson Bazaar Youth’ are the other films ready for release.
And there are also films with Sankar Ramakrishnan, Anoop Sathyan, and Rajasenan lined up.