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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

'I will not make a movie to suit an actor'

'I will not make a movie to suit an actor''I will not make a movie to suit an actor'
A K Lohithadas is a director who believes in the power of script and not the star while making films 
His tough demeanour does not betray his sensitivity. His casual ways, rugged looks and unkempt mane are only a deceptive veneer. For deep inside Ambazhathil Karunakaran Lohithadas, is very conscious of what he projects to the people at large. And in letting his work talk, he is unparalleled. 
A K Lohithadas is not a director who is in a hurry to make as many movies as he can but he is particular that the movies he makes are powerful in their content and poignant in their portrayals. "I don't make films hoping it will become a hit. If it becomes one then you could follow the formula that made it a hit. I wish to tell a tale and films are my way of telling a story," Lohithadas told Metrolife. He was in the City on a personal visit. 
If you have watched Thaniavarthanam, directed by Lohithadas, then you would you would agree with what Aparna, a film buff says: "It's a poignant tale one that is disturbing and truly unforgettable." A script-writer, active in theatre, Lohithadas turned a film director with the critically acclaimed Bhoothakannadi (The Magnifying Glass) in 1997. However, his later directorial ventures have only been moderately successful. 
Malayalam cinema had by then entered a phase where some of the movies were made only to suit the star and not the other way round. Rajamanikkam is a typical example where Mammootty donned a role that was rather too colourful and unlike his choice of role. Lohithadas says he will never make a movie to suit the character. “I will choose people who suit the character in the script. You would never find a hero in my story. Why should I make a movie to promote a star?” he asks. 
He always tries to match the actors' style of acting and body language with the traits of the character. He is also among the first directors to introduce new faces in Malayalam cinema. Meera Jasmine was introduced and encouraged by Lohithadas. 
Of late, Lohithadas hasn't been too active on the directorial scene. What kept him low? “There are no new breed of actors and the existing stars have grown too old and have been cast too often," he says. He thinks the industry lacks a new generation of actors and actresses who could add new meaning and dimension to Malayalam cinema. 
His movies lay less emphasis on the plot or commercial gimmicks and, instead, display a more character-oriented approach. 
What is his take on remakes? His Kasturiman has been remade in Tamil. "If it's worth it then any movie can be remade. It must be suitable to the subject," he says. After a two-year break, Lohitha is all set to cast out his directorial net. He's casting Mohanlal in Bishmar in Malayalam and working with Prithviraj for a Tamil film which he is yet to title. 

Sreenivasan: Superstars cheat viewers

Sreenivasan: Superstars cheat viewersActor Sreenivasan lashed at the superstars and the waning quality of Malayalam films at a meet the press conducted at Calicut Press Club on Monday. "The superstars control the Malayalam film field without considering quality by acting in all the substandard films offered to them. With this act they are cheating the public. Superstars are not outdated and that is why they continue as superstars. But without selecting the best scripts, they are getting involved in the production of low quality films. They can wait for good films. It is more regretful that they are least bothered to do good roles. 
The practice of writing for a Superstar, considering the mannerism is not advisable. In foreign countries designated agencies scrutinize the script and approve it and then the producers accept it. After this process they decide the director and actors. This is the method to be adopted. 
There is no such division in films called Art and Commercial. There are only two types of films, good and bad. The films I do make me happy. Even if you give me Rs. 15 crores and 15 years, I cannot make the kind of film that Satyajit Ray made. When asked about the future plans of his son Vineeth, he replied, let him choose his own path. I don't think he would act in films in the future. He is about to direct a film. Director of the film Makante Achan, V.M. Vinu also attended the press meet and said, "It is difficult to get a prominent actor in Malayalam to accept a role with a wife and teenage son. Under these circumstances I approached Sreenivasan and he wholeheartedly accepted it."