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.