Tamil-Malayalam author Jeyamohan, the writer of Kadal, tells Saraswathy Nagarajan that the theme of the film is deeply spiritual and philosophical
As the release of Mani Ratnam’s Kadal creates waves of excitement, all is calm at the residence of Tamil-Malayalam writer Jeyamohan, who wrote the story of the film and co-wrote the screenplay with Mani Ratnam. He continues his daily affair with his blog in Tamil that is followed by a legion of fans worldwide.
Speaking to MetroPlus over the phone from his house at Parvathipuram in Kanyakumari district, Jeyamohan, who had also scripted the critically acclaimed Naan Kadavul and Angadi Theru, says the theme of Kadal is deeply philosophical and spiritual. “But it has been narrated in an entertaining way, complete with songs and captivating frames. It is a grand saga and A.R. Rahman’s songs for the movie are a hit,” adds Jeyamohan, who is already working on his next script for Mani Ratnam.
According to him, Kadal narrates the “story of a wounded boy who is transformed or elevated to a higher spiritual plane by a girl called Beatrice who comes into his life. It is a film on two youngsters from the fishing community, but not in the genre of Malayalam films such as Chemeen and Amaram, which was on the fishing community. The sea in Kadal is merely a backdrop to the story of a man’s transformation.”
Pointing out that Beatrice was the name of the angel who takes Dante to heaven in the epic work Divine Comedy, he says that the movie’s theme is about how it takes just one step or action to turn man into God but it takes several steps to turn a man into the devil.
Jeyamohan and Mani Ratnam had been planning a film for some time when the director became busy with Ravanan. Once the film was finished, the filmmaker took up discussions with Jeyamohan and that is how they hit upon the story of Kadal. “Initially, I wrote a 200-page novel and then along with Mani Ratnam, it was transformed into a screenplay. He selected the characters and scenes necessary for the film and crafted it. Each character is well-etched out in Kadal. A movie is a director’s medium. So, Kadal is Mani’s film. Similarly Ozhimuri [Jeyamohan’s first script for a Malayalam feature film] was Madhupal’s film, his interpretation of my work. Moreover, making a film is team work with the involvement of several people.”
He says that although he might write for movies, he does not see himself as a director as he feels it is too hectic and time consuming for a writer.
Admitting that his heart is in writing and that scripting for movies is a pleasant diversion and a hobby, he says Kadal is his attempt to see how, and if, a spiritual theme could be conveyed in the format of an entertainer.
“I am primarily a writer. Last year seven works of mine were released in Tamil, which included a novel, a collection of short stories, three on literary criticism and two on Indian philosophy. It is through my writing in Tamil that I communicate with my readers on different subjects on an intellectual level,” he says.
In the meantime, three films in Tamil that have been announced will be based on his script – one each for Mani Ratnam, Vasanth Bala and Bala. He is also working on the script for Arun Kumar Aravind’s next film, which the director will take up once the work on the Left Right Left is completed. Vayalar Madhavankutty’s movie on non-resident Keralites has been postponed though Jeyamohan has done the script for the film.
While Kadal creates a splash at cinemas today, Jeyamohan will be creating waves with the magic of his words.