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Updated: July 11, 2010 02:22 IST

Writing for cinema, yet another profession, says Jayamohan

B. Kolappan
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He wrote some of the finest novels and short stories in Tamil. He has made seminal contribution to literary criticism. A prolific writer, who has posted almost all his writings on the net, whose views on many subjects have stirred up a lot of controversy, but, two films-Naan Kadavul and Angadi Theru have placed Jayamohan on a different trajectory. He discusses his journey in the film world with B. Kolappan

The applause and whistles in theatres in response to the matter-of-fact dialogues reiterate the need of involving a writer in film making. But Mr. Jayamohan is humble about his role. “Cinema, unlike the creative writing, is a collective effort. The writer serves the director like other artists,” he says. Explaining why the role of a director was paramount, he said if a film became a hit all those who were involved in the movie claimed for credit, while the director would be left alone to take the responsibility if it was a flop.

He, however, pointed out that a writer could effortlessly pen the dialogues while it might take months for a director to finish the task.

“The role of the writer is to tell the story and it is left to the director to visualise it. Of course there are writer-directors,” he said Throughout his conversation Mr. Jayamohan stressed the role of the writer and director without trespassing into each other's areas. “A film is a compromise between a writer and director, pointed out this writer from Kanyakumari, whose mother tongue is Malayalam.

According to Mr. Jayamohan, Tamil cinema was yet to acknowledge the role of writers. “It is an accepted phenomenon world wide. Only in Tamil cinema we think we can manage without writers,” he said.

Before Naan Kadavul and Angadi Theru he played a limited role in the film Kasthurimaan. “I never had any aversion for popular cinema. In fact I madly followed Malayalam cinema. I have friends in the cinema industry. But I could enter the industry only after I was called,” he said, explaining his foray into the tinsel world. On converting novels into films, he felt that the idea could have suited the films in the past. “Modern cinema is in a hurry and it needs only short stories and short novels. Thriller novels may suit the medium, but not a novel with multi-layer stories,” he said.

Mr. Jayamohan said writing for cinema was yet another profession. “But it should be honourable and creative for a writer like me,” he said.

“But I must tell that entry into the film world has suddenly relieved me of all the burdens of a head of a family. Had I not come to this industry, I would have been running from pillar to post to organise money for my son's higher-education,” said the writer, who recently resigned his job in BSNL.

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