Chennai and Tamil Nadu
Pangs of love
B. Unnikrishnan's telefilm, `Annu Mazhayayirunnu' is a love story that has a dash of suspense
FOCUSSED STORY: B. Unnikrishnan narrates a story of love and heartbreak.
Suspense can exist even if a story is not a crime thriller. B. Unnikrishnan proves it in `Annu Mazhayayirunnu.' All those who keenly followed the serial `Black and White' would be familiar with the kind of taut story lines that Unnikrishnan scripted. He brings in the same effect in `Annu Mazhayayirunnu,' a telefilm. But the genre is not crime. It is romance. In unobtrusive flashbacks and realistic topical settings, a love story unfolds in a rural central Travancore milieu. Written, produced and directed by Unnikrishnan himself, the compact, one-and a-half-hour film is made for a private channel.
Jyothirmayee plays the central character. The story shows her transition from a teenager to a woman in her early thirties.
"It was a truly challenging role, and the subtle way in which I had to act, keeping small details in my mind, was a learning experience," she says.
Emotions dominate in this film. The trauma of a broken relationship is sensitively conveyed. The suspense that is maintained throughout the short movie, despite it being set in a domestic, sylvan setting, goes to the credit of the carefully crafted script.
Siddique plays the male lead. Reshmi, a new face, plays the committed helper-cum-companion in an aristocratic household. "She came to see the shooting and I thought she would fit into this character," says Unnikrishnan. Smaller characters have all been given their identities and place in the film, with their roles being crucial links in the story.
The sacred grove of the family develops a stature, like that of a character. Much care has been taken to see that the dialect is true to the setting.
In this film, production designing, an activity, which is totally ignored by a large section of the Malayalam film and TV industry, is given pride of place to create a harmonious effect. Pre-production planning helped, say its makers.
"Based on the script, a team of three - the director, production designer, (Rajagopal and the cinematographer (Shamdat) worked out all the finer details of the production," says Unnikrishnan.
Rajogopal explains that his first job was to choose the colour scheme of the heroine's clothes to suit the mood and environment of each shot.
Shamdat and Rajagopal had worked together in Shaymaprasad's `Ullurukkam'. When he heard the story of `Annu Mazhayayirunnu,' he agreed to work without any remuneration, giving up a well-paid assignment, he says.
"None of the actors or technicians was paid," says Unnikrishnan, who made the movie on a shoestring budget of a little over Rs. 5 lakh in just eight days. "The great teamwork made it possible," he adds.
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Chennai and Tamil Nadu