P. K. AJITH KUMAR
Suveeran has transformed Roald Dahl's `The Sound Machine' into a 45-minute film in Malayalam.
Roald Dahl's `The Sound Machine,' which first appeared in The New Yorker in 1949, is is about a man called Klausner who invents a machine that he believes can capture sounds of Nature that are not heard by the human ear.Suveeran, a Mahe-based, award-winning playwright and director of plays and short films, was fascinated by the story and decided to make a 45-minute feature film on it. The film, an adaptation of Dahl's story, was shot in and around Kozhikode.
Sreenivasan plays the lead
Sreenivasan plays the lead role. Klausner has been christened C.V. Das in the Malayalam film adaptation. The film tracks Das' obsession with Nature's `inaudible' sounds. Through his machine he even hears a `throatless,' inhuman shrieking noise when a flower is plucked. One fine morning he believes he has succeeded in his experiments with sound and he calls up his friend, a doctor, played by Vijayan, to break the news. The film then moves to its riveting climax. The young director is delighted that one of Malayalam cinema's finest actors is acting in his film. Sreenivasan wasn't in the picture until he came to Kozhikode last April to inaugurate what was the fund-rising programme of the film. Suveeran and 199 of his friends had decided to raise the resources for the film by pooling Rs. 1,000 each. When Sreenivasan came to know about these film enthusiasts, he contributed Rs. 1,000 and said he would act in the film without any remuneration. "He even bore the expenses of his stay, transportation... everything," gushes Suveeran. "I had an opportunity to work with him during the making of `Udayananu Tharam' and I have always been an admirer of this gifted actor, writer and director," he adds.In addition to Sreenivasan and Vijayan, the film, produced under the banner of Hundred Producers, stars Anitha. Although Suveeran worked on a tight budget, he managed to get an experienced technical team to support him. "We needed Rs. 3.5 lakhs to make this film. Suneer Hamza, an entrepreneur and pilot, is the main producer of the film. He decided to help us out because we were making a film based on a story written by a pilot, Dahl."Suveeran is planning to screen the film on television later this month. "I have no intention of releasing it in the cinemas, but we will ensure that it gets a prime slot on a prominent television channel in Kerala. I also want to send it for film festivals," says Suveeran.He has taken a few liberties with Dahl's original work. "The climax I wrote for the film is entirely different from that of the story," he adds. Like many readers, Suveeran too was charmed by the narrative skills of this British author of Norwegian origin, who has written some brilliant short stories such as `Parson's Pleasure.' His works, especially those written for children, have been filmed before. Among such films are `Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and `Matilda.'"I feel many of Dahl's stories have cinematic possibilities. His themes are universal and relevant for our society as well."Suveeran's first love remains theatre though. He studied drama at the School of Drama, Thrissur, and the National School of Drama, New Delhi. But he stopped writing and directing plays in 2001. "I realised that it was difficult to get an audience in Kerala to communicate my ideas through the medium of theatre. There has been a decadence in many of our art forms, but I believe it is theatre that has suffered the most," he says.