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Connecting through different themes

RANI DEVALLA
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FILM Madhav Ramdasan lets his work do the talking

THINKING OUT OF THE BOXMadhav Ramadasan
THINKING OUT OF THE BOXMadhav Ramadasan

The mindset of filmgoers has now seen a visible change, with commercial movies taking a backseat, while message-oriented movies click at the box office. A director who has 18 years of experience in the industry is sure to connect with his audiences.

Madhav Ramadasan is 37 years old, but his out-of-the-box thinking made him stand apart from others right from his first film. Where other film crews work on international shots, extravagant sets and alluring choreography, Madhav uses simple ways to communicate his message. Melivilasom (The Address), his 100-minute Malayalam movie shot in a single court room, reached out to wider audiences and created a sensation across the world.

With just a group of 15 actors and no heroine involved, except a young girl who appears on the screen for a few minutes, the movie not only received accolades globally but also was screened at national and international festivals. The director feels that the biggest challenge lay in roping in the right characters and framing the story to grip the viewers’ attention without incorporating glamour elements. “The story was basically inspired by a Hindi documentary film Court Martial ,” says Madhav “Though the movie was shot at a single location, it took me five years to complete it. And the success and recognition it earned made me feel it was worth the wait.”

Madhav portrayed the issue of caste discrimination in Melvilasom and communicated it in an intense manner. The film bagged the P. Bhaskaran Film Award for the best film, 16th Busan’s International Film Festival Award in South Korea and 15th Gollapudi Srinivas Memorial National Award for the debutant director and best actor award for Parthiban. The director feels that the credit goes to the casting. “It took me good amount of time to rope in the right cast. Suresh Gopi, Nizhalgal Ravi, Thalaivasal Vijay, Parthiban, Krishna Kumar and all the actors had fit perfectly to the requirement of the role.”

The filmmaker visited the City of Destiny recently and was enthused by the response he received from Andhraites. Madhav doesn’t talk much and he lets his movies speak about him. “I was invited by the members of Vizag Film Society a few months back. Though I am visiting the city for the first time, I am impressed by the efforts taken by the society members to screen Melvilasom and create awareness on regional movies,” he says.

Setting high expectations

His experience in directing documentary and ad films groomed him to become an associate director five years back. With his first movie creating an overwhelming response, the debutant director has now set high expectations for himself. His next movie has a different message to deliver. “The story is about the relationship between doctor and patient,” he says. “The film is at a nascent stage and I can’t speak much about it right now. All I can say is that it has a message to deliver and I am sure that it reaches out to people, like Melvilasom .” The director is not keen on commercial success. “I intend to highlight issues and social stigmas of society in my own way.”

He plans to dub his first movie in Tamil under the title Ulvilasam .

RANI DEVALLA

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