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From voice to visuals

SURESH KUMAR
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CHAT Debutant director Jismon Joy talks about his early days as a dubbing artiste and his first steps as a filmmaker with Bicycle Thieves

A new frameJismon Joy, the director of Bicycle Thieves photo: by special arrangement
A new frameJismon Joy, the director of Bicycle Thieves photo: by special arrangement

Jismon Joy, who has dubbed for Telugu actor Allu Arjun for the Malayalam versions and for Prithviraj’s dubbed films, makes his debut as director with the Malayalam movie Bicycle Thieves to be released shortly.

“I started my career as a dubbing-cum-mimicry artiste and did many stage shows with actor Jayasurya in India and abroad. Later I turned to directing advertisements. Bicycle Thieves is my maiden venture as a director and script writer”, says Jismon proudly.

Allu Arjun starrers Bunny , Gajapokkiri , Badrinath , Hero and Arya were super hits in Kerala when they were dubbed into Malayalam, as were Prithviraj’s Tamil films Kana Kandaen and Vellitherai . The voice of Tamil superstar Rajnikanth when his super hit movie Thalapathi was dubbed into Malayalam and telecast was also that of Jismon.

Prithviraj's voice

Why did he lend his voice to Prithviraj when his films from Tamil were dubbed to Malayalam? “It may be due to Prithviraj being on a tight schedule as he could not spare time for dubbing. Furthermore, those dubbed movies were telecast only onTV channels and not through cinema theatres”, says Jismon, who is a native of Vazhakkala, in Thrikkakara.

His camaraderie with Jayasurya started when both were competing in the parallel college youth festival, held at Kochi. Although both Jismon and Jayasurya studied in different colleges, they had been bagging prizes in mimicry, mono act and so on. It was a two-man show as prizes in these contests were awarded to them alternatively.

After leaving college, they conducted several stage shows in Bahrain, Dubai and Sri Lanka.

The advertisement films he made were also well received. He wrote the scripts for some of these ad films too.

Bicycle Thieves will feature Asif Ali and Aparna Gopinath in leading roles. “The film has nothing to do with the legendary Italian film of the same name from the 1940s,” says Jismon.

Asif plays the titular role of a bicycle thief, while Aparna portrays a bank employee. The movie revolves around the life of four friends who steal bicycles and sell them for a living.

Asif, an orphan, is a gang leader who resorts to thievery albeit with a noble intention.

Jismon has also lent a hand in writing the screenplay and dialogues for the movie, the story of which has been penned by Ajith Pillai. Salim Kumar, Bineesh Kodiyeri and Rahul Madhav will play the role of the other thieves in the gang. Vijay Babu, Siddique, Jaffer Idukki and KPAC Lalitha will give life to other prominent characters in the movie. The film is slated for release in December.

“The experience from stage shows and advertisements helped me a lot in film making. I have no experience of working as an assistant to any director,” says Jismon as he signs off.

SURESH KUMAR

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