Amal Neerad, director of recently released Prithviraj-starrer Anwar, said here on Sunday that the so called crisis in the Malayalam film industry could be overcome if films were properly planned and marketed.
Speaking at a meet-the-press programme organised by the Trivandrum Press Club, Mr. Neerad said with the introduction of new avenues like satellite rights and video CD market, film producers now had more space and scope for marketing their films and recovering production cost.
He said that despite facing stiff competition from the Rajanikanth-starrer Enthiran, his film was able to record good collection during the initial weeks. Producer of Anwar Rijo Zacharias and cinematographer Satheesh Kurup were also present.
Mr. Neerad said his film tried to communicate the fact that terrorism could never be justified. He added that the film and its characters were purely fictional and was not intended to comment on any person or organisation.
Speaking about his filming style, Mr. Neerad, director of Big B and Sagar Alias Jacky, said he did not consciously try to incorporate an element of style in his films. “I think it is really a failure of our industry that my films appear to be stylish. I don't think you can call my films stylish if you compare them with the works of young directors from the Tamil and Hindi industry,” he said.
Asked about the liberal use of slow motion sequences in his films, Mr. Neerad said slow motion added to the dramatic essence of a scene. “Also, I think young viewers enjoy slow motion sequences. I myself watch slow motion sequences with a teenager's excitement,” he said.
The filmmaker-cum-cinematographer said the reason his decision to incorporate a song at the end of Anwar was to end the film on a lighter note and give audience a breather after all the heavy-duty action. “I don't think the song at the end has diminished the seriousness of the subject in any way. Many people have liked it. Even if this film deals with a serious theme, it is basically a commercial film and an entertainer,” he said.
Asked whether he enjoyed the role of a cinematographer or director more, he said a director has a much more responsible role than a cinematographer. He had done both the direction and camera work of his second film, Sagar Alias Jacky. “The involvement of a second person behind the camera may help in creating a better visual experience and perspective for the film. However, for that there should be scope for visual experimentation and visual space in the screenplay,” he said. Mr. Neerad, who is an alumnus of the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata, also said the Malayalam film industry gave a lot of weight to superstitious beliefs. “Our industry attaches superstition to many things right from the camera used to shoot a film to the choice of the heroine,” he said.