Priyadarshan blames media for rising ‘intolerance’

Speaking about the situation of ‘intolerance’ prevailing in the country, director Priyadarshan pointed fingers at the media. “The real intolerance in this country is created by the media. It takes a stray development and blows it out of proportion. They only showcase negative developments.”

“I ask my channel not to show any negative development between 7 and 10 in the morning.”

One impression that stays with you after watching a film by Priyadarshan – one of the few enormously successful directors from the south in Hindi cinema – is the budding auteur-ship which he indicates while mentioning his name. It is never “directed by: Priyadarshan” but always “filmed by Priyadarshan”. “I copied it from Raj Kapoor,” said the director in a matter-of-fact way. Priyadarshan, who is famous for the display of realism in Malayalam cinema and of slapstick in Hindi, was speaking at the ‘In conversation’ segment of the International Film Festival of India, 2015.

On remakes

From the art of “copying” emerges the art of remake and most of Priyadarshan’s films have been remakes, either from his own movies in Malayalam or from those of others. Yet he maintains that Devar Magan is the only film he has actually remade (as Virasat) as “I was not involved in the conceptualisation of the original. In the case of all other films, I was involved in the writing of the original film.” He also feels remaking a film after understanding the “soul” of the movie is extremely difficult. “Even Martin Scorcese never won the Oscar till he remade a Chinese movie,” he added, drawing a parallel.

On Amrish Puri

Much before he presented the comic timing of Paresh Rawal — someone who had mostly done negative roles till then, albeit with a tinge of humour — through Hera Pheri, he had discovered the ability of another villain, Amrish Puri, to portray lighter roles. His very first Hindi film Muskurahat, had Puri playing a good-hearted patriarch. “I wrote the role with Utpal Dutt’s character in Bhuvan Shome in mind. Having seen Puri in films like Kaadu (Kannada film by Girish Karnad), I knew he was a good actor, not just a good villain,” he said, responding to a question.

‘Kanchipuram and Sila Samayangalil’

Prolific would be an understatement to describe the director, who has directed nearly 90 films over a three-decade career. “Once a film is over, I am immediately into the next film though it is not always planned.” However, he asserted that “there are only two films, Kanchipuram and the upcoming Sila Samayangalil that I have really made with my heart.”

However, comparing films made in Hindi with that made in Malayalam and Tamil, he said, “audiences in the north requires spoon-feeding. In the case of Kerala or Tamil Nadu, I don’t need to explain everything. I can keep the pace of the film slow, deploy silence and still create the desired effect.”

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 10:42:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/priyadarshan-blames-media-for-rising-intolerance/article7915760.ece

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