Cinema

Censor Board cannot decide how a creative work should be: Murali Gopy

Murali Gopy.Photo: Sarith C Varma

Murali Gopy.Photo: Sarith C Varma   | Photo Credit: Sarith C Varma

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Murali Gopy talks about his role in 'Pa..Va' and his new, big-budget screenplays.



Versatile Murali Gopy does not believe in a template. He enjoys breaking free of such constraints when it comes to his different roles in the industry as actor, writer and songster.

“I am selective about my roles to avoid repeating myself. So I took my time to act in a film after Lukka Chuppi in 2015,” says Murali. He returns to the marquee as Devassy Paappan in debutant Sooraj Tom’s film, Pa..Va (Paappanekkurichum.. Varkkiyekkurichum), which hits screens on July 22.

It is going to be a happening month for Murali with two of his screenplays, Tiyaan and Kammara Sambhavam, both big, multi-starrer projects, going on the floors in the next two weeks or so.

“In Pa..Va, scripted by Ajish Thomas, I play an octogenarian who is flirting with death. It was a challenge to act as an elderly man as I had to change my entire body language and tone of performance to play the character. This role could not be more different than Siddarth, my role in Lukka Chuppi. Siddarth is a suave man of the world, while Paappan is a rustic who lives life on his own terms and wants to meet death in the same way,” says Murali.

He and Anoop Menon (Varkichan) play the male leads in the company of six popular actresses who act as Paappan’s younger sisters. Kaviyoor Ponnamma, KPAC Lalitha, Ponnamma Babu, Vanitha, Ranjini and Muthumani play the sisters. “I play their big brother. But for Muthumani, all the others are senior to me and I essay an authoritarian, patriarchal big brother,” says Murali, all smiles.

Calling it a “feel-sweet” film, about two elderly men and their world, he says Pa..Va is a film that would definitely bring a smile on a viewer’s face if not laughter.

By the time Pa..Va is in theatres, work would be in full swing for the shoot of his Tiyaan, which stars Indrajith, Prithviraj, Shine Tom Chacko and Ananya. Murali too will be playing a pivotal role in the movie. To be shot completely outside Kerala, the big budget film will be directed by Jiyan Krishnakumar. And what is the storyline? Mum is the word! “I don’t want to reveal anything at this stage. But it will be very different from any of my previous scripts,” promises Murali, who is equally tight-lipped about Kammara Sambhavam, which has Dileep in the lead with Boys’ actor Siddarth in an important role. Murali plays a cameo in the film that would mostly be shot in South India and directed by Rathish Ambat, who is known for his award-winning ads.

By December, Murali will begin working on Aami, Kamal’s biopic on Kamala Surayya. Murali enacts her husband Madhava Das. All eyes are bound to be on the film, as iconic writer and poet Kamala Surayya is revered by many. “Kamal sir has done a lot of research and homework to write the script of the film. I plan to go completely by his script and instructions. Kamala Surayya was a gifted writer, who often blurred the thin line between her life and her fiction. So it will be challenging to play such an important character in her life,” says Murali.

In the meantime, he will also be working on the script of Lucifer, which has been commissioned by Aashirwad Creations, and is likely to feature Mohanlal in the lead.

Murali feels it is a great time for Malayalam cinema with plenty of young directors, writers, composers and singers making their mark and rejuvenating the industry with fresh themes, narratives and experiments. “That is the way it should be. Perhaps all the films might not appeal to all but the fact that the space exists is something to cheer about,” feels Murali.

But he avers that the greatest threat to the creativity in the film industry is the Censor Board. “Instead of acting as a certifying body, which is what they should be doing, they are acting as a government-sponsored moral policing force. This was something that was begun during the Emergency and they are continuing in that role. In my perspective, the Censor Board is unleashing and condoning moral policing in society as well. As a certifying body, the Censor Board’s job is to see what kind of an audience [age-wsie] can watch the creative work of an artiste and not decide how a creative work should be!”

Although Murali has been getting offers from the Tamil industry, that too from bigwigs, his commitments here, as actor and writer, prevented him taking it up. “But I hope to move on in 2017 and perhaps turn director as well with a script of mine,” says Murali. Time for more action!

On song

Pa..Va sees Murali donning the hat of a playback singer yet again, his sixth song as a playback singer, with ‘Innu Njaan Pokum’. The song has been written by Rafeeq Ahamed and scored by newcomer Anand Madhusudhanan. The philosophical song about the passage of time and life has been evocatively sung by Murali.

In Tiyaan, which has Gopi Sundar as the music composer, Murali sings a thumping high octane number with a terrific beat.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 2:16:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/Censor-Board-cannot-decide-how-a-creative-work-should-be-Murali-Gopy/article14490918.ece

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