Art

In new territory

S hyamaprasad is a consummate artist who, in his own words, fills his canvas with images, emotions, sounds and colour. He paints his world with shades of reality that evokes a spectrum of emotion in his viewers. His filmography has travelled with the sensibilities of the Malayali viewer, capturing the changes that have transformed us as people and viewers. His vision and directorial navigation have taken us through the thrills and trauma of many a relationship drama that has ruptured the conventional template of such films. After the searing Artist , which swept the film awards, he teams up with scenarist Ajayan Venugopal for Ivide , which unfolds in the United States (U.S.).

He steps into a different genre with Ivide , a film that involves a crime and its investigation. As the film moves to theatres, Shyamaprasad agrees to reveal a little about the movie that was completely shot in the U. S. Prithviraj and Nivin Pauly, two of the young Turks of Malayalam cinema, act in the film that also has Bhavana in an interesting role. Shot in Atlanta with an American crew, the movie was completed in 50 days. Excerpts from an interview with the director:

What is Ivide about?

It is a multi-layered film that peel off the hype and aura that surround the lives of non-resident Indians working and living in the U.S. Ajayan Venugopalan, the scenarist and scriptwriter, himself has been living there for years and so he knows the story he is talking about in my movie. On one hand, it is about interpersonal relationships and how the socio-economic situation triggers and sets off events that have catacalasymic effects on the lives of the people involved. On the other, it is about the investigation of a crime. Ivide is also about racial issues, ambition, greed, insecurity and hope.

Many years have passed since you first worked with Prithviraj in Akale…

Yes, the Prithviraj I worked with then was a newcomer who was still finding himself. The Prithviraj I worked with now is an actor who is completely in command of his career. He has matured as an actor and is confident about his goals. In addition, he has taken the trouble to familiarise himself with the intricacies of filming, both production and post production. Prithviraj plays Varun Blake, an Indian born U.S. citizen who was adopted by his parents. He is a cop and his former wife is Roshini Mathew, enacted by Bhavana. Nivin is a techie who is on an assignment in the U.S. Prakash Bare plays a rather rustic wealthy entrepreneur who still follows his own management rules.

A crime thriller is new for you…

It is. But it is not only about car chases and shooting at all and sundry. There is a crime and an investigation. That process also reveals the nuances of the clash of cultures and what ambition and greed can do to relationships and to people themselves. It is a multi-layered film that examines the lives of people who think they are on the fast lane.

I see it as an extension of Ritu, which was also about a group of young techies and the myriad but subtle changes that colour their bonds when ambition, money and desire find a place in their relationship.

So how do you see your role as a director?

A director creates a world of colours, images, music and voices. He peoples it with his characters and then makes the viewers themselves a part of that world. That is the magic of cinema. For instance, when I think of a scene between a couple, I wonder about the space where that scene takes place. How big a space is it? If it is a room, what is the colour of the walls? How are the interiors like? What is the time? Each feature counts and contributes to the film.

And the world of Ivide was created in Atlanta…

Yes, we wanted the story in a relatively small community where the racial fault lines are much more exaggerated. We had had fairly extensive rehearsals since we were shooting in sync sound and every one had to learn their lines. I wonder why actors don’t insist on sync sound. So much is lost when we are unable to get those expressions and modulation during a shooting.

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Printable version | May 19, 2021 6:19:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/art/in-new-territory/article7255162.ece

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