Jayaraj basking in hat-trick glory

A few days ago, during a conversation over phone, director Jayaraj had talked about the National Film Awards, the announcement of which was around the corner. He had sounded hopeful about Bhayanakam. On Friday, his hopes bore fruit.

The film fetched him two awards – for direction and adapted screenplay. There was another reason for him to rejoice: he also won a special mention for Rebirth, in the non-feature films category.

“That is my hat-trick at this edition of the National Film Awards,” a delighted Jayaraj told The Hindu.

“I was confident that Bhayanakam would be recognised by a sensible jury.”

This is his second National Award for best direction. The first had come 20 years ago, for Kaliyattam, an imaginative adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello.

Bhayanakam is adapted from a couple of chapters in Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai's celebrated Malayalam novel Kayar.

“Years ago, when I was an assistant director of the late Bharathan, scriptwriter John Paul had told me about the character of the postman who brings good and later bad news to the villages during the war; I found that there was scope for a film on that, but I didn't do anything about it then,” Jayaraj said.

“Last year, I had almost decided to do another film before I changed my mind and began working on the script of Bhayanakam.”

He then cast Renji Panicker and began to shoot the film in Kuttanad.

“In Sureshkumar Muttath, I had a producer who backed me completely,” he said. “Nature was kind too, as I got exactly the weather that I wanted for the film; I could shoot all the rain naturally,” he said.

“The cinematographer Nikhil S. Praveen contributed greatly towards the look of the film. He richly deserves the award for the best cinematographer.”

Jayaraj , who has made some fine films such as Shantham, Deshadanam and Ottal, is glad that Bhayanakam also won him the award for screenplay. “This is my first award for writing,” he said. “And it is nice to reflect that Malayalam has also won the award for the best original screenplay (Sajeev Pazhoor, for Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum).”

So when would he release Bhayanakam in cinemas? “Pretty soon,” he said.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 12:02:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/jayaraj-basking-in-hat-trick-glory/article23534718.ece

Next Story