FRIDAY REVIEW

A lesson for society

PREMA MANMADHAN

A CLASS APART: Dinesh Arora, Collector of Palakkad, left, Madhupal, centre, producer-director, Tom George, right, in a scene in `Lessons.'

A CLASS APART: Dinesh Arora, Collector of Palakkad, left, Madhupal, centre, producer-director, Tom George, right, in a scene in `Lessons.'  

Tom George, the man who produced `Akale' is on to his next projects. While a short film, `Lessons' has been made with Yash as the central character, he is scouting locations for his dream Hollywood production, `Gandhi Park,' a crossover film, to be shot in the United States.

Back in Palakkad, where `Lessons' (27 minutes) will be screened, in association with Swaralaya on October 3, Tom George is excited about both projects.

`Lessons' is for kids, parents and society at large. It deals with a topical malaise, that of a parent taking on the responsibility of educating a child, going to extremes and making life hell for the little boy.

The pressure to do well begins right from kindergarten and few parents bother to find out what the child's intrinsic abilities are or where his tastes lie."

"He is physically and mentally tortured for getting good marks, causing low self-esteem and depression in the boy. But Arvind, the father realises his folly early enough, changes his attitude to his son, Mithun, and a lifelong bond is cemented," says Tom, who has written and directed the film.

Madhupal plays the father. Dr. Dinesh Arora, Palakkad Collector, also enacts a role.

How will the kids and parents get to see the movie? "We are planning to have shows all over Kerala with the support of State Government, if possible," Tom hopes.

Tom speaks in superlatives about Yash. "I would say that Yash is an eight- year-old man. He is a great actor, intelligent and whatever we show him, he does it so well in front of camera."

Alagappan is the cinematographer of `Lessons'. He will also be the cameraman of `Gandhi Park,' which will be filmed in New York and New Delhi.

Tom's screenplay writer for `Gandhi Park' is David Linter, who did `Iguana' and `Dancing at the Blue.' Marketing a film is as important as making it, he realises.

Before the release of the movie, he plans to bring out a book, to be called, `Making of Gandhi Park,' which will comprise details regarding its filming.

With supporting pictures, there will be interesting incidents, jokes and a `promotional letter' by Manoj Night Shyamalan, says Tom.

"I want to make good movies like Ismail Merchant." That is Tom George's dream.

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