FRIDAY REVIEW

True sketch of society

G. JAYAKUMAR

Blessy

DOSE OF REALITY: Mohanlal gets ready for a shot on the sets of Blessy's `Thanmatra.'

DOSE OF REALITY: Mohanlal gets ready for a shot on the sets of Blessy's `Thanmatra.'  

`Thanmatra' is Blessy's second film after the phenomenal success of his directorial debut, `Kazhcha.' `Thanmatra' means molecule. It is Blessy's contention that individuals in society are like molecules in a substance - they are the basic units.

On the sets, that has been put on the compound of the State Government quarters at Karamana, a song sequence is in progress. The set has been erected with plywood and tin on the roof of a four-storeyed block of flats. But the interiors resemble any other middle class home - one can see two bedrooms, a bathroom, a living-cum-dining hall and a kitchen.

Following Blessy's soft-voiced instructions, the leading man, Mohanlal, and Arjun and Niranjana, in the role of his children, sit around the dining-table singing the song.

The shooting seemed to proceed quite smoothly, and a relaxed Blessy found time to talk during a break.

"I like to focus on the individual to present a true picture of society. In `Kazhcha' I was able to show some social realities without the use of melodrama. The film was entertaining too and the viewers responded well.

"In `Thanmatra,' I am trying to present an individual coping with his middle class urban life. In order to do so, I have used an interesting element from one of Padmarajan's short stories. The protagonist of the film is a middle-level government officer living with his family in the government quarters. The family includes his wife, and children - a boy of 16 and a girl of nine. His father lives in the village. Nedumudi Venu does that role. The officer is destined to a life within the confines of his home and office with limited dreams and ambitions. So, he feels this sense of loss and suffocation. The film deals with the relationship he has with his father as well as that with his children. Thus, it is also the story of three generations.''

Meera Vasudev is the leading lady in `Thanmatra.' Kaithapuram has penned the lyrics of the songs and the music director is Mohan Sithara.

When asked how cinema came into his life, Blessy remembers Deepa Theatre, near his house in his hometown, Tiruvalla. There he used to see at least one or two films a week. Later he joined Sudarsa Film Society, Tiruvalla. The film society movement helped him gain an insight into the aesthetics of cinema.

Then came the years spent working as assistant to the late film director Padmarajan. "I learnt a lot during that period. Those were the years that shaped my outlook on cinema,'' Blessy says. His favourite Padmarajan films include `Oridathoru Phayalvan,' `Kallan Pavithran' and `Nammuku Parkaan Munthirithoppukal.'

The cameraman of `Thanmatra' is Seythu Sriram. Pointing at the 535 B Camera with Moviecam lens, Sriram says it is the first time such an advanced camera is being used to shoot a Malayalam film. The still photographer is M.K. Mohanan (Moni).

The producers, Century Films, plan to release the film during the Christmas season.

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