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Raconteur’s tale

Look alike Drama artiste Joseph Chacko’s resemblance to the grand old literary luminary of Malayalam helps the audience relive Basheer’s story

Look alike Drama artiste Joseph Chacko’s resemblance to the grand old literary luminary of Malayalam helps the audience relive Basheer’s story  



‘Sabdangal’ recounts Vaikom Muhammad Basheer’s life



One wonders what more can be said about Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, the celebrated story-teller. So, when M.R. Sasidharan came out with ‘Sabdangal’ (Voices) a docu-drama on Basheer, many were sceptical.

However, the screening at Gorky Bhavan recently proved the sceptics wrong. ‘Sabdangal’ proved to be a classic.

Casting the conventional documentary-making format aside, lens man and director, Sasidharan takes a path-breaking narrative route to tell the story of the Sultan of Beypore.

“We prepared a script and met many literary figures and contemporaries of Basheer like M.T. Vasudevan Nair, Padmanabhan and Sukumar Azhikode. But I wanted to go beyond the conventional style of narration. That is why I opted for a combination of drama and documentary,” says Sasidharan.

In Basheer’s words

The movie is special as Basheer (played by drama artiste Joseph Chako) appears to be talking about his philosophy, lifestyle and bouts of creativity.

“Four actors enact different stages of Basheer’s life. We went through his works and drew from his stories to encapsulate the essence of his philosophy and life. The four actors then tell the story of Basheer as if he were recounting it,” explains Sajeev Pazhur who did the research for the documentary. Many of the dialogues mouthed by the actors are actually the quotations collected from Basheer’s works.

Joseph Chacko’s resemblance to the grand old literary luminary of Malayalam helps the audience relive Basheer’s story.

The whole theme develops via soliloquies and narration by Kichu Aryad, who is also associate director of ‘Sabdangal.’

Rare photographs and the recreation of Basheer’s life help viewers draw a picture of Basheer, who is a freedom-fighter and humanist. The 31-minute docu-drama is a C-Dit venture for the Public Relations Department of the Government of Kerala.





LEKSHMI GOPALAKRISHNAN

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