KERALA

Venu Nagavally is back, with a new theme

For Venu Nagavally, it is `Lights, Camera, Action!' once again. The actor-turned-director, who had been on a self-imposed hiatus for the past eight years, is all set to make a re-entry. The space of these eight years between his last film, `Rakthasaakshikal Sindabad,' and the present times has seen great changes in the Malayalam film industry.

But Mr. Nagavally looked quite nonchalant as he addressed a press conference in Kochi announcing his new film titled `Suhruthu.' He has gathered some of his old team, including the poet O.N.V.Kurup to pen the lyrics. Cheriyan Kalpakavadi is doing the script. Or rather, "the script is a product of our team work," as Mr. Nagavally and Mr. Cheriyan vouch.

The cinematography is by K.P. Nambyathiri, an old hand with Mr. Nagavally. Perhaps the newest face could be that of Alex Paul, who will compose the songs. ONV- Alex Paul team is creating four songs for the film.

Comined effort

"Cinema is not the art of the director or producer alone," Mr. Nagavally reiterated. "Even the boy who supplies tea in the set or the ticket collectors at the theatres are part of the industry."

Mr. Nagavally evaluates the present scenario in Malayalam industry as `the success story of small films.' The triumph of the present films, which are becoming commercial successes, is the result of teamwork, in his opinion.

However, he did not mince words when questioning the quality of the films being made in Malayalam these days. "Our films have lost the essential Malayali character," he said. "We are now borrowing themes from Tamil and Telugu. But, I can only tell a story in Malayalam.

There are themes that can be told only in Malayalam. For example, the films of Sathyan Anthikkad or Lohithadas have that touch of Malayali-ness."

Mr. Nagavally said that he was trying to bring back the essence of Malayali-ness through his new film.

Prof. Kurup, who also touched upon a note of nostalgia, said that he was totally satisfied in working with Alex Paul, a new generation music composer.

Though he had offered to write the lyrics for one or two songs to the tune set by Mr. Paul, the composer had requested him to come up with his lines first, Prof. Kurup said.

The film, which revolves around the theme, `Wife is the best friend,' tells the story of two couples, played by Jagathy Sreekumar and Urvasi and Mukesh and Padmapriya.



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