‘Subramanyapuram’ marks the crossroads for him



He could not have scripted his directorial debut better. With the odds stacked against him and a subject that defied the prevailing “trend,” he set out to make a film he believed in. In the end, Sasikumar did prove the naysayers wrong, and how.

Basking in the glory of his path-breaking film ‘Subramanyapuram’, set against the backdrop of Madurai of the 1980s, Mr. Sasikumar is candid enough to admit that the heavy expectations from the huge success of his first movie weighs him down. “Every film that I do now will be compared with ‘Subramanyapuram’. It cannot be repeated. It’s a once-in-a-life-time movie,” he turned realistic during a chat with The Hindu. He was in Kochi recently in connection with the release of the Malayalam translation of the screenplay of his film.

For someone who came to the tinsel world with the dream of making one good film that will forever be remembered, Mr. Sasikumar is content with what he has achieved. “I am fully satisfied with ‘Subramanyapuram’. Whatever I do from hereon will be a bonus,” he said.

Critical acclaim and box office success is a rare combination, especially so for a debutant. But it was not a smooth sail. That’s why he started off anticipating a loss of Rs. 50 lakh if he were to do his dream cinema.

There were demands aplenty to make compromises with his subject and its treatment. But he had the conviction to stave off such demands even when it came from his mentor Amir, whom he had assisted in the past.

One of his most memorable moments was when he stood in the embrace of his guru, director Bala, during the preview of the film. Maker of such critically acclaimed movies like Pithamaghan and Sethu, Bala Sir, as Mr. Saikumar addresses him, was in tears and felt haunted by the climax of the film. That, for him, was the moment when his guru accepted him.

‘Subramanyapuram’ was refreshing in more ways than one, not the least in its portrayal of love. Everything that marked the tumultuous relation — the love, longing, despair, anxiety and betrayal — comes through the eyes of the girl. The very nature of that love was beautifully captured in the song kangal erandaal. He considers himself as a short distance runner who would have to hand over the baton sooner than later to someone else. He will carry the flame then and it will be kept alive that way, he said.

But those who have seen ‘Subramanyapuram’ would definitely want him to continue his run.

M.P. Praveen

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