Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Saturday, Dec 12, 2009
Google



Metro Plus Thiruvananthapuram
Published on Thursdays & Saturdays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | NXg | Friday Review | Cinema Plus | Young World | Property Plus | Quest |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Mangalore    Pondicherry    Tiruchirapalli    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

Houseful!

Geethika Sudip finds out why Thiruvananthapuram is the movie capital of Kerala

Photo: S. Mahinsha

Top Billing Thiruvananthapuram is more or less the best as far as Malayalam cinema is concerned. The Old Sree Padmanabha Theatre;

Silent Pioneer: Thiruvananthapuram (then Trivandrum) was literally the cradle of Malayalam cinema. Kerala's first silent film was created in the city. Vigathakumaaran (1928) was directed by J.C. Daniel under the banner of Travancore National Pictures. The film was premiered at Capitol theatre: by today's coordinates the location is opposite the AG's office, near the old State Legislature Building. The next silent film, Marthanda Varma was also a Thiruvananthapuram product. Unfortunately it also marked the first copyright case in Kerala. Kamalalaya Book Depot, which owned rights to the novel by C.V. Raman Pillai, got a stay against the released film. Marthanda Varma was exhibited for all of one day!

Studio Site: Close on the heels of Udaya studio, Thiruvananthapuram got its own Merryland studio in 1951. Thus the city was firmly established as the home base of the Malayalam film industry. In 1975, India's first public sector corporation for film development was established – where else – in the city. The Kerala State Film Development Corporation had the express purpose of boosting the Malayalam industry. The mid-‘70s also witnessed the setting up of the Chitralekha studio in the co-operative sector and the Chitranjali studio of the KSFDC. Thiruvananthapuram's tryst with cinema continues into the new (and more animated) era, with the setting up of KINFRA Film and Video Park and The Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT).

Popcorn Paradise: What is cinema without theatres to screen them in? The city passes this test too with flying colours. The city has maximum number of theatres in Kerala – there are 16 A-class theatres, all within a radius of three km. New theatre boasts the highest seating capacity in the state. The only aberration is that the city doesn't have a multiplex as yet…

First City of Festivals: Into its 14th edition, the International Film Festival of Kerala is a premier event where the best of world cinema is exhibited. Besides the IFFK, there are plenty of film festivals all around the year to sate the eager film buff.

A-class Audience: To say that the city loves cinema is but to state the obvious. Citizens are both movie-mad enthusiasts and hard-to-please critics. This paradox occasionally causes house-full screenings of art films and box office disasters of masala potboilers. To say the whole truth, the city embraces all kinds of cinema, including the – ahem, ahem – adult variety. This trend predates Shakeela and can be traced all the way back to the Jyothilakshmi potboilers of the 1970s!

Capital Location: No political thriller is complete without shots of the Secretariat and its environs. Shaji Kailas's Thalasthanam (1992) doffed its hat at the capital city. If the stately Kaudiar stretch has attracted the eye of many a cinematographer, then the stone pavilion by Shangumughom beach has been the haunt of cine-lovers down the ages. Padmarajan's Season (1989) captured the best and worst of Kovalam beach; Shyamaprasad's Off Season (2009, part of Kerala Cafe) captured its quirkiness. Period films have also found the city irresistible.



Crowds for the IFFK

Dialectical Dialogues: The Thiruvananthapuram version of Malayalam (aka thiruvandoram bhaasha) has long been the preserve of comic actors. Be it Jagathy Sreekumar or Venjaramoodu Suraj, it takes a yenthira or two to tickle the Malayali funny bone. Memorable non-funnies include Nedumudi Venu's overseer in Oridathu (1986). Of course Mammootty proved once and for all with Rajamanikyam (2005) that a hero can do the bhaasha and make a blockbuster of it.

Such is the celluloid legacy of the capital!

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Mangalore    Pondicherry    Tiruchirapalli    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | NXg | Friday Review | Cinema Plus | Young World | Property Plus | Quest |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | Publications | eBooks | Images | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright 2009, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu