No super hero role this
`Naran,' in which Mohanlal and Joshi have teamed up again, is being released today.
TARGETING THE FESTIVAL SEASON: Mohanlal in a scene from `Naran.'JOSHI: Filmmaker
`Naran' was slated to be Ranji Panikkar's debut directorial venture, but several problems cropped up and it was shelved more than a year ago. The new `Naran' is directed by Joshi, long-time partner of Ranji Panikkar. Ranji was the script writer of films like `Lelam,' `Pathram,' `Praja' and `Dubai,' which were directed by Joshi.
The new `Naran' has no connection with the shelved project except for Mohanlal, the hero, and Antony Perumbavoor, the producer. Ranji's `Naran' was a socio-political thriller while this `Naran' is a village-based story. Veteran director Joshi had made his last movie also with Mohanlal in the lead, `Mambazhakkalam.'
"There is nothing in common with the `Naran' that Ranji planned and this `Naran,' which has been written by Ranjan Pramod. The character in the story is a very powerful one and the most suitable name for so strong a character like this seemed `Naran'. Ranji was asked about it and he did not object to it," says Joshi.
An orphan's story
Ranjan Pramod speaks animatedly about `Naran', the central character.
"He is an orphan who takes personal relationships very seriously and sincerely. For unlike people who have parents and relatives, this man does not know what it is like to have them. So, his concern for others baffles those who come into contact with him and people cannot understand the intense feelings he displays. The story takes its course from this premise. It's a role that has a lot of scope for acting," says Ranjan, who has had three hits in a row.
Ranjan scripted `Meesa Madhavan,' `Manassinakkare,' and `Achuvinte Amma,' all phenomenal successes.
Ranjan Pramod is one of the few in the movie industry who has handled several important departments of film-making. He studied editing at Film School in Adayar and later worked as assistant to cameraman-ad filmmaker, Rajeev Menon. He made his debut in Malayalam films in 2001, scripting `Randam Bhavam,' which had Suresh Gopi playing double roles.
"Naran is not an action movie, though there are a few fights. I would call it an experimental movie with all the commercial values intact, a family kind of movie. No, he is not a superman, the hero is an ordinary kind of guy," Ranjan adds.
Bhiman Raghu plays a different role, perhaps, for the first time, he is not a villain.
Madhu, Innocent, Siddique, Salim Kumar, Devayani, Bhavana and Sona Nair play important roles. Deepak Dev, who also has had several hits in a row, like `Chronic Bachelor,' and `Udayananu Tharam,' composes the music for `Naran.'
"It has two-and-a-half songs," says Ranjan. Why the half? "One is not a full song," he says, keeping it a suspense.
Director Joshi has 28 years of film making to his credit. Way back in 1978, he started off with `Tiger Salim' when directors like I.V. Sasi, Sasikumar, K.G. George and Bharatan were ruling the film industry.
All through these years, this media-shy director's presence was felt in the industry, whether it was in the movies he made or in the film technicians' body, AMMA. It was, perhaps, only in the late Nineties, when the mimicry genre of films dominated the scene that he kept quiet for some time.
Although he directed more than 60 movies, not all the films were thumping successes, but he never compromised on quality.
The films had different themes and combined commercial and aesthetic values. Mammootty was the hero in over 20 movies that were directed by Joshi, a record of sorts.
What kept him ticking when several directors of the old school bid adieu? "One has to do a lot of homework. You must change your style according to the developments in the field," Joshi says. The recipe for success in the Seventies may not exactly be what appeals to people today, so change is inevitable, he emphasises. "If anybody in any field feels he/ she has learnt it all, then it is time for their downfall to begin," Joshi adds.
As soon as his movie is released, he makes it a point to see it at any theatre to feel the pulse of the audience.
"I take note of the audience reaction so that I can learn what clicks and what doesn't. One has to evolve over the years to keep abreast with the current style and technology. Yes, I do watch a lot of films, Indian and foreign. I have a big collection too," Joshi says.
Joshi has directed movies in all the South Indian languages and one in Hindi. Some of his memorable movies are `Kuttettan,' `Moorkhan,' `Dhruvam,' `Shyama,' `Nair Saab'and `Nirakkoottu.'
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