By Sreekumar G
One can gauge the extent of excitement and satisfaction in his face and it is reflected even in his body language. Vinayan is on top of the world. There is reason for celebration. Seven hits in a row - Kalayana Saugandhikam , Ullasappoonkattu, Mayapponman, Akasaganga, Independence, Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Janum and Daivathinte Makan. Two of them, Akasaganga and Vasanthi, are mega hits; a feat no other director has achieved so far. The director in Vinayan has come a long way since the disastrous performance of his maiden films, 'Kanyakumaryil Oru Kadam Kavitha' and 'SuperStar' which had almost threw him into oblivion.
Initial defeats could not bog him down and nothing could douse the innate fire in him. He rose from the ashes like a phoenix bird and now he has become one of the most sought after Directors in Malayalam Cinema.
What's the password for his success?
"Take risks, success will smile upon you", replies the former KSEB Engineer beginning a conversation which also touches upon a variety of subjects concerning cinema and the controvancies generated by his film 'Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Janum'.
"Though, 'Super Star' was a flop, the risk I took for it should be appreciated. The mental state of a common man who resembles the reigning Super Star in Cinema is anybody's guess. Everyone will identifie him and even chase him. When they understand their folly, worship would turn into teasing and he will become the butt of ridicule before everyone. It was a story taken from real life. I had seen girls rushing towards a poor man only because he had a face that almost lookey like that of Mohanlal. This incident provided me with much fodder for an experiment. That's how 'Superstar' was born. As I told earlier, it was not intentional and I made it not to tarnish anyone's image. But nobody was there to lend a patient ear to my points and knives were out for me from many quarters. Even all out efforts were made to isolate me from the Cine field."
Superstar, a mediocre film with a very weak script was an utter flop. But it taught Vinayan many a lessons. After a long break, Vinayan staged a comeback with 'Kalyana Saugandhikam' which did well in the box office. From that, Vinayan never had to look back. His second coming was marked by two films, 'Ullasa Poonkattu' and 'Mayapponman' with Dilip as lead cast were average hits. Then came his Magnum Opus 'Akasaganga' - a run of the mill horror flick without leading artists. With superbly devised special effects and breathtaking visuals, Akasaganga was a delightful treat to the senses. The huge success of the film shot him to fame and made him the biggest hit maker of that year. Then he made 'Independence', a heroine dominated film with Khushboo and Vani Viswanath in the lead, which saw Vinayan gaining imense popularity among front benchers. 'Independence' was a new experience for them as it liberaly used animation techniques. His next film 'Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Janum' has brought out the class Director in Vinayan. It was a hundred percent Vinayan film and a masterly touch was evident throughout. Vinayan began with a theme that has been common in the Malayalam films of 60's and an unbelievable story line. But he could present it in a touching way that even the most iron-hearted could not help burst into tears. The full credit goes to Vinayan from preventing the story turning into a melodrama. The result : it ran into packed houses for more than 150 days. The film had its share of controversies too. Allegations were raised by Kalabhavan Mani, who acted as a blindman in the film, that the state Award Jury members behaved in a partisan way to refuse him the best actor award. The entire episode took a turn for the worse as Mani collapsed just after the Jury announced the award for Mohanlal. Then film fraternity engaged in mudslinging among themselves over the matter.
Vinayan reacts about the issue.
"I had strongly expressed my displeasure earlier over Director Joshi's remark that 'Vansanthi' could be made by any mimicry artist. I challenged him to make a film like Vasanthi with 10 mimicry artists. If he succeeds I would leave this profession for ever. 'Vasanthi' was received by the viewers with one voice. For the last 25 years, no other film has made such an immense appeal among them. It is out of sheer jealousy that Joshi made such a remark. If he could view the film in totality, he might not make such a criticism. Regarding awards, I offer no comments since the selection for awards is the sole discretion of Jury members. Though Mani is my good friend, I can't justify what he did. It was a sudden outbursts of a delicate mind.
What's the secret of 'Vasanthi's Success?
"A good treatment, a new location and the dedicated performance of all its actors were the factors that led to its success. Even the river, bridges and grass that appear in the film seem to play their part well".
About his new project 'War and Love'.
It's very different. Unlike my earlier films, the making of 'War and Love' is on a rather large canvass. This will be completed in more than three schedules.
It's known that War and Love is based on the Kargil War?
"Not exactly. But the Kargil War and story of those soldiers who laid down their lives have influenced me much. Soldiers are very tough in temporament. Still they have tender emotions. Think about a soldier who fight it out till his last breath even he encounter death face to face. When bullets are coming towards his chest, he might be thinking about his little child back home. This identity crisis of a soldier is the theme of 'War and Love'".
There is enough scope for yet another controversy?
"I don't think so. It's a film about patriotism. Besides, it will be a good entertainer."
Your dream project?
"Nothing like that. My only intention is to do good film which should be enjoyed by all sections of people."