Soft spoken Blessy lets his films do the talking.
This Malayalam director’s stories bust stereotypes with their poignancy and realistic images that linger long in viewers’ minds.
If ‘Kaazcha’ his debut vehicle explored a bond between two strangers, one a father and the other, a lost child, ‘Thanmathra,’ spoke about Alzheimer’s disease and it’s repercussions on a family. ‘Palunku,’ traced the transformation of a naïve farmer who moves to town and loses his simplicity in the race for money. ‘Bhramaram’ was a thriller while ‘Calcutta News,’ dealt with women trafficking. His last film, ‘Pranayam,’ starring Anupam Kher, Mohan Lal and Jaya Prada, a love story with a difference, has been garnering accolades including the Kerala state award.
“This was not just about man woman relationship, it talks about one’s love for life, the lust for life, the desire to live and love people around us,” said Blessy in a tele-con.
Actually the story had been brewing in his mind from his college days.
“The scene that I visualized then was of a railway station with a steam engine and an open platform and then it starts to rain. That was 25 years ago,” reminisced the director.
Working with veterans like Anupam Kher, Mohan Lal and the beautiful Jaya Prada was a career high, he adds.
Yes, there were difficult scenes, pointing out to one scene between Jaya Prada and Anupam Kher, where the two hold hands for a while and then slowly let go.
“This unlocking of their hands carried an emotion, reflecting their parting. That particular shot took nine takes,” recalled Blessy, who aspired to be in films since his sixth standard.
A native of Tiruvalla, Blessy lost his father at three. He owes it to his mother, who believed in his dreams. The neighbourhood cinema hall was an inevitable hop on his way home from school every day.
“At night lying down in bed, I would listen to the sound tracks being played there. It stirred my imagination and my love for films grew.”
Not many know that this director excelled on stage as an actor in school and even in college where he won Best Actor and Best Comedian prizes. Post graduation, when he failed to secure admission at a film institute he joined ace director Padmarajan as his assistant.
‘Kaazcha,’ was made 18 years later.
Jogging down memory lane, Blessy remembered his first day with Padmarajan.
“We were shooting in Mysore and I was standing and watching everyone. I had no idea of my work. Padmarajan asked me, ‘So did you come here to enjoy the breeze.’ That was the last time he ever reprimanded me,” smiles this father of two.
On the anvil is ‘Kalimannu,’ a story inspired by the Puranic story of Abhimanyu and his mother, Subhadra. Actor Shwetha Menon who is pregnant has been chosen to play the lead role and the director is trying to work on real-life situations around her.
“It is a story on motherhood and the bond she shares with her child in her womb,” reveals Blessy, whose fans range far and wide, including a fisherman from Lakshadweep, a regular caller.
Last week, he was in Mumbai and captured live on camera when Shwetha Menon delivered her bundle of joy, a baby girl on September 27.
Ask him on how he manages to intersperse his stories with tiny details borrowed from life and pat comes the reply, “I am a part of society and naturally I observe people around. But I do not make notes. God provides me with them at the right time.”
“My sons have remarked, Acha, (father) that is something I said. It should be my copyright,” laughed Blessy.