COLUMN: LOCATION DIARY
Actor Shine Tom Chacko talks about his experiences in the films, ‘Itihasa’, 'Annayum Rasoolum', and ‘Chapters’
By Shevlin Sebastian
In the film, 'Itihasa' (2014), actor Shine Tom Chacko, who plays pickpocket Alvy, robs a person, takes the money, and is walking away. Suddenly, the police come up behind him and say, “Hey Alvy.” Immediately Alvy starts running towards a beach. In the distance, he can see a brown-black horse. He runs towards it, climbs up, and kicks the sides, but the horse does not move.
“No matter how much I tried, the horse would not move,” says Shine. “So, the shooting came to a stop.”
Vishnu, the trainer, said that the horse, Lancer, should have a confidence that a person can ride him. “You need to have a proper balance while sitting on a horse,” said Vishnu. “Like the way you keep a balance when you ride a bike.”
So, Vishnu told Shine to bond with the horse. During breaks in the shoot, Shine fed Lancer some food. He also took the horse to the water's edge so that it could feel cool. “A horse communicates with humans through his eyes,” says Shine. “So, I looked at the horse, and said, silently, 'This is a good role for me. Please help me. We need to shoot this scene.'”
At the end of the day, Shine decided to make another attempt. This time, when he sat on the saddle, he kicked hard with both his legs. The horse slowly started moving forward. “That was when I realised that I had been kicking the wrong way earlier,” says Shine. Then Shine kicked again and it began to pick up speed. “But when I kicked a third time, Lancer began to go fast,” says Shine. “I began to feel confident. I realised that the kings of the past felt this same confidence when they rode a horse.”
In the end, director Binu S got a good shot.
Good shots were what cinematographer Rajeev Ravi thought he would get when he selected Shine to play the ruffian Abu in his debut directorial film, 'Annayum Rasoolum' (2013). “I had thick long hair,” says Shine. So the shoot was proceeding smoothly at Kochi. But Shine was finding it difficult to handle this mass of hair, because of the heat.
So, one evening, after the day's shoot was over, he entered an air-conditioned shop and told the barber to trim the hair at the edges. The barber agreed as he gave Shine a head massage. It was so good, that Shine went off the sleep. After a while, when he awoke the actor got a shock. “He had cut all my hair and made it short,” says Shine. “I cannot blame him since he did not know that I was acting in a film, and that it would affect the continuity of the sequences.”
Rajeev got a shock to see Shine the next day. But the director solved the problem by making Shine tie a handkerchief over his head. “Sometimes, gangsters have worn this, as a style statement,” says Shine. “Then, in a couple of scenes, he made me wear a cap. Sometimes, he placed my head at the edge of the frame, so there was no need to show my hair.”
But there was further tension. During one sequence, where Shine is running with a group of ruffians, near a church at Vypeen, he hit his hand on the church wall and broke two of his fingers. Following treatment, his hand was placed in a cast. Thereafter, whenever Shine was in front of the camera, Rajeev instructed him to put his fractured hand behind him, and vice versa when the camera was trained on his back.
From the shoot of 'Annayum Rasoolum', Shine went to the location of ‘Chapters’ at Vagamon where he was playing a ruffian by the name of Choonda. “Director Sunil Ibrahim solved the problem by making another character say that Choonda broke his hand in the bathroom,” says Shine. “Such are the adjustments that take place when shooting goes on.”
(The New Indian Express, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode)