Director Jeethu Joseph talks about his experiences in the films, 'Papanasam', 'Drishyam', and 'My Boss'
Photos: Jeethu Joseph by Ratheesh Sundaram; poster of Kamal Haasan in 'Papanasam'
In the film, 'Papanasam' (The Tamil remake of 'Drishyam'), there is a scene where cops come to the house of businessman Suyambulingam (played by Kamal Haasan), to look for the dead body of a boy. To show that he had been beaten up earlier, Kamal's nose needed to swell up a bit. So, at the location shoot, at Thodupuzha, in August, 2014, Kamal pushed a piece of rubber up his nose.
Thereafter, they went to a private hospital near Thodupuzha. The doctors had been informed earlier. They immediately took Kamal inside the Intensive Care Unit. “It took them twenty minutes to pull the piece out,” says Jeethu. “They had to do something similar to endoscopy. Anyway, I was so relieved that everything had turned out to be okay.”
Jeethu looked shocked. But Kamal smiled and said, “Don't worry. I had put a longer piece, so I managed to pull it out.”
Then they both burst out laughing.
Jeethu got another shock at during the shoot of 'Drishyam' at Vaduthala, near Thodupuzha. There was a scene inside a house. While Mohanlal, who played cable service operator Georgekutty, waited there, an assistant had gone to call Meera, who played Georgekutty's wife, Rani. She was getting her make-up done in her trailer. Suddenly, Jeethu saw associate director Cylex creep out of the house and start running.
Meanwhile, it took 15 minutes for Meera to regain consciousness. “The doctor said that it was a lack of sleep and mental strain that made her lose consciousness,” says Jeethu. “She has a three-year-old daughter, Nainikia, who would not sleep at night. She would keep playing. Hence, Meena could not get any rest at night and in the day she was busy working.”
It was also a hectic time during the shoot of 'My Boss' in Kuttanad, in April, 2012. This was for a shoot for the song, ‘Kuttanadan Punchaneele’, in which Mamta Mohandas plays football in a slushy paddy field. “The work went through fine and I said, 'Pack up',” says Jeethu.
Suddenly, there was a commotion. Just ten feet away, there was a cobra lying on the mud. “It had eaten something and could not move,” says Jeethu. “So, it lay heavy on the water. It was pure luck. If somebody had stamped on it, the cobra would have bit that person and there could have been fatal consequences.”