After 90 films, over 35 years, director Priyadarshan embarks on a new genre: the crime-thriller. The film, ‘Oppam’, is slated for a September 8 release
Photos: Director Priyadarshan with choreographer Kala Master; Mohanlal in 'Oppam'
Asked why he was embarking on a different genre, after 90 films, over 35 years, Priyadarshan says, “In the past I have made mistakes by trying to repeat what I have done before. People would tell me we need a film like ‘Poochakkoru Mookkuthi’ or ‘Kilukkam’. But when I tried to do that, it did not do well. Also, in my career, I have done period films like ‘Kaala Pani’, art films like ‘Kanchivaram’ (Tamil), and numerous romantic and slapstick comedies. So I thought, 'Why not try something new?'”
When asked about the new trends in Mollywood today, Priyadarshan says, “There are no trends. It has always been the same human emotions: love, hate, joy, sorrow and anxiety. The only thing that has changed is the way a film is made, because of technology. Also, life has become faster, and attitudes have changed. This change is being reflected in the films. Otherwise, it is the same old wine put in a new bottle.”
A skilled screenplay writer, he knows exactly what a good script needs. “Every scene should make the audience feel anxious to know what happens next,” says Priyadarshan. “Secondly, finish telling all the background information about the characters in the first reel itself. Never repeat things that you have shown once. Lastly, once you introduce a hook in the first scene, you should maintain it till the end.”
“During my first 50 films, I would feel this worry,” he says. “But it is no longer there. People say that ‘Midhunam’ is one of my best films. But when it was released it became a flop. A rejection by the audience does not mean that the film is not a good one. What I try to do is to go with my gut feeling and make the best film possible. And then hope for the best.”
Finally, when asked to give tips to youngsters about the way to have a long career, Priyadarshan is honest enough to say, “I have no advice. When I look back at my career, I just think how lucky I have been to survive so long. Many of my contemporaries are no longer on the scene. So, God has been very kind to me.”
(The New Indian Express, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode)