Director Balachandran Menon talks about his experiences in the films, 'Uthrada Rathri', 'Kuruppinte Kanakku Pustakom', and 'Ithiri Neram Othiri Karyam'
In June, 1977, the pooja shot of Balachandran Menon's first directorial effort, 'Uthrada Rathri' was about to be shot. As cameraman Hemachandran was about to shoot the scene, of an image of Lord Vinayaka, he looked at Balachandran and says, “Sir, why don't you look into the camera and say, 'Start'?”
And this was what happened. When everybody was ready, the production controller approached Balachandran, with a sheepish smile, and said that he could not get this specific type of underwear stitched. It was a crisis. Following this shoot, at 7 a.m., the actor Ravi (name changed) was supposed to go to Kochi and catch a flight to Chennai to go and act in another film.
After a short conversation, Balachandran asked whether he could borrow a banian. The man readily gave one. This was worn by Ravi, under his shirt, and since it was a long banian, it reached below the waist. “When the shot was taken, it looked like an underwear,” says Balachandran. “A bit of luck and quick thinking saved the situation.”
In a scene, shot at a house, in Kochi, he was supposed to come down a flight of steps and walk past an aged couple who were sitting on a sofa. The production controller had located an elderly woman, Annamma (name changed) who liked to do small roles. The husband was a member of the crew. Annamma had not been told about the story, since there were no dialogues. So, she did not know what to expect.