Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pushing A Rubber Piece Up The Nose

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'
By Shevlin Sebastian
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.
After a while, director Jeethu Joseph observed that Kamal was fidgeting a bit. So he went up and said, “Sir, what has happened?”
Kamal said, “It seems the rubber piece has vanished.”
Jeethu looked up the nose but could not see anything. Kamal immediately told the director to carry on with the shoot. But Jeethu said, “Sir, that is not possible. We need to get it out.”
So they went to a nearby clinic. The doctor pleaded helpnessness.
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.”

The next day, the shoot carried on, but it was related to the same scene.
As Jeethu was walking past, Kamal called out to him. When he came near, Kamal said, “Don't laugh, but I am going to tell you something.” Jeethu waited calmly. Then Kamal said, “It went up today also.”

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.
Jeethu shouted, “What's happening, Cylex?”
Cylex said, “Meena.”
But by the time, Jeethu reached the trailer, Meena had been put in a car which sped away. “It was a panic situation,” says the director.

At the hospital, Cylex called Jeethu and told the story. Apparently, when the assistant stepped in to give Meera a few pages of the script, she was immobile, with unblinking eyes. That was when he realised something was wrong.

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.”
Finally, a crew member killed it. 

(The New Indian Express, Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram)

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