Monday, July 10, 2017

All The Write Stuff

Scriptwriter/actor Murali Gopy reflects on his writing career as his film, 'Tiyaan' gets released, which will be followed by ‘Kammara Sambhavam’

Photos: Murali Gopy taken by Albin Mathew; the poster of 'Tiyaan'

By Shevlin Sebastian

Scriptwriter/actor Murali Gopy stared out of the glass-paned window of his seventh floor hotel room in Kochi, and said, “Let me give you some perspective. The budget of 'Tiyaan' (which was released recently) is Rs 18 crore. This is half the cost of the climax of 'Bahubaali'. But yes, in Mollywood, this is regarded as a big-budget film.” 
Scripted by Murali, 'Tiyaan' is a socio-political drama. While star Prithviraj plays the lead role of Aslan Muhammad, his brother Indrajith plays a character called Pattabhi Raman. The shoot took place outside Kerala, in places like Leh, Mumbai, Nasik, Manali, Allahabad and the Ramoji Rao Film City in Hyderabad.
In 'Tiyaan', like my earlier films, 'Ee Adutha Kaalathu' and 'Left Right Left', I have looked at how a man reacts to contemporary politics and issues,” says Murali.
Even as he talks, the shoot for ‘Kammara Sambhavam’, which is penned by Murali, has begun. In this film, comic superstar Dileep has moved in a new direction: he plays a 94-year-old man. “Among our stars, Dileep's talent has not been explored much, except in comedy,” says Murali. “I always felt he could do grey shades.”

Following these two, Murali will be writing a script for a film called 'Lucifer', in which Mohanlal plays the hero.
Like most people in Kerala, Murali is a fan. “Mohanlal is the all-time great, in terms of crowd-pulling, charisma, and acting talent,” says Murali. “It is a God’s gift. So, when such a person acts in your film, it is like preparing your house to host an emperor.”

So, is he nervous that although the film's shoot is scheduled for May, 2018, he has to yet write the script? Murali smiles and says, “I only have to write. For that, I don’t need to shiver. The pen needs a steadiness of the hand and mind. Writing is a meditative exercise. You have to go within and come out with whatever is inside you.”

And it seems to have worked, because Murali is noted for his scripts. Asked the qualities of a good script, he says, “There should always be a take-home element for the viewer. That is what I aim for. Secondly, I will only write if I have something to say. This has always been a promise to myself. At the same time, I don’t want to compromise on the entertainment value, because I want people to come and see my films. I don’t want to write for award juries at film festivals.” 

(Sunday Magazine, The New Indian Express, South India and Delhi)

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