Thursday, October 04, 2018

“Thampi Had A Clarity Of Vision” – actor Jagadish

By Shevlin Sebastian

Thampi Kannanthanam; Jagadish

When actor Jagadish came to hear of Mollywood director Thampi Kannanthanam's death, at age 64, at a hospital in Kochi, on October 2, his mind went back to the past

Along with Mohanlal, Jagadish had acted in Thampi's film, 'Bhoomiyile Rajakkanmar' (1987). In the film, there were some adverse remarks about democracy and one of the characters said that a rule by a king was a far better option.

“This created some problems with the Censor Board,” he says. “And the release got delayed. But Thampi was not discouraged at all. Instead, he appeared before the Board and was able to argue persuasively about the merits of the film. In the end, Thampi got the release certificate.”

For Jagadish, Thampi was a director who had a clear vision of what his film should be. In 'Maanthrikam' (1995) Mohanlal played a military officer who does some implausible actions, along with Jagadish, who plays a subedar.

“When Mohanlal expressed some doubts about whether it would work or not, Thampi argued that even [action hero] James Bond did some difficult-to-believe heroics,” says Jagadish. “To be honest, even I had some doubts. But Thampi had no worries. In the end, he turned out to be right because the movie became a big hit. Even today, this is a film that people can watch without getting bored.”

Jagadish also heard from the seniors in the industry that Thampi was one of the few associate directors who travelled in a car – a black Fiat – at the very beginning of his career. “Normally, in those days, associate directors would travel by bus or train,” says Jagadish. “But Thampi never experienced any poverty at all. He started working with director Sasikumar and in the second film itself, got a promotion and became an associate director.”

It was during those times that Thampi developed a clarity of vision. “It was his biggest strength,” says Jagadish. “And since he always made a film from the audience's point of view, he had many hits.” 

(The New Indian Express, Kerala editions)

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