A Blog on Cinema

Interview: Sibi K. Thomas, Uday Krishna – Part 2


Sibi K. Thomas and Uday Krishna need no introduction to Malayalam Film Viewers. The script writer duo who have been in the industry for almost 16 years have been behind box office hits like C.I.D.Moosa, Kochi Rajavu, Vettam, Lion, Runway, Kilukkam Kilukilukkam , Thuruppugulan, and most recently Chess. The editors of talked to both of them about how they entered the film industry, their current work, their general opinion about Malayalam film industry and future work.Part 1 of this interview was published yesterday. Dileep has a change of image in the movie Chess. Did that suggestion come from Dileep or did it happen automatically when you wrote the story?

SKT/UK: It was decided when we narrated the story.Then the costumes and makeup were all decided based on discussions with Dileep and the director. You are very prolific, writing so many movies this year, like Lion, Kilukkam Kilukukkam, Thuruppugulan, etc. Can you tell us a bit about your writing habits. How much time do you take to write a script? Do you write at home or elsewhere. How do you get inspiration for the stories.?

SKT/UK: It all depends on the project. Some like Lion and Thuruppugulan took less time. CID Moosa and Kochi Rajavu took a long time. Kilukkam Kilukilukkam also took a long time. It was written a long time back and was originally called Angamaliyile Pradhana Manthri.

We never got time to relax after one movie and it has always been running from one set to the next. Even though we sit on some scripts for a long time, in the month before the shooting, a lot of work gets done. Since there are two of you, how do you divide the work. Does one of you write the comedy scenes and the other writes the serious scenes?

SKT/UK: No, No. First when we get a thread we try to see how to expand it and in what all directions it can be taken, how humor can be added and form it into a story. Then we come up with the scene order and a one liner for each scene. We discuss with the director and incorporate his good suggestions. After that we write the dialogue. Sometimes one of does a set of scenes and the other person does the remaining scenes. We review each others dialogue and suggest improvements. Some scenes are written by both of us. The final result is our screenplay. Do you write the script at home together?

Usually it is in some guest house or in a common place, a place with movie folks. How do you work on the comedy scenes?

First in our mind we see the actor who is performing the role, like Innocent, Jagathy or Salim Kumar. With the actor in mind we narrate the scene. So the scene is written in the way the actor can perform. Sometimes the actor we have in mind changes, like during the filming of Dosth, Innocent withdrew few days before the shooting. Then we had to find someone who would be similar to Innocent and got C I Paul.

We never talk in the name of the characters, instead we say Jagathi will come from here, Innocent will come from here etc. We never say Balakrishnan will come from here, Aravindan will come from here. The people listening will not be able to visualize. This is something we tell all newcomers.

With people like MT (M.T.vasudevan Nair), the story is written first and then they look for artistes. In our case it is never that way since the shooting starts almost immediately after a project is finalized. CID Moosa became a hit because kids loved the movie. Was that intentional or did it happen that way?

SKT/UK: Whenever we write a movie, we try our maximum to include scenes which children will also like. When children come for a movie, automatically their parents will also come. Are you present in the location for filming?

SKT/UK: Yes, there will be lot of improvisation during shooting. Sometimes some drawbacks in the script can also be rectified. AMMA is making a movie which Dileep is producing. In this movie all the superstars will be acting. All these actors have egos and you need to make all of them happy. Is this a major challenge for you?

SKT/UK: Yes, it is a major project for us. We have told already that no one should interfere in the script. The director is Joshi and the screenplay has to come according to his vision. When all the actors unanimously agreed to choose us, it is a recognition of our abilities. This could be the first time in the world that an actor’s organization is making a film. Also there may not be any movie in which all heroes have acted together. Currently the story discussions are going on. The shooting will start in December and the movie will be released in March. The next set of questions are general questions about the Malayalam Film Industry. As Mammotty and Mohanlal are aging, there is just Dileep to play the youngster and Kuchacko Boban or Prithviraj to play the college student. Most Malayalam heroines, except Kavya Madhavan have one foot in another film industry. Why is no new talent coming up? Is it due to the lack of talent or unwillingness on the part of film makers to promote new actors?

SKT/UK: Malayalam films run in a small area. Lot of movies are made depending on theater owners for advance. If they have to give advance for a movie, then they will look at the stars of the movie. Mammotty, Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, Jayaram and Dileep movies get advance. They are confident that people will come to see the movies of these stars. When it comes to new stars, the theater owners are a bit hesitant. There is a fear that producers may not recover their investment

(will conclude tomorrow)


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