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Friday, April 18, 2014  
Another film from Rajgopal
Rajgopal and team are set to rock Muscat with their short film ‘Shakunthalayude Bharthave’, writes Anupama Arunkumar

This is not Rajgopal Nair’s first time. The Dhwayam director who had made it to last year’s Muscat International Film Festival finals, is all set to rock the event with yet another short film called Shakunthalayude Bharthave.

For those who need an introduction to this budding director, Rajgopal who works as an anaesthetist at Khoula Hospital since the past seven years, is also a well known writer back in the Indian state of Kerala, with many of his short stories being published by various publishers.

With an unending passion for theatres and film making, Rajgopal, along with some like minded people come together in a humble attempt to make the reel adaptation of one of the short stories from his own short story collection written in 1995.

This being his second attempt and with his experience in the theatres, Rajgopal feels events like Muscat International Film Festival do a lot in boosting the confidence level of amateur film makers like himself. “I plan to make at least one film every year and last year’s entry at the film festival really brought a lot of exposure to the work we were doing. I guess it’s my passion for films and theatres that drives me in bringing my dreams to reality.”

After directing six dramas and a short film in Muscat, Rajgopal’s effort Shakunthalayude Bharthave is a poignant short film about one young poet’s struggle in keeping up with the modern society and its expectations. The protagonist who is living with his working wife finds it difficult to come out of his fantasies and face the reality of unemployment and an unhappy marriage. The wife Shakuntala, brought up in a different background and the sole bread winner of the family is found to be engaging in a monologue when the protagonist is depicted as frustrated and caught up in his own dark world. Poet’s struggle for existence is beautifully portrayed in the film by the gradual disappearance of his own sense organs. There are also flashes of the poet’s past with his lover.

Prem K. Nair portraying the poet’s character was able to contain a good mixture of emotions that showed the struggle and Bhaavanaa Nambiar in the role of Shakunthala was also able to handle the role of a responsible wife who tries to put up with her husband’s short comings.

“Acting in a Malayalam movie was quite challenging, especially with my very limited knowledge in Malayalam”, commented Bhaavanaa hailing from Punjab. “But I was really excited to take up the role and the character being a Calcutta based Malayali helped me get into her shoes. Both the director and I thought I would struggle during the voice recording but it was such a smooth process. It was really a good experience”, she added.

Karthika Murali, Jayan and Thomas are other actors involved in the project. Karthika who is a prominent singer of Oman debuted in the film which she cherishes as a break through in her acting carrier.

The camera, editing and dubbing was handled by Rashi a graduate from Pune Film Institute who had put in handful of experience in the field of films and several national TV channels.

Rajgopal commenting on the treatment of the story said, “The whole film has a surreal kind of effect. It represents today’s modern man who wants to live without feeling anything. The losing of the poet’s senses in the film symbolises how people stop using their senses of hearing, seeing and feeling for convenience. And through the story, there is also playing around with the nature’s theory of evolution put forward by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck which talks about use and disuse of organs – where individuals lose characteristics and organs that they do not require and develop charteristics that are useful.”

Talking about the problems they faced during the shooting, Bhaavanaa remembers how tough it was to set the shooting schedule to suite everyone’s working hours. “Shooting scenes set in Kerala back ground was difficult. We took a long time to find places in Muscat that resembled outdoors of Kerala. We had to set the frame in a certain way and even the slightest detour would have ruined the shot,” reminisced Rajgopal.

The team shared the wonderful times they had spent with Anupam Kher, a very celebrated actor in Bollywood when he was here in Muscat last month. The actor who also launched the CD of Shakunthalayude Bharthave had always been an inspiration to young directors and actors uplifted the spirit of the team. A Synergy’s production Shakunthalayude Bharthave is hoping for the best and beyond.

Oman Tribune
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