'The story of Pranayam was in my mind right from my college days'
Director Blessey has the knack of touching human minds through his sensitive portrayal of emotions. After perfectly crafted movies such as Kazhcha, Thanmathra and Bhramaram, his latest Malayalam offering, Pranayam (Love), has been well received.
The film, which was a casting coup of sorts with Mohanlal, Anupam Kher and Jayaprada in the lead, is described as a 'mature love story'.
Jayaprada plays the role of Grace, whose husband Mathews (Mohanlal) is a professor and is now ill after suffering a stroke. One day she sees her former husband Achutha Menon (Anupam Kher), and much of the film is about the tensions and feelings between Menon and Grace when they meet unexpectedly after several decades of separation. Anupam Kher has said that Pranayam is among the seven best films of his career.
Blessy talks to Meghna George about how the film came about and his choice of actors.
How did Pranayam happen?
The producer of the film, Sajeev P K, approached me to make a 'good' film. I could understand the honesty in his words and I took it as a challenge. The story of Pranayam was in my mind right from my college days. Years ago, I had discussed the storyline with the late writer-director Lohitadas.
The thought came back to my mind, and what I had initially was the climax. It was a journey backwards, from the climax to the start when I sat down to write the script.
Image: A still from Pranayam. Inset: Director Blessey
'We have been getting overwhelming reports for the film'
Why should one watch Pranayam?
Pranayam conveys certain subtle emotions that mean a lot in our lives whether we realise it or not. Love is all around us and it attains more meaning as we think about it in depth. That is the reason why love is the most common subject whether in literature or movies.
The film showcases brilliant performances by Mohanlal, Anupam Kher and Jayaprada. It is a love story, different from the ones you have seen until now. The film has enchanting music composed by M Jaychandran to ONV Kurup's brilliant lyrics.
How did you decide on the film's cast?
Pranayam is a love story involving a beautiful woman and two men. They had to convey some strong emotions in a subtle way and I had to maintain a certain balance. This prompted me to think about these superb actors, who have been stunning us with their performances over the years.
Mohanlal was really happy to do the role of Mathews, who is mostly confined to a wheel chair and is on screen only for a short period.
Anupam Kher and Jayaprada have been wonderful. There are other characters who are really important like the one played by Anoop Menon as Anupam Kher's son.
What response has the film got?
We have been getting overwhelming reports and I am thrilled to get calls from viewers saying how much they loved the movie. I think the movie has given a chance for many to think about their own emotional lives.
Image: A still from Pranayam