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'Elsamma is close to my heart'

Last updated on: November 9, 2010 10:54 IST

'Elsamma is close to my heart'

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Meghna George in Kochi

Lal Jose is one of the few directors in Malayalam who can ensure guaranteed initials.

As the director of some of the finest films that Malayalam has ever seen like Meesa Madhavan, Chanthupottu, Arabikkatha, Classmates, Neelathamara, Oru Maravathoor Kanavu, Pattalam and Achanurangatha Veedu, he has found such an acceptance thanks to sheer talent. Though his latest film, Elsamma Enna Aankutty received mixed reactions, it still set cash registers ringing in a big way.

Over to the hotshot director.

There have been varied reactions about Elsamma Enna Aankutty but the film has turned out to be a huge hit...

Yes, there have been many who felt that my signature was missing from the film. But then a major section of the viewers felt it was a brilliant film. I think the reaction from the so-called masses worked for the film. The story had caricatures of some of the people around them and that should have been the reason why it worked.


Image: A scene from Elsamma Enna Aankutty

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'Criticism is fine'

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There have been constant comparisons of the character with certain other films.

I agree that we have seen certain aspects of Elsamma before in various shapes and forms, in other films. Like the characters in films like Ee Puzhayum Kadannu, Kasthooriman and Kanmadam for instance. But Elsamma had one thing that those characters didn't have. That is her positive approach and her stance on life. Life has to be dealt with not by tears but with a smile. I feel that the supporters who made Elsamma a hit are "ordinary people".

On a personal note, how do you rate the film?

I feel it is a film which is really close to my heart and I think I have become more mature as a filmmaker. More than the technicalities, I could understand the mindset of the masses. They have accepted the virtues, positive attitude of the character and the entertainment value of the story.

I have got a letter from a woman who told me that she was disappointed after watching the film, as Elsamma Enna Aankutty was quite unlike my earlier films. I replied that I regret the fact that it didn't entertain her and that I wish my future films connects with her concept of movies.

I have received similar reactions from others but I don't blame them. May be they are not aware about the fact that girls like Elsamma are there in plenty, who have to maintain a bold face even when they go through tough situations. I have seen some of those women. But then, the criticism is fine.

Randam Bhavam was the biggest flop in my career as a director and even then, I had received such varied reactions.


Image: A scene from Elsamma Enna Aankutty

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'Ann has turned out to be a 100% success in the role'

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How did the heroine Ann Augustine fare in her maiden film, as her role was being compared to Manju Warrier, for instance?

Ann has turned out to be a 100% success in the role. But I think that her character was quite unlike what Manju Warrier did in Kanmadam or Ee Puzhayum Kadannu. The period and the environment are different. The attitude of the character is also different.

Elsamma is educated and she responds in a different way. Elsamma believes that she has to stand on her own and only after that she should dream about things like marriage. Of course, both are fighters but the similarities end there as well. She has tears in her eyes but she won't show it. She is bold and keeps smiling. She is intelligent and dares to take on others, when she has to.

What about your future projects?

We are planning Cousins with Mohanlal and Prithviraj in the lead. The script is ready and we are in the process of giving the final touches. The shooting is expected to start during February next year.


Image: A scene from Elsamma Enna Aankutty

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