Interview with Thilakan
Malayalam cinema has been given a raw deal at the
National Awards. Was the industry biased against or were
there no movies worth mentioning to feature for the awards?
It's a known fact that no good movies are being made in
Malayalam cinema. Viewers know it. We in the film industry
know it. Aparna Sen's Mr. And Mrs. Iyer was a well-made
movie and it deserved to win all the awards it has bagged.
Konkona Sen Sharma gave a beautiful performance. Nothing in
Malayalam this year could be compared with that movie.
What about Adoor's Nizhalkoothu?
I haven't seen that movie, so I can't comment on it. But I
have a grouse against Adoor. He makes films in Malayalam,
but not for Malayalees. His movies are first released in
film festivals abroad. After the entire world has seen them,
he releases his films in Kerala. This might be one of the
reasons for the declining audience for his pictures in his
home state -- Kerala.
Adoor has criticised Prakash Jha for remaining in the
jury even as Ajay Devgan, winner of the best actor award,
was acting in his movie Gangajal. What's your view?
I don't know the rules. If rules forbid him, he shouldn't
have remained on the jury.
What's ailing the Malayalam film industry?
In the beginning of the eighties, the film industry saw
entry of several good actors and directors. They brought new
ideas and innovations. But during the last ten years, the
industry has become market-driven. The filmmakers want to
reap as much from a movie as they can. It's the same with
the audience too. When an alcoholic gets maximum kick out of
cheap arrack, why should he go for cognac? I mean to say
good movies don't see the light of the day.
How is the audience different from what it was 10 years
The audience has changed a lot. A producer recently told me
that majority of film goers in Kerala are aged between six
and 18. Naturally, filmmakers dish out products that please
children and adolescents. That is why comedy pictures are
raining in the film industry. Directors like Adoor and Fazil
once in a while come up with good movies. But that is not
What should be done to revitalise the film industry in
There are no artificial solutions to revive the industry.
There are no quickfix solutions. This is a cycle. World
over, quality of films are going down. Malayalam films have
gone through such crisis before. And they have recovered.
This storm will also blow over soon, hopefully.