New Delhi, Dec 28 (IANS) He is often accused of making difficult films and veteran Malayalam filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan admits as much, saying people are relishing 'Naalu Pennungal' (Four Women) because it is not as complex as his other works.
'This film was released Nov 22 and it is doing very well. It is still running in the cinemas in Kerala. About my previous films, people used to say that they couldn't understand them, but no such complaints this time. It is not complex and people are liking it,' Adoor told IANS in an interview.
Set in the 1940s through 60s, the film is based on four short stories by well-known Malayalam author Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai and looks at women as individuals in society.
'They are relevant today even though the stories are set in a specific time and place. It is not just a historical film. That's why it interested me,' said Adoor, who started a new movement in Malayalam cinema with his first film 'Swayamvaram'.
'They were not written as four stories in the book. They were written over a long period of time. I selected them from the 300-400 stories that Pillai wrote. I read the stories and these are the stories I liked best and put them together according to a theme.'
Four actresses - Geethu Mohandas, Nandita Das, Padmapriya and Manju Pillai - have given stellar performances in the movie, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in the Masters section. It was screened at international festivals like London, Nantes and the International Film Festival of India where it enthralled audiences.
'The four women belong to different classes, different levels of consciousness, so there is a definite growth in them. As the film grows, it finally goes to the point of resolution. So there is progression in terms of time and in terms of theme,' said the director who doesn't like his actors interpreting their scenes themselves.
'It is not the artist's job to do the detailing. I do not want different interpretations of roles that may clash with each other. It has to be absolutely unified.
'I normally don't encourage my artist to read the story let alone the script. So they are told at the time of shooting about the role and briefly explained the scenes and then we have several rehearsals. The actor is your medium and he should be good enough to give you what you want.
'In movies, the actor is not performing to the audience like the stage actor. Here they are acting for me. I am the audience and I will decide whether it is correct or not, enough or not. A shot can be altered according to the film. It's juxtaposition that gives new meanings, new interpretations.'
The maverick director says he has another film ready for release.
'Along with 'Naalu Pennungal', I shot another film which is again an adaptation of the same author's work. It has two stories and will come out next year,' said the director.