Posts Tagged ‘K Balachander’

K Balachander’s sitcom bright with characteristic humour

December 4, 2007

Indraja, who is playing the lead role of Anitha in this television comedy is in her ‘mallu’ avatar, begging Jayakodi (played by Renuka) to give her space in the house.

TV Vardharajan aka Chinna Vardhu is playing Jayakodi’s father, who is against Anitha entering into his home. The entire scene is a comedy, since Chinna Vardhu (who is always recounting anecdotes and concerns) is accusing her, to make sure that she does not come into the house. The entire setup looks chaotic with wires and cables everywhere.

A huge number of lights hang from the ceiling, but the cinematographer still manages to avoid all clutter. While K Balachander still directs each and every step of the shoot himself, he walks in the shot and shouts cut! And action! Several times. The point to note here is that his enthusiasm and energy levels are the same.

While Jayakodi repeats his dialogues called out by the assistant director, Anitha does an extempore. KB is watching the progress on a small screen and monitors, while the scene is being shot. “Indraja was a good find for this role. She is a talented actor. The original movie Naan Avan Illai, was based on the comedy, revolving around a man. This serial(of the same name) is based on a woman,” says KB. Refusing to divulge more details on the plot, KB goes back to concentrating on the shot.

Meanwhile Ravi Raghavendra who plays a constable and Jayakodi’s husband is waiting inside the room for his shot. “It’s a funny couple. She(Jayakodi) is a popular lawyer and I am just a constable. In this scene, Anitha is pretending to be in distress and I bring her home. From there on starts the war between the father-in-law and me.”

Back to the scene, Anitha is pleading with Jayakodi in her Malayali accent, “Jeycha, naa elle vela senja (I will do all the work).” Chinna Vardhu, the loudest of them all says, “This weekly comedy is good. It gives more scope for perfection. Incidentally, I was introduced by KB sir in 1994.” Gopu Babu, who has also written the dialogues of the film Baba, has written the dialogues for this serial. Also present on the set is Viswan, who has been called in to help and guide Indraja perfect her Malayalam accent.

The actors now take a break after KB has approved the successful completion of the scene. While the settings are changed in the same room, KB is being briefed by the assistant director on the next shot.

Don’t the actors throw tantrums on the set? KB replies, “I am a strict disciplinarian on my sets and no one dare do that. Everybody respects my age and experience – so no one behaves badly. Generally anyone who does such ‘drama’ is thrown out of the sets.”

K Balachander back on TV with family soap

November 17, 2007

“I took a break from television for two years, but now I am back in action with Tenmozhiyaal and Naan Aval Illai,” announces renowned director K Balachander.

Talking with the same vigour as he has done on various other occasions, KB (as he is fondly referred to) is very excited about his television programme, “I was given a daily and a weekly slot, for a family soap and humour respectively. That is when I planned the two stories. Naan Aval Illai is a reflection of my earlier movie, which has also been remade, starring Jeeva. In the serial, the main protagonist is a woman.”

But he warns us that there is a difference between humour and laughter. “Humour is always classy and laughter is slapstick. What I’ve tried in this serial comes under the former,” KB clarifies. Humour is not easy, but he doesn’t make too much of an effort to work on it either, “The serials, which I have done earlier, have always had lot of humour. Also, I’ve worked with Nagesh so it’s only natural that I come up with something based on humour.”

KB says he was very careful about choosing Indraja to do the lead for his humorous weekly. “Indraja’s talent comes handy for a character like this. I am happy to have made this choice for something new that I am trying to experiment with.” And KB is not affected by the current trend of television shows either.

“I will not bring an unnecessary twist in my story just to grab audience attention. For instance, if the main protagonist drinks poison at the end of an episode, what many will do is end it there and keep the audience’s curiosity high until the next episode, where they will show that she drank only coloured water. Such things are consciously absent in my stories,” says KB.

Talking about his daily soap Tenmozhiyaal, KB says that he is trying something different from the usual tearjerkers. Not revealing anything about the future of the serial and the turns it is going to take, KB says, “I don’t talk about it even to my wife. The curiosity should not be killed.”

Explaining his break from TV serials, he says, “I was very tired at one point of time. In television, you have to churn out something interesting everyday. In the process, the creativity is lost.”

But when the younger audiences are looking for a shift in programming, isn’t Tenmozhiyaal run of the mill? “The audience might be younger and modern today. But I have to consider my fans across the globe, who probably fall in the 60+ age group. If I start catering to the younger audience, then my fans will feel alienated. When I went to Abu Dhabi, I met some fans who quoted dialogue after dialogue from my movies, some of which even I didn’t recollect! That made me realise what my fans expect from me.”

But he is quick to add, “Not that I don’t want to cater to younger audiences. I’ll do that through my younger team.” And does that mean that he is against the young school of thought? “At one level I may be,” he says, “For instance, I don’t appreciate live-in relationships. But that’ll not prevent me from highlighting it in my stories if they demand that. Fight sequences are always popular but I’ve successfully done immense work without having a lot of fighting. Moreover, I don’t subscribe to the view of adapting to the modern ways and means for the sake of changing trends or for popularity.”

Any movies in the anvil? “No, not for now,” KB replies, “At the moment, I’m concentrating on these serials. I want to remake Manmathan Illai in a newer younger way with one of the new actors like Jeevan. But it’ll have to wait till the next year.”