In 35 days I was getting married. I was busy searching for a
house in Bengaluru. The house which we liked was somehow not convincing enough
and arranging money was also difficult. The rains in Bangalore were getting
worse. One of the days I got stuck in a traffic jam for 4 hours. I was in a bus
crowded with software engineers, lucky enough to put the left cheek of my ass
on a cushion. There were already three people in that seat. Inside the bus a
thought kept hovering around me. “What if this is it ? What if the rest of my
life is going to be in a crowded bus stuck in traffic with the nausea of
morning perfumes collating with evening sweat.” My feature films current producer pretended to
be interested but he was misleading. Two big actors had already said no. (By
‘BIG’ I meant they are relatively
popular in the malyalam film industry and not known anywhere else in the world
As the bus became suffocating and the rain worse I thought
about my schooldays and my visits to the temple. I had become an atheist in
between and then a pagan. I get so confused with religion that I pray to god to
help me out. (J).
I haven’t shot anything in the last month. The random thoughts that appeared were
sublime, momentary and gone. I grabbed the
sketchpad which Unni (friend- designer- artist- human) had gifted me
earlier that month and started writing things down. By the end of the journey I
The next day I got stuck in the same traffic for 3 hours but
this time I was equipped. I had installed Celtx in my phone and started writing
the script for my next short film. The name “Bhagavathykaavile paapikal” was jotted down a day before I went to sleep.
If I come up with an idea I talk to people (close friends and filmmakers).
There are various viewpoints on every subject. Once I understand people’s
viewpoints I go ahead and put my ideas on paper. Some of this may conflict with
others view points and some resonate. There is research involved in the topic
both field work and library work. Bhagavathykaavile Papikal was a product of
some research I had done while on a recce trip to Ajanta. I also came across
people who sell and buy religious goods. (camphor, agarbathi, cloth) in Banaras
which inspired me on how religion is a source of living for a lot of people.
The first draft was made in a crowded bus. The subsequent drafts where designed
and made taking a lot of rehearsals with myself.
Syama deciding whether to use the crown or not
The entire team
Rahul Rajagopal, Vishnu haridas, Arjun Sreekumar, Vishnu Renjith
Vishnu Haridas, Krishand (Me) and Syama (art director -wife)
Rahul Rajagopal and Krishand (me)
I don’t believe that every film should have a purpose. As
someone who takes film-making seriously’ films not having purpose’ may seem a
pedestrian thought. Bhgavathykaavu is something that was in my head. As a
person whose philosophy keeps changing rapidly and contradicting itself I would
say at the time of envisaging the film my idea was something to say about
religion. In this social-political-religious climate I felt it important to
state what I think about religion. I believe that there is a force in nature
and that’s why we Malayalis worship trees, suns, snake and rain. (This force
might be something we created to give us hope.) I am disturbed by the fact that
these forces are used for monetary political benefits and have become an
albatross around our neck. In the film a trapped goddess tries to escape from
her temple. She is helped by two sinners. Sins are relative and hence god is
not worried about the sins of these sinners. She selfishly wants to escape her
followers. In the last 6 months my philosophy has changed so looking at the film
I could see a more clearer me. It was a personal narrative exploration with my
own religious philosophies and that might be the purpose.
The best part were the discussions i had with Rahul Rajagopal and Vishnu Haridas which helped me question my choice of content.
The character is played by G. Radhakrishnan Nair a retired inspector at Kerala road transport
cooperation. He is also popular for his characters in amateur theatre circle of
1980’s. Being a poet and a performer it was quite for him to assume the
character. My father.
The character of corrupt police officer is played by Rahul Rajagopal an assistant manager at
HDFC Ernakulam. He has previously been a part of several short films and
Played by Kavitha S Nair who has done three short films
previously in the leading role. She is a classical dancer and a model currently
working in Infopark Nila.
Radhakrishnan Nair, Rahul Rajagopal and Kavitha S Nair
Cherumadam is an editor from Ernakulam currently settled in Mumbai. He has
edited numerous short films and a few documentaries. He is also the founder of
Neelavelicham studio an enclave for independent filmmakers.
Music Director ---------Ajmal Hasbulla
Rameez Ibrahim , Kiran Sasi.
Art Direction and
Costumes Design ----------Syama
a costume designer with a clean sense of colors and design. She is into
understanding color and texture and using them to achieve subtle details in
costumes. (My wife.)
Make up and Art
consultant ---Nagaroor Mohandas
–The experimental stage show Panchajanyam
from the troop Kalapeedham was designed and created by Nagaroor Mohandas. As an
expert in ‘Achara Anushtana Kala’ he contributed to the overall feel of
characters and its makeup.
Sound Foley and
Ministry of movies trivandrum (dubb)
Puja sounds kochi (dub and mix)
Additional editing lab
Sacred Hearts Tavera
Ajith Kesavan Haridas
Ajith Kesavan Haridas
Snake abode violin
Radhakrishnan Nair(dad) waiting for the train shot beside a temple in varkala
Rahul taking position for the train shot
kavita in a casual conversation just before the take
I am not happy with the sound. My favorite sound designer was busy on another project and hence sound lacked its brilliance. There are places where the dubbing feels hollow and in the studio. Especially in the shouting scenes. The ambiance mixing of waterfall was not done though Rameez did his best. Kiran Sasi oversaw the sound and helped it gain atleast the shape it has. Still not happy
i am also not a big fan of the performance of the convict character played by my Dad. The whole thing was supposed to be funny ended up looking serious. Also Kavitha hadn't rehearsed her lines and could only perform as if she was reading it out. BY the end of the film it changes however to a comfortable performancebut in the beginning there is this big flaw. However a lot of foreigners loved her performance and mentioned about it in their feedback. The whole thing was also rushed because of the rain hence actor comfort level was lacking too.
The edit could have been sharper but we had a race with time. I am so happy with Rakesh eye.
The movie was not color corrected. Just recovered from 'neutral' profile to vivid.
The key to this film is the space. The space being an abode. (kaavu). There is a temple near to a waterfall and its add to the pagan outlook of the film. The film is about how these spaces in nature where taken up by man and worshiped. Later came places of worship because humans need a face/personality for beliefs. These places of worship soon lost its purpose of originally worshiping that nature and evolved into autocratic religious institutions where nature is trapped. This trapped nature-goddess had to be shown in effectively isolated environmental panache which the location provided.
The movie was shot at Irunutty waterfalls (aka MEENMUTTY falls) in KALLARA, MULLAKARa, Trivandrum , Kerala. The content being environmental and spatial had to be shot in its natural pristine niche.
Has it made me a better man. Time will tell. :-D