National Award winner Neelakanta, who tasted both high acclaim and nose-straight criticism, has learnt the art of screenplay. Be it a failure or success, his films registered a unique style of narration, never missing the thread what he actually wants to present. Over a couple of years, he thoroughly captured the relevance of making of a commercially viable film, yet holding the merits of literary and artistic values. His much-publicized film Mr. Medhavi, starring Raja and Genelia, is going to hit the marquee on January 26 th. Excerpts from an interview with Neelakanta.
Tell us about Mr. Medhavi. How the subject originated from your mind?
The subject has been in my mind since for long. I hope it had come out at the right time. Mr. Medhavi is a general term, which we use to describe an eccentric or a person who showcases his merits wishfully and willfully. This way, we can say, it has slightly negative shades. In its true aspect, I tried to project a unique character through my specially concentrated subject. The film is about the attitude of a youngster towards worldly things. He thinks he can achieve anything with his pranks. The same yardstick he applies to win the heart of a girl. Next, the circumstances that followed forms the rest of the story. It has all elements of entertainment – romance, comedy and sentiment. To say it specially – I took double care in treating the comedy department.
You always lay emphasis on feminist aspects. Say, most of your films released so far remains heroine-oriented. Can you explain your stand?
I hope I have not attempted anything deliberately. When I plan my story, I look at it from several angles. Not only from the point of view of director, but also from the view of the general audiences. If you think, I have taken the female-oriented films; I can only say, I have taken one important side of human relations. You are aware that when we attempt something at anything that is neglected, we are branded as a rebel. Now, I realize that I have not touched upon the factors that help elevate stardom of any of my characters, but always got them much acclaim. Missamma would not have been a success had I not dealt it properly. Tell me. My film Missamma was first thought as a heroine-oriented film. But why should all sections of the audiences like it?
You are known for you uncanny strategy towards screenplay. What is special about it?
I feel thrilled to have such a credit. It is my professional secret and I like it very much. It never betrayed me. I get inspired many novels and films. But, I can't assimilate things just like that. At the same time, you can't call it an adaptation. I am a diehard fan of creativity and originality. Of course, the inspiration might be visible, which I can't help it. As long as the inspiration factor does not play havoc with creativity, it is welcome. I apply the same thing in carving my own screenplay, in my own fashion. This you will surely find in Mr. Medhavi.
Tell us what exactly led to misfiring of your previous films?
I was always concerned more about the aesthetic and artistic elements of filmmaking. I hardly touched upon other things; say important things like comedy and commercial elements such as stunts. Though Nandanavanam 120 KM didn't do well, my efforts received much praise from the audiences of all hues and colors. Coming to Sada Mee Sevalo, the film turned boring in the second half as it clearly missed the entertainment. Comedy went absent. However, I tried my level best not to repeat the mistakes hereafter. You will the flavor of my retrospection in Mr. Medhavi. I also believe that films which followed the age old and tested formulaic format have invariably clicked. I also tested this in Mr. Medhavi.