(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Ta razak is scouting for talent in dubai for his second directorial venture which will be shot entirely in the uae deepa gauri writes
There are very few writers in malayalam cinema who have explored the cultural ethos of northern kerala popularly referred to as malabar with such flourish as ta razak.
Drawing inspiration from life and people around him razak has created compelling portraits of the region backed by his trademark ‘straight-from-the-heart’ style of writing. award-winning films like kaanakinavu and ghazal narrated stories that underlined the importance of communal harmony.
The writer who has now made his debut as director with moonam naal njayarazcha to be released shortly is also known for integrating themes drawn from the trials and tribulations of expatriates.
Perumazhakalam which earned him rich laurels for example dealt with the trauma of the families of two expat indians - one of whom is accused of killing his friend in a gulf country. in moonam naal njayarazcha he brings out another aspect of expat life that is seldom discussed in malayalam cinema - the woes of an expatriate who returns home after a jail term in the gulf.
Produced by actor salim kumar who also plays the lead the film has already generated strong industry buzz and is much-awaited for what could be another award-winning performance by salim kumar. while the film was partially shot in dubai razak now plans to shoot his next directorial venture almost entirely in the uae.
Currently in dubai to finalise the script of another film (to be directed by siby malayil) razak is also scouting for talent for the new project. he has already given strong platforms for dubai talent to shine through with moonam naal njayarazcha. anil vadakkekara the cinematographer of the film has worked as a dubai-based television cameraman and producer. for his new project he is taking inspiration from the real-life story of a dubai resident. he is adapting one leaf out of the life story of dubai-based ashraf palarakunnumal who has helped repatriate the bodies of several indians who died in the uae.
Ashraf rushes to comfort the grieving families back home and helps with the documentation process.
Ashraf has several stories to share and one such story caught the imagination of razak. “i am also looking for talented artists from dubai to play central roles in the film” he says. “after all the uae and the gulf region have many talented malayalis who do other jobs for a living but keep their passion for acting and cinema alive.”
Razak in many ways is a non-conformist. “i am rather lazy and laidback. i like to take my time off from films and confine myself to reading and writing” he says. a former government employee he took to cinema after his friends asked him to join them on the sets of dhwani a superhit film starring prem nazir – the actor’s last completed film – and jayaram. razak however made his official debut writing vishnulokam starring mohanlal which was also a superhit.
Completing 25 years in cinema now razak believes that films must be for the higher good. he is staunchly against the so-called new generation trend that glorifies a lack of values. “even if the argument is that such things happen today picturising it in films will only accentuate the problem” says razak.
Not surprisingly his films are family-oriented the heroes often epitomising goodness. but then razak believes that artists have a social responsibility. “while i do not believe that i can make dramatic transformations through cinema that does not mean i should give in to the commercial diktats.”
Razak says the lives of expatriate malayalis have great significance for kerala and that their tales need to be documented. “if you look at world cinema there is a strong emphasis on being truthful to their historical and cultural milieu. malayalam cinema sadly is moving away from its true ethos today.” agreeing that he has made some compromises when it comes to working on projects he might not have liked to do razak says he is now determined more than ever not to be swayed by current trends – but to continue to tell stories that are drawn from life responsibly and with conviction.
Moonam naal njayarazcha perhaps is that first big step in the evolution of the writer in razak.