Listening to stories…

I, as a film director, am fortunate to receive the affection of my viewers. My movies have granted me ample opportunity of being loved by film enthusiasts. To some extent, TV channels have helped audiences form an opinion about me. I do not know whether this love will enhance or perish in case if a viewer establishes  direct personal relationship with me!

Anyway, nowadays I am making some ‘enemies’! They are the people who approach me saying they have a story ready for a good film! Earlier, I used to spare time for each of them. Almost every member of this group will begin their conversation by pitying the senselessness of recent releases. They will express their ‘intense remorse’ over decay of screen play writing. Then they will claim that they have 5 or 6 stories as a panacea for all these diseases that affect Malayalam film industry. The interaction closes with the visitor presenting a story based on the theme of a hit film itself, or its true copy!

Some of them come with their strong protest against prevailing system in film industry and the ‘cruelty’ of directors who do not give opportunity to new talents. Then, they will tell shockingly strange stories. One need not be a director to grasp the awkwardness of these stories. A lot of such people have respected jobs in the society. I have been a patient listener for a long time, and tried convincing the inappropriateness of their story, without hurting them.

Once, when preliminary news about Chanthupottu was out, I received a letter. It was from a person whose story I had listened earlier.

The letter said-“ Dear Lal Jose, I am very glad to know that you are making a film based on my story. However, I have not seen my name anywhere in the news item. I will approach the court unless you give me due credit for being writer of the story and my remuneration. N.B: As my wife is a leading advocate in Kannur court, be informed that I don’t have to spend any extra amount for filing and executing legal procedures.”

An employee at the secretariat- this friend had attached a photostat copy of his story along with the letter- Story of a man who undergoes sex change through hormone alteration. At the first glance itself I could understand that his story did not possess even a distant connection to the story of my film. I found his phone number in the letter. I asked on what basis he believed that the story belonged to him. Also how he could decide on this with some bits of storyline from film magazines. But this person was adamant. He told two years ago the story was published in a local magazine in Kannur. I gave him the phone number of Chanthupottu’s writer BennyP.Nayarambalam. Anyway it was Benny who wrote the story!

After two days, the same person called me with a strange request “Sir, please tell Benny not to register a case against me!” Of course then the matter was beyond my understanding. I called Benny. I was greeted with a loud laughter on the other side. Chanthupottu, the heartrending story of Radhakrishnan, the dancer boy, was developed from Benny’s own theatre production for Jubilee theatres presented on stage before 20 years. As a tit for tat Benny told him that he will register a case against him for stealing that story and publishing it in a magazine before 2 years. He warned him that this legal battle could well be the cause of loosing his government job!

Name of the protagonist in our friend’s story also was Radhakrishnan. This very similarity acted as the main factor that moved him to the brink of registering a case.
After Classmates was released, a person approached the court accusing the story was stolen from two of his novels. To name a few similarities- all these stories were set against the backdrop of college life and while the name of protagonist in classmates is Sukumaran, the novel had a protagonist named Sudhakaran. Though the case was rejected by the court after two years, the mental pressure and dejection that I experienced during this period was too heavy. I realized that these problems were actually created by my own habit of listening to unfamiliar people. I no more entertain stories by strangers. Nowadays, when I get calls that people have marvelous stories,  a few desperately end conversation by calling me names.

Well, I realize that knowingly I am creating a group people who have ill-feelings towards me. But, honestly, I don’t know what to do, to be in their good books!

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25 responses

  1. hahaha…ithrem njaan vicharichilla…
    in case i meet u, I also would have started the same way by narrating some story line….ini ippo enganum kandal, at least njaan oru helmet enkilum vechond varam :)))

  2. ha ha!!good one..!
    anyway happy to hear that many ppl trying hard to uplift the mal movies.. but i knw ,its easier said than done – to create a good movie.. !!
    and u dont worry laluchettaaa.. 🙂 Njaan thanne direct cheyyaan theerumaanichu…:-P
    jokes apart, i can understand ur feeling!! u hv every right to do so.. only listen to ‘reliable persons’ ..

    and keep on writing … Happy easter tooo… !!

  3. I agree completely with you.This is a problem which cause tension and and which will waste your valuable time.but this is only one side of the problem.There are really talented persons who can give you new ideas.I read in newspaper recently that ta new malayalam director who did a good movie last year went to many directors to tell his story and finally he succeded.

    If good directors like you are not there to hear them,who else will be able to guide them.I think we have to find a solution to this problem

  4. I remember the situation in the movie “Azakiya Raavanan” were character played by Sreenivaasan narrating the story to the rich producer..

    I guess he takes all these situations from similar real-life incidents that you faced..

    Also, recently i watched the movie “Kerala Cafe”, and I dont know whom to congratulate for this unique venture.. but, “Puramkaazchakal” was a thrilling feel to watch. was shocked by the ending of the movie.. totally unexpected..

    Also, i’m impressed with the movie.. “Bridge” directed by Anwar Rasheed. Kozhikode Shanthakumari is one of the best actors and is highly under utilized by all….

  5. Dear sir,

    As far as a newcomer is conserned,it is a discouraging comment from you.Nobody born as a movie director or a script writer…one should get oppertunities to become so…I admit that there might be some guys trying spoil your valuable time by explaining copied hit movies…
    (“New Bottle But same old medicine Stratagy”)…..There will be some talented youngsters who have been avoided by you….For instance,if there are 50 movies got released in a year,40-45 would be followers of other language hit movies….Still we are going to theatres with some expectation that we will get 2,3 quality movies…
    So please don’t close the door for everybody sir….Hope u will take this in the right sense…..

    Best Regards..
    Ratheeb.R.Nair(08095477930)

  6. Hillarious.. I remember the character played by Jagathy as a story writer in “Boeing..Boeing”.. Though it was comedy on screen..In reality it should have been a bitter experience for you..

  7. മഹാഭാരതത്തില്‍ അര്‍ജ്ജുനന്‍ അജ്ഞാതവാസ സമയത്ത് ഉര്‍വ്വശീ ശാപത്താല്‍ ആണും പെണ്ണും കെട്ടവനായതായി വായിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്.പക്ഷേ ചാന്ത്‌പൊട്ട് കണ്ട് വ്യാസമഹര്‍ഷി കേസ്സ് കൊടുക്കില്ല, ഉറപ്പ്.പിന്നെ താങ്കളുടെ തീരുമാനം, അത് താങ്കളുടെത് മാത്രം.പുറമേയുള്ള വ്യക്തിയായ ഞാന്‍ അഭിപ്രായ്‌ പറയാന്‍ ആഗ്രഹിക്കുന്നില്ല.

    ഓഫ് ടോപ്പിക്ക്..

    ഒരു അപേക്ഷ…
    താങ്കളുടെ ഈ ബ്ലോഗില്‍, താങ്കളുടെ തന്നെ ഏതെങ്കിലും തിരക്കഥയിലെ ഒരു സീന്‍ ഒന്ന് പോസ്റ്റ് ചെയ്യാമോ?
    എന്താ തിരക്കഥ എന്ന് അറിയാനാ…
    ആവേശത്തോടെ ഈ ബ്ലോഗ് വായിക്കുന്ന ഞങ്ങളെ പോലുള്ളവര്‍ക്ക് അതൊരു ഗുണം ആയാലോ?

  8. hahaha..nice one!!!

    keralathil script writer illa ennu aara paranjathu:)ethra peru aanu claasmate um chandu pottumokke munpe ezzhutiyittullathu…lolzz:);)

    jokes apart, I really agree with the comments of Jiby and Sanker.

  9. @ Arun kayamkulam..!!

    I second that… !! Lal chettan, can u pls post a scanned copy of script ( the original one ) of some famous scenes in any of ur movie..??

    just to know how does it look like.. !!! and thanks in advance ….

  10. Dear Mr Laljose
    what you narrated should be an occupational hazard for a director like you ,
    for one creative storyteller you may have to face a thousand imposters

    since you are a sensitive and skilled director my advice to you would be to get into classics for which there cant be any contemptory claims !

  11. Dear Sir

    Have patience and listen 🙂 … may be after passing through those painful episodes .. if you are lucky .. you will find a jewel at last .
    Then we all will have an opportunity to watch some amazing films again ..

    take care

  12. ഒരു മുഴുനീള കമേര്‍ഷ്യല്‍ സ്ക്രീന്‍ പ്ലേ എഴുതുക എന്നത് അത്ര എളുപ്പമുള്ള കാര്യമാണെന്ന് എനിക്ക് തോന്നുന്നില്ല, അതിന്നു ഒരുപാട് നാളത്തെ കഠിനാധ്വാനവും തലച്ചോറും ഉപയോഗിക്കേണ്ടതുണ്ട്.

    എന്‍റെ കൈയില്‍ കഥയുണ്ട്.. കഥയുണ്ട്.. എന്ന് പറഞ്ഞു നടക്കുന്നവര്‍ അതൊന്നു എഴുതി പൂര്‍ത്തിയാക്കട്ടെ, അതാണ്‌ പ്രധാനം. അവര്‍ക്ക് ആ സ്ക്രിപ്റ്റില്‍ പൂര്‍ണ്ണ വിശ്വാസം ഉണ്ടെങ്കില്‍ ആര്‍ക്കും അവരെ തടഞ്ഞു നിര്‍ത്താന്‍ പറ്റില്ല.

    പ്രതിഭ ഉള്ളവര്‍ക്കെ പ്രോത്സാഹനം നല്‍കേണ്ടതുള്ളൂ, അത് തീര്‍ച്ചയായും ലാല്‍ ജോസ് നല്‍കിയിട്ടുണ്ട് എന്നാണ് എന്‍റെ വിശ്വാസം,

    ഞാന്‍ ലാല്‍ ജോസ് പറഞ്ഞതിനോട് യോജിക്കുന്നു….

  13. This is success making you blind and deaf.There is nothing wrong somebody narrating you a story or giving you a suggestion.keep your eyes and ears open.Dont forget ,there is an element of divinity in every person.

  14. പ്രിയ ലാലു സാര്‍,
    ഭൂമി മലയാലയതിലും ഗള്‍ഫ് മലയാല്ളത്തിലുമായി 51 അക്ഷരങളാണുള്ളത്.ജനം 3.5 കോടിയും.ഈ ജനം മുഴുവനും ഇത്രയും അക്ഷരങള്‍ കൊണ്ടു കുത്തിയിരുന്നു ചിന്തിച്ചാല്‍ ആകെ മൊത്തം എത്ര കധ ഉണ്ടാകും?വെറും കാക്ക തൊള്ളായിരം.അതില്‍ ചില കധകളുടെ മുക്കും മൂലയും മറ്റു ചില കധകളുമായി സാമ്യം ഉണ്ടാകുന്നതു സ്വാഭാവികം മാത്രം.അതു കൊണ്ടു കധ കേള്‍കുന്നതു നിര്‍ത്തരുത്.നല്ല കധകല്‍ എവിടെയൊക്കെയോ ഒളിഞിരിപ്പുണ്ട്.അതു കണ്ടെത്തി സിനിമയാക്കണം.നല്ല സിനിമകളുണ്ടാക്കണം.അതുവഴി മലയാള സിനിമാ വ്യവസായത്തെ തകരാതെ സമ്രക്ഷിക്കന്‍ശ്രമിക്കണം.വരും നാളുകളിലെ എല്ലാ സമ്രംഭങള്‍ക്കും വിജയം ആശംസിക്കുന്നു.

  15. dear sir
    its nice to hear your words through ur blog.u r a man of sentiments and frankly sentiments will hinder the journey to suceess. if i am outspoken pls forgive me
    hoping to keep in touch with u

  16. Dr. Mr. Lal Jose, I am a fan of your movies. I watched you in the “Rim Jim’ show last week and curiously waiting to see your latest movie’Elsamma anna aankutty”. Now we are thinking of producing a malayalam movie and we love to have you direct that movie. We will be visiting India in the second week of November 2010 and if possible like to meet you in person and discuss about the movie. Please reply to my email. I tired your cell phone # several times, but always the message comes as ‘switched off’. If it is okay with you please give me the phone # also so that we can call you.
    Best wishes for all your future projects.
    Thank you
    Dr. Kuriachan

  17. orunal oru nalla kathayumai oral thankale thedi varum …annu athu kelkan alpam samayam mattivaykumenkil….ethreyo samyam nammal tv programsinu vendiyum.. interviews nu mayi neeki vaykunnu.. chilappol oru nalla cinema angane undayenkilo ???

    I used to c cinema karyangal , good one, its like a class room , i kepp watching u as a student , some times i remember my physics tutour… thank u laljose , thanks alot

  18. ആദ്യമായിട്ടാണീ വഴി. അറിയില്ലായിരുന്നു..
    പോസ്റ്റ്‌ വായിച്ച്‌ ടെൻഷനടിച്ചു.

  19. Dear Lalji,
    My Name is Baiju, From Caliut and I would like to be a part of Malayalam movie industry as a writer, with my vast experience in my 38 years of life, have spent my time from 19.1/5 of my age in various Indian states, and def rent location s of the world, I have experienced some lives, some characters and some people who haunt me from years. Basically when I was studying, as any adolescent person cinema fascinated me in all aspects like any youngster. Even I approached many cinema sets to get an entry in to that world. On those days ( it was in the last of 80 s) Chitrabhoomi weekly announced for a script competition and I also sent my entry. As I told, it was an immature movement of a boy, who seen movies like Rajavinte Makan, etc… tried to write some thing resemblance to that movie. Obviously that entry may went to the dust bin. Then I started thinking very serious about movie, approached almost of all sets which is shot from Calicut /in and around, and could show my face in some Moottakadi scenes. Then once I could visit Chennai when I was studying my pre degree, I approched Tampi Kannanthanam at KK nagar, who advised me to learn cinema and come after studies. Then fortunately I become an officer through NDA, served the nation for a decade, started my own business in Kuwait and Dubai. I forced to be a part of Christian Medical College vellore, for 2 years then I again got enough time to recollect my experiences,and wrot, which led some of good stories based on real lives, with so much of dramatic situations. Now as you experienced your Radha in Chandupottu, many directors experienced and everybody hesitates to listen or read the new comers stories as they want to avoid the further allegations( As I read some where, Veteran Director, writer sreenivsan once experienced that even his thalthil Dineshan has the same problem) . There are culprits who even don’t have characters, they focused on stars and waste the valuable time of Directorsby narrating stupid stories,( Also still movies like mayabazar, doubles, drona,christian brothers, yakshiyum nanum etc.. releasing here ) . But, like me who approach seriously, to the industry, should go where? Cinema is a media where money, fame, and the luxury of being a star, attract many people, who also be there beside to spoil the ambiance of a good industry. So lalji, can u suggest a place where we can exhibit our creations and make our dream comes true.?

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