Malayalam actress Geetu Mohandas turns director
Geetu Mohandas who made her debut as a three-year-old in the Malayalam film Onnu Muthal Poojyam Vare more than two decades ago, has now turned director.
With her roles in off beat films like Oridam, Akale, Sesham, Thakarachenda and Naalu Pennungal among many others, Geetu Mohandas has for long been anointed as a 'beauty with brains'.
She further proved just how talented when she directed a 22-minute short film titled Kelkkunnundo...
The film delves deep into the world of a three-year-old girl named Ammu, who happens to be blind. She lives in modest surroundings with her mother and creates a world of her own, sitting inside a workshop, close to a vast playground.
Hasna, a young girl from a school for the blind in Aluva plays Ammu quite brilliantly.
The technical crew of Kelkunnundo... includes cinematographer Rajeev Ravi (Geetu is getting married to him on November 14), animation designers Aindri Chakraborthy and Prakash Moorthy, music director Sharreth and editor B Ajith Kumar.
Soon after the screening of the film in Kochi, where several noted names including Mohanlal, Sreenivasan, Kunchacko Boban and Bhavana were in attendance, Geetu spoke to rediff.com about her new role and more.
Image: Geetu Mohandas and Hasna
'I have tried to narrate the story in a simple way'
What prompted you to make this short film which shows the world through the dreams of a young blind child?
I am not intellectualising the whole thing at all. I have written it as a simple story and have tried to narrate it in a simple way. The treatment given to it was also in that manner.
You watch the film for 22 minutes and its theme stays on and that was my intention. I didn't think of sending any messages or making it as an 'effects-of-urbanisation' project. After watching the film, you will either understand the emotions being conveyed or you won't.
Of course, there was this issue where the playgrounds and open spaces have been replaced by high rise buildings. That was one aspect that I had in my mind. But it was not to highlight that issue that I wrote this story. It is just that it appeared as a sub-plot.
Image: Hasna and Geetu Mohandas
'People liked the fact that I have shown Ammu as a normal girl'
Why did you decide to go behind the camera?
I was planning to make a full length feature film. When it got delayed, I thought of making this short film. Initially I had written this as a story. When I showed it to my family and friends, they encouraged me to make it into a short film.
How tough was executing the concept on to the screen?
The scripting process was the most difficult part. Shooting with Hasna you're bound to feel sorry for her because she is blind. But my conscious decision as a director is to protray her as a normal girl who happens to be blind.
From the feedback that I am getting, people liked the fact that I have shown her as a normal girl. I was careful about it while scripting and eventually while shooting those portions. Her activities and the world in her dreams was what excited me more. I am happy that everyone who watched my film connected to it in some way or the other.
'I may go back to acting if I get exciting offers'
When did you know that you wanted to direct a film?
Let me put it this way, I consider myself as a creative person, not as only an actor or only a director. The travels, books and my friends have prompted me to think that way.
You have not been really active as an actor in Malayalam for a while...
I get really bored when people come to me with scripts that they call 'award films' or having 'a really different theme'. It was then that I decided to step aside and wait for a while.
Films are my passion, more than being my source of bread and butter. Of course, I may go back to acting if I get exciting offers. I don't really know.
Image: Filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishna chats with Geetu Mohandas