KOCHI: If simple writing is considered brilliant, then journalist Babu Velapaya does a commendable job with his 'Maramachan Kunjaran', a collection of screenplays. But then it is just one of the attributes. The seven scripts he presents are different from one another in themes and treatment. Like a camera lens that zooms in, he takes us into the complex minds of his protagonists as well as some well-made supporting characters. And as each story ends, it leaves us with enough lasting thoughts, mostly with a tint of melancholy.
But in doing so, Velapaya hardly forgets to add his mix of colours and visuals, to a director's joy. There is no dearth of imageries, be it in the state-award winning 'Maramachan', which tells the story of a young orphan's dream of creating a forest on receiving a sapling from his school, or the arguably best of the lot 'Kunjaran', set in the deep red background of Theyyam, or Chenchoppu, which has a kind butcher as its powerful protagonist. Then there are four more --- Pennunny, a woman-centric story which unfurls like a mother's touching lullaby; Athirukal Kadannu, about an old, desolate couple who find themselves surplus to their well-off children's requirements; Koodeyundu Nakshatram, a touching tale of a virtuous woman who believes his departed husband's soul acts as the leading light for her and her ailing daughter, or Karale, a somewhat lighter-vein script that pans across different terrains and copies incidents from them.
Perhaps what makes the scripts free-flowing and touching is Velappaya's candid observations of life in various settings. They rightly reflect in 'Maramachan Kunjaran'. To reproduce the words of director Priyanandanan used in the preface, "It is a committed visual experience".