KOCHI: Of the 100-odd films he penned, Alleppey Sheriff is remembered as a writer by the new generation for the bold ‘Avalude Raavukkal’, as there were attempts even a couple of years ago to remake the 37-year-old movie.
The film and its lead character, sex worker Raji who was immortalised by Seema, was a shocker to the Kerala society in the late 70s.
The character had shades of many real-life persons whom Sheriff knew, both famous and unknown to the world.
The blockbuster film was a turning point in the career of both Sheriff and director I V Sasi. The film went on to create ripples in the cultural arena and a number of imitations followed, after getting inspired by it.
‘Aarohanam’ (1980), ‘Asthamikkaatha Pakalukal’ (1981) and ‘Naseema’ (1983) are the films directed by Sheriff.
Sheriff, who did his basic education in Alappuzha, had his schooling in films from Udaya Studios. He started off as a script assistant to Moidu Padiyath for ‘Umma’ in 1960 at the age of 18. Later, he moved to Chennai (then Madras) with the ambition to become a writer. ‘Kalippava’ directed by A B Raj was his first film as screenplay writer.
From Sasi’s first directorial venture ‘Utsavam’ (1975) to ‘Anuragi’ (1988), Sheriff wrote 23 scripts for the director, including hits such as ‘Anubhavam’, ‘Aalinganam’, ‘Abhinandanam’, ‘Ashirvadam’, ‘Oonjaal’, ‘Aa Nimisham’, ‘Angeekaram’, ‘Abhinivesham’, ‘Innale Innu’, ‘Eeta’, ‘Allauddinum Albhutha Vilakkum’ and ‘Ezham Kadalinakkare’. The first ten films of Sasi had Sheriff’s support in script.
There were talks to remake ‘Avalude Ravukal’, which did not materialise. Even if it was remade, certainly it would have lacked the boldness and freshness that Sheriff infused into the original.