KOCHI: The recent developments in the country pain me and I feel my firm faith in democracy is proving to be a superstition, said veteran filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan. “Sometimes, I feel our trust in democracy itself is a fallacy. The way politicians, once in power, conduct themselves makes me feel my belief in democracy is a superstition,” said the award-winning filmmaker.
He pointed to the demonstrations of the farmers’ communities in Delhi against government policies. “While the farmers are committing suicide, the government refuses to write off their small loans. The same government, without any hesitation has written off the huge loans availed by big corporate houses,” he said in an exclusive chat with Express.Refusing to comment on the ongoing Sabarimala issue, he said the developments are disturbing. “I am not an atheist. It is a sensitive issue; I don’t wish to take sides,” said Adoor.
Welcoming the Women in Cinema Collective of Malayalam artistes to fight discrimination and abuse in the film industry, he feels strong resistance would deter malpractice. However, he cautioned against the misuse of the #MeToo campaign. “There is the danger of it being misused as a weapon to settle scores against a superior for example, for questioning a woman’s inefficiency or misconduct. I don’t support raising complaints of abuse or misbehaviour after decades have passed. The person in question may have mended his ways in the meantime. Victims should come out and lodge a complaint with the police soon after the incident,” said Adoor.
He said big budgets and showmanship are the challenges faced by Malayalam filmdom, with big budget films employing a marketing strategy of cleverly advertising the huge amounts of money spent in production. “Popular belief is the more money you spend, the better the films will be. Viewers are baffled by the magic of new technology and the wizardry of spectacle. Such films tend to lack soul.
Many low budget movies have succeeded in the box office, surviving without a marketing blitzkrieg,” he pointed out.But even good movies fail at the box office for want of a discriminating audience. “As they say, the message may have come before its time,” said Adoor, adding he has stopped watching TV because of the deplorable content. “The producers are lowering the standards of the programmes deliberately to attract more viewers. Meanwhile, they have dropped programmes like book review on the pretext of poor viewership,” he said.
Adoor said the production of his new work, a 30-minute short, is complete, featuring Padmapriya, Mukesh, Indrans, Alancier, Sudheer Karamana, Adityan and Alex Vallikunnam. The film was inspired by an old play by Jagathy N K Achary. The film is produced by Kolkata-based Gameplan Sports Pvt Ltd who are planning to release it online as part of a series of short films by renowned filmmakers in India.