THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Breaking free from regressive daily soaps and going for realistic storylines, freshness has been his forte for long. While small screen gets regularly swamped with melodramatic tearjerkers, K K Rajeev’s works have always stood out. One of the most prominent names in the industry, the popular director says he wants to steer clear of stereotypes. “All these years I was fighting to retain this trait because once I fall for the formula my identity will be lost,” he says.
Rajeev says from the very beginning of his career he was keen on portraying realistic stories. “Usually our serials are filled to the brim with melodrama. They follow the theatre template, but I have always tried to visualise it in a different way. I try to make serials with this specific cinematic quality,” he says.
His latest series Ayalathe Sundari is a female-oriented plot built on the clash springing from generation gap. “Kavya, the central character is a wife and mother, who belongs to a generation when women hardly had any choices. All the major decisions in her life, including marriage, are taken by her parents. At the same time her daughter, who is deaf and dumb, has her own stands. She is very bold and reacts strongly when the situation demands it. So it’s basically about these contrasting characters and their ordeals,” he explains.
His soaps were always noted for their unique casting and the director says that it’s another area he is not ready to compromise. “I create briefs for each character based on their past and personality. Then I look for actors that suit them in all levels. Sometimes you find them among established artists, but sometimes you will have to go for fresh faces.” He adds it’s never a random process and the rest depends on their skill level. “There are artists who surprise you with their talent, giving more than what you demand or expect,” he says.
His soaps have a strong, regular clientele, but Rajeev adds apart from a set of elite audience, most prefer the regular fare. Ask him about dubbed versions of other language soaps and he says, “they woo the audience with richness. They all revolve around very affluent families and each frame is visually appealing. There are people who watch serials just for the melodramatic elements. They have some requirements and if a dubbed version features them all, they will start watching it. But one positive outcome of it is that now the making quality of Malayalam serials are also improving,” he winds up.