In conversation with journalist-turned-filmmaker Prajesh Sen, duo share insights on their dedication and commitment to the craft of cinema
Sharjah, November 12, 2022
Noted South Indian actor Jayasurya shared his thoughts on cinema and his career spanning 100+ movies during a session titled ‘From the Stage to the Silver Screen: Jayasurya and his Career in Retrospect’ at the 41st edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF).
Three books, including Vellam, the movie adaptation of which earned Jayasurya his third Kerala State Best Actor Award, were released at the event hosted at the ballroom at Expo Centre Sharjah.
Master filmmaker of biopics Prajesh Sen and writer/director of Vellam and Murali, the real-life character who inspired the book and the movie, also interacted with the packed audience.
Vellam, a classic redemption tale, is inspired by real life incidents and based on a particularly dark phase in the life of its central character.
Discussing his collaboration with the writer/director for the award-winning movie, Jayasurya said: “If you are true friends at heart, beyond the roles you do behind the screens, you will end up having a beautiful piece of artwork. I think the biggest advantage that Prajesh and I have is there is no ego between us and also there is no need to keep our guards up while spending time together. That helps a lot when working together.”
The popular South Indian film actor, who started off his professional journey as a small-time mimicry artist, added: “Friendship without ego builds a strong foundation for creative work.”
Lauding the efforts of Sharjah and the SIBF for securing the top position among global book fairs for the second year in a row, Jayasurya also went on to stress the importance of the efforts undertaken in the emirate to enhance arts, culture and literary scene.
Murali, the real-life character who inspired Sen to write Vellam, a story that explores substance use struggles and the process of recovery in a realistic manner, said that he helps out at least 15 people every month to come out of their addictions.
“When I saw Jayasurya on screen playing my role, I was welled up with emotions. Even though years had passed since that phase of my life, it was hard for me to accept the pain I had created for those around me. I couldn’t help crying on seeing him perform,” said Murali.
Sen, who moved to filmmaking after a decade in investigative journalism, said that giving life to unsung legends of our time is what inspires him to be a filmmaker.
“Journalism is a career where one has to face multiple emotions within a short span of time, from reporting celebrity marriages to accidents to social issues. The emotional roller coaster that a journalist goes through is overwhelming and has helped me greatly while creating characters for my films. There will always be unpublished truths for anyone who pursues journalism honestly,” said Sen.
Sen is set to do another biopic on Nambi Narayanan, an Indian aerospace scientist embroiled in a fake espionage case and was acquitted after several decades. On choosing Jayasurya for his movies, Sen said: “He is a versatile person who transforms with no shades from previous roles, which excites me as a director. Our amazing friendship definitely helps bring out the best within us.”
Jayasurya said the audience of Malayalam cinema are educated and smart and there is no room for error. “Viewers of Malayalam cinema dissect everything, from the actor’s performance to cinematography and editing, before they fully appreciate the cinema. I’m glad and grateful for the love they have showered on me for more than two decades now,” he concluded.