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A Malayalam short film about unfulfilled dreams

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A short-film with two of Malayalam cinema’s character artistes in distinguished roles

The poster of Reese Thomas’ short-film Pettikkada Madhavan has two acquainted faces, character actors KTS Padannayil (popularly often known as Padanna) and Vavachan, each of who acted in Malayalam movies of the 1990s to 2000s. “I wanted both these characters in a single frame for my film, and on the poster too. Back in the day, they might not have been featured in too many posters,” says Reese. The nine-minute film uploaded on YouTube is his ode to those that dream of creating it in movies, however don’t. “It also applies to people who don’t ‘make it’ in life,” he provides.

“Someone asked me ‘Why tell a story of losers?’ Why not? There are so many people who are left with a sense of what they could have done,” he says. The film pans in on Madhavan (Padanna), proprietor of a pettikkada (a petty store) who can also be a personality artiste in movies. It opens with Madhavan speaking about performing with Mammootty and Mohanlal, and the way they’re as individuals. An keen crowd listens, adoringly hanging on to every phrase.

Juxtaposed is the story of a college boy who, fed a weight-reduction plan of Madhavan’s tales from film units, dreams of turning into an actor. When their paths cross later in life, the viewers realises that neither of them has made it in movies. The closest the boy, now a person, will get is pasting film posters on partitions. The actor, Deepak Augustine, who essayed the function is Reese’s good friend. “He started chasing the film dream when he was 17, he is now in his 30s. He still hasn’t got a decent break,” he says.

Reese Thomas with KTS Padannayil and Vavachan

Reese Thomas with KTS Padannayil and Vavachan  

Reese shot the film a yr in the past; he shelved it as he was not happy with the outcome. An assistant director, he has labored on movies equivalent to Kammattipadam, Luca, Carbon and the to-be-released Minnal Murali. He obtained busy with work and couldn’t discover time to revisit the footage. However, with lockdowns, got here time to take a look at the film once more, with recent eyes. “I felt disappointed that I wasn’t doing anything much with the time at hand. So I decided to finish what I started,” he says. He re-shot some components and obtained the film prepared.

Seeing Padanna on the poster, actor Shaju Sreedhar, who has acted with him, instructed Reese that it made him glad. “He told me ‘finally Padanna chettan is on a poster’!” He was decided to solid Padanna and Vavachan within the film. “Padanna chettan was game. He is 87 years old and his memory failing. He did not even want to hear the story, he just told me to pick him up when I was ready to film. Tracking Vavachan was slightly more difficult, I travelled to Kottayam looking for him,” he says.

Vavachan has acted in quite a few movies together with these directed by Jayaraj equivalent to Karunam and Sneham. “Both these actors are forgotten. I want to shine the spotlight on them, one more time. The dialogues may sound melodramatic, but this is how people talk when they look back on lost chances and unfulfilled dreams,” Reese says.

To paraphrase Madhavan chettan: There are extra tales of failure within the film trade than successes.

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