[ Please don't try clicking through the thumbnails. They are NOT pdf bundles of the Maestros' Screenplays. If you love their movies, why not show your appreciation by buying them legally?]
MT Vasudevan Nair’s Screenplays
Though it took three years for all the three to come around, it just didn’t matter. I consider all three of them close to my heart and would recommend these to anyone who truly appreciates the works of the masters. Had the rest of them (read Bharathan, P Bhaskaran and the likes of them Maestros) had effected the same at some point in their career, to have their screenplays kept together for future generations, this would have been a better place. It is also poignant that all the three are brought out, courtesy of DC Books, perhaps a venture very unique to the publishing industry in India. Maybe this would serve as an example of bringing out the scripts of the Hindi Classics too – what a delightful experience would that be!
Though DC Books had brought out each screenplay as a separate book a couple of years back, its only recently they have bundled it as a single tome. It has Nirmalayam(1973), Iruttinte Aathmavu (1967), Olavum Theeravum ( 1970), Kanyakumari (1974), Kuttyedathi ( 1971) and Murappennu (1965). It is breath-taking in its entirety and you pat yourself when you can find the subtle differences in the screenplay and the actual film ( the opening of Kuttyedathi is an example). It is written in his usual dispassionate and wry style, with minimal interference of the creator rubbing off on the characters. The index of each also miss the actual list of actors who played the part. I wish that would be included next edition around.
P Padmarajan’s Screenplays - I
In the foreword, Padmarajan speaks quite candidly about Screenplays place in the Great Big Order of the Literary World and says with a chuckle, its after all, a screenplay, not a literary work. Its after all, the perfect roadmap for the Director to attain his vision of the movie. It has five movies of his early years, Peruvazhiyambalam (1979) – adapted from his novel, Oridathoru Phayalwan (1981), Kallan Pavithran (1981), Novemberinte Nashtam (1982 ) and Koodevide?(1983 ) – adapted from Vaasanthi’s Tamil novel “Moongil Pookkal“. Reading any Padmarajan creation is an intensely delightful affair, and the same goes for his screenpalys too. Its almost like reading one of his novels, though at times you wonder how effective were the actors in translating the nuances that he effortlessly describes in a single word or a phrase. But, knowing Padmarajan, he worked only with the best, though I personally feel Kallan Pavithran never did full justice o the screenplay though he had directed the movie too. Bharath Gopi somehow looked ill-at-ease in the proceedings and there was this somehow raw-around-the-edges feeling by the time you finished viewing the movie. Just my personal take. The collection is a treasure!
P Padmarajan’s Screenplays – II
The second bundled treasure, which consists of his later works and as such, ‘denser’ than the previous one. It has Rathinirvedam (1978), Kanamarayathu (1984), Thoovanathumbikal (1987) – a screen adaptation of his novel Udagappola , Innaley (1990) – another of Vasanthi’s novel adaptations, and Njan Gandharvan (1991) . Except for Rathinirvedam directed by his best friend Bharathan and Kanamarayathu directed by IV Sasi, the rest three have all been directed by him and all stay the bests among equals. But sadly, combined, they make only 10 scripts of the Maestro and I have heard there is one more tome that has been published, so will need to look at the ones in that too, in case of duplication !
All three are freely available at your friendly neighborhood book stores and as I mentioned earlier, a treasure for anyone passionate about the craftsmanship of MT and P Padmarajan and their celluloid visions.