Director Kamal‘s first movie was Mizhineer Pookal (1986). Kakkothikavile Appooppan Thadikal ( 1987 ) was his third Malayalam movie. Now with close to 40 films that defy categories and genre to his credit, he still considers Kakkothikavile Appooppan Thadikal as the one closest to his heart. I think it is not difficult to see why.
Its simple, honest, crafted around the innocence of childhood (which everyone can relate to), and without any cinematic pretenses, in short, its the extraordinary rendition of an ordinary story.
* The video on Kamal speaking about Kakkothikkavile Appooppan Thadikal has been made private by its uploader as of 13 August 2011. Sorry about that.
Update : August 22, 2011
Here is an updated excerpt from Kamal’s Interview on completing 41 productions in Malayalam Cinema.
(Source : Manorama Online).
Update : May 10, 2012
An excerpt from Kamal’s Biography Online at Mathrubumi.com.
* Makes me chuckle when I see a picture from this very own blog borrowed by Mathrubhumi to enhance the excerpt 🙂
Last year, one of the issues of Vanitha ran a feature on Malayalam Cinema’s Top Cinematographers’ favorite movies. It was poignant to note that most of them referred to their works a decade or two decades back. Vipin Mohan, ace cinematographer and the man behind classics like Nadodikkattu (1987), Kakkothi Kaavile Appoppan Thaadikal (1988), Varavelppu (1989) and Thalayanamanthram (1990) amongst a body of work that spans 4 decades, still holds this little movie as his favorite.
He recalls about how Revathy, after being briefed about the role, asked for a week’s time, went back to Chennai and exactly after a week, a gypsy girl, with unwashed hair, cheap trinkets and jewelry stood in front of Director Kamal, and gave him a betel-stained, black-toothed smile.
It was Revathy, who literally had gone around sourcing the ‘wild jewelry’ and ‘literally got under the skin of the role’! And her commitment and dedication shows throughout the movie. He also speaks about how they narrowed in on the Kaavu ( The Sacred Grove), after travelling and scouting for the perfect one through the length of Kerala. The script by Fazil required one with steps leading into the grove, and it was MT Vasudevan Nair, the legendary Malayalam writer who told them of this one particular Kaavu near Pandalam, named Chamakaavu which he thought would be perfect for the location.
And it was! Kamal said it was as if the story was written to be shot there – there was almost a celestial purpose. Everything was just right….errr, except for the monkeys of the grove who did not take too kindly to the shooting crew. Regardless, they made a movie that is a classic in its own right. A small, beautiful movie which serves as the perfect bookmark to a childhood coming generations will never have.
Related : Kakkothikkavile Appooppan Thadikal, the Movie (1988)
Related : Kiran Vergis writes in