I was kind of tickled to be tagged by Movies Silently for the "4 shots from 4 films" meme over on Twitter, and although I posted these images there, I really wanted to put them in one place for future reference, so, here they are!
Some background: I decided to choose 4 films from Totally Filmy Casa Favourite Lijo Jose Pellissery. Now, the keen amongst you will notice that LJP only has three films released, so I had to fudge a little, by including an image from the trailer to his upcoming release Double Barrel::Iratta Kuzhal. Just to make things a wee bit more interesting, I decided that each of the images had to include one of my favourite actors, Indrajith, who, once the fourth film is released, will have been in all four of LJP's films.
1. Nakayan (2010)
Indrajith plays a Kathakali artist who joins the Kochi underworld after the death of his father and sister at the hands of a famous magician turned don (marvellously overacted by Siddique). The film features a marvellously restrained performance by Jagathy Sreekumar, which makes me miss him so much, as well as an excellent score by Prashant Pillai. I would argue that Nayakan is, really, the film that set off the New Gen revolution in Malayalam films, rather than the often-cited Traffic, but that's an argument to be set out in another post.
The shot I chose takes place just after Indrajith's character arrives home and discovers that his father and sister are dead. He smears his tear-streaked face with the powders used as the base for the distinctive Kathakali make-up:
2. City of God (2011)
I love this film. It was well-reviewed, critically, but it was a box-office disaster, and removed from cinemas within a week of its release. I think it's a perfect example of a film that was just a little bit ahead of its time, using techniques of storytelling that have become much more common in Malayalam cinema in the years since its release. Elements of the story are told from different perspectives, gradually drawing the characters' paths together. Indrajith plays a Tamil migrant worker, who is in love with another worker played by the fabulous Parvathi. Her character is married with a child, but she's run away from her husband. She finally ends up with Indrajith's character, in a scene that is so beautiful and so emotionally charged:
3. Amen (2013)
Lijo Jose Pellissery finally hit box-office paydirt with this off-beat story about a village in the Kerala backwaters, where Indrajith plays Father Vincent Vattoli, an enigmatic priest who turns up just as the local church band is on the brink of being disbanded after losing the rolling band trophy yet again. He also helps out with the relationship of Shoshanna (Swathi Reddy) and Solomon (Fahadh Faasil), and with Solomon's desire to overcome his inability to play clarinet anywhere except below Shoshanna's window. It's just a delightful film!
4. Double Barrel (2015?)
I put a question mark only because I'm wondering when Double Barrel will finally be released, because they are doling out the publicity stuff incredibly slowly, and the April release date has come and gone. I've heard rumours of June 26th, which I hope is true, but with the onslaught of Premam, which I don't think anyone expected to be the juggernaut of a film that it's turned out to be, who knows? My fingers are firmly crossed, because the cast of this one is incredibly fine, and the film unites the Sukumaran brothers, Prithviraj and Indrajith, who were both in City of God. So, I had to choose an image from the trailer that included both of them:
I loved doing this exercise, and I think it has many possibilities for different themes and choices. I'm not tagging anyone in particular, but if this appeals to you, and you do it, let me know, I'd love to learn what *your* choices are.