In a short period of his literary career, P.V. Shajikumar has amassed several awards for his contributions to Malayalam literature. But what made him feel “special” was the reception he received for the theatrical release of Kanyaka Talkies — his debut movie as a scriptwriter.
“The theme of the movie was derived from my short story, 18 Plus, and director K.R. Manoj, Ranjini Krishnan and I penned the script together. It was my first experience of scriptwriting and it was great,” he says.
The movie, centred on a B-grade cinema theatre of the 1980s and 90s, is drawing good response from all five centres it released. “I value the response from crowd as the best award I have received so far. This is my first feature film project, so I may be a bit more enthusiastic. Anyway I am enjoying it and this has increased my confidence to take up more projects as scriptwriter,” says Shajikumar, a native of Kanhangad in Kasargod.
Though the movie received several accolades at the film festivals, it was when the theatre release was announced that Shajikumar became anxious. “If there was no response from the mass audience, then there is no point in bringing out the movie. Several friends and even unknown people called me after watching the movie. For several days, the movie ran in theatres with almost 70 per cent attendance. It is a success for parallel films and it clearly shows that there is a space for this kind of movies in our society,” he explains.
Several directors have approached Shajikumar and the writer is in talks for two projects. “I have not given any preference for scriptwriting yet. I would like to be a writer basically. I want to continue to trouble my readers,” he quips.
Shajikumar is known for his notable shorts stories. He has won Kendra Sahitya Akademi’s Yuva Award for the short story Vellarippaadam. Also, his works have received several awards in the state. At present, he is working on his debut novel.
On the scriptwriting front, Shajikumar wants to come out with projects that people will remember. “It does not necessarily have to be alternative or parallel film. It can be a movie with commercial interests, but, at the same time, leaves an impact on viewers. It should not be forgotten like the present commercial projects,” he points out....