It is a campus many of us are familiar with – the MG University Campus. Neelathamara fame Kailash too had visited the campus twice during his college days but it was his role in the upcoming Samaksham that gave him a very different perspective of the University, its working and the 100 acres of ground it stood on. Incidentally, Samaksham is claimed to be the first full-length feature film that a University has produced in Kerala. The inspiration for the theme of the film came from the University grounds itself. Kailash explains, “Three years ago, MG University launched the Jaivam project, wherein the students with the help of the faculty grew organic vegetables at the campus. This was such a success that the model was later replicated in the houses under the Panchayat.”
While the initial idea was to make a documentary, it was later decided to convert it into a feature film. The proposal was put forward before the Education Ministry and it was approved with the only condition that the film should concentrate on organic farming. The faculty of the college Aju Narayanan and Calicut University faculty Anwar worked out a one-liner that was presented and approved by the Ministry.
Kailash explains all this at length because he wants everyone to be aware of the immense work behind making this film. “It would be easy to just explain my role and finish it off. But no, I want to acknowledge the hard work that the officials of the University undertook to give shape to this project,” he states. It was a totally new shooting experience for Kailash, who understood first hand how a film could be made using the available resources at hand. Confused?
He explains, “Since the budget was a constraint, the locations were all inside the campus. The vehicles for transportation were the University’s and the cast and crew stayed in the campus hostels. Even the food we wanted was to be informed ahead so it could be prepared. All this was completely novel for me!” Kailash adds that the Registrar and the Vice Chancellor were lovers of the arts, which made things easier.
Talking about his role Kailash jokes, “Since it was a film about organic farming, I thought I would be playing a farmer but no; I play a doctor.” Turning serious, he continues, “Although the film is about organic farming, it is told in a beautiful manner. The food we eat and the very air we breathe is important. Just because we wash our hands does not make the food clean! Often laden with pesticides, it creates havoc in our bodies and the first person who is aware of this is the doctor. So I play a doctor who journeys to find the cause of the disease.”
He reveals that two people goad him to quest for the truth — a close family friend’s daughter and a stranger. Other than Samaksham, Kailash also has some big films in hand like Odiyan and Aanakallan. He will also be joining the sets of the Mammootty-starrer Madhura Raja soon. So life seems rosy for the moment!