Deccan Chronicle

Interpreting indian monsoons

Deccan Chronicle| Deepthi Sreenivasan

Published on: June 21, 2017 | Updated on: June 22, 2017

Filmmaker Sajeed and Resul Pookutty have come together for this project

A still from the video

A still from the video

Love it or hate it, but the rains form a theme for many works of art. And just so, interpreting Indian monsoons through the medium of film and music was the brief for a team comprising of Academy Award winning Sound mixer/designer Resul Pookutty, filmmaker Sajeed A,  Cinematographer Hari K Vedantam and music director Ruel Benedict. The idea came from 101 The Brief who spearhead the series, Stories of a Generation. Thus came the video ‘Interpreting the Monsoon,’ which was launched online on June 12.

While the rest of the team had a carefully detailed plan before making the video Resul Pookutty had none. "No planning. You don’t plan these kinds of things. Certain works are like that. For me monsoon is familiar, it is part of my being. It has played a big role in the way I have grown up. This is something I know from within."

Elaborating on the work he did for the video, he says "The idea was to create an image track around the thought of monsoon. I saw the edit, I wanted a few changes, and then I made my own expression about the monsoon. I played that to the composer and asked him to create a musical interpretation. The final product is an amalgamation of all these layers. What Sajeed (the director) has done is, he has connected the onset of monsoon with Theyyam which I think is quite a tremendous idea.

Director Sajeed .A says,  "When it comes to rain, one of the sequences that most people remember is the one in Pather Panchali —  a drop of rain falls on top of a man’s bald head. We got thinking about how we can bring out the essence of Kerala since monsoon reaches Kerala first."

Sajeed is a Malayali based in Mumbai, he says that the idea to include Theyyam came out of his fascination for the art. "The story of Vettakorumakan struck me. Vettakorumakan was sent to Kerala and that immediately connected with the monsoons and how it comes all the way to Kerala."

About the video he says,  "It was majorly shot at Malayattur. I wanted to equate the tree, nature and God. Our plan was definitely to shoot in the rain, but I had artificial rains, just in case. Most of it was shot in real rain."

The arresting visuals are accompanied by an otherworldly background score. Vocalist Sahirah who worked with composer Reuel Benedict, says, "After Ruel got the brief, he wanted to create something uplifting yet sombre since the monsoon brings both destruction and life. That was the theme that was running throughout the video." Santoor was one of the main instruments used for the video.

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