Making creative statements
It seems to be a misinterpreted sentence when people say that they don’t have any views regarding the current social and political scenario. It is not that they do not have any opinion at all; it is just that they would rather have a diplomatic approach towards such issues. Lack of liberty to reveal one’s views could be another reason. However, for Vineeth Vasudevan, who has a clear opinion on each and everything happening in society, putting forth his ideas has not been an issue since childhood. Thanks to his proficiency in Chakyar Koothu, a traditional art form equivalent to modern-day stand-up comedy, he reacts to every socio-political happening through satires.
But this multifaceted artist has not limited himself to just one art form and believes in using every creative medium to put forth his views — cinema being his favourite one. Though his tryst with movie-making began long ago, when he started directing short films in 2014, a chance to become part of a feature film came only when his friend Bilahari K.Raj asked him to co-script his debut movie, the Kunchacko Boban-starrer Allu Ramendran.
On his Koothu performances, Vineeth says, “I learned the art form not just because I belong to the Chakyar community. I was very much inclined towards art and creative mediums since my childhood days, and my father also did not restrict me to Koothu only. I, therefore, used to sing, dance, write, act and indulge in every creative activity. As I grew up, I made it a point that the real purpose of the art form that I am known for should not be taken away from my performances. Maintaining the aesthetic merit of the performance to the core, I started improvising it and narrating stories on the present issues by connecting them to the puranas so that people would enjoy my performance and at the same time understand the irony as well.”
However, there was also a writer and director in him. Vineeth started directing short films and as he puts it, “I would like to make short films even after directing movies, because it is a medium that helps you bring up a socially relevant subject in front of the public in a precise way. Allu Ramendran, however, was one of the best experiences that I had in my creative journey. I could learn many things about movie-making that I was ignorant about.” Short films that he has directed include Inverse, Nilam, Video Maranam and the latest one, Velli.
Asked about the constraints of movie-making as compared to performing Koothu, Vineeth says, “While I am performing Chakyar Koothu, I am the one who decides everything. The subject and the intensity with which each matter should be handled are my discretion. Cinema is the result of combined effort. There are many people involved and thus opinions are also many. But at the end of the day, it is this collaboration and hard work that culminates in a good movie.”