Anjali Menon - "the" person on my mind for a few days now. More than the person, it is what she believes in and the woman she is.
Anjali Menon is a film director, she rose to fame in the malayalam movie industry with her flawless "Manjadikuru", delicious "Usthad Hotel", whacky "Kerala Cafe - Happy Journey" and more recently her beautiful "Bangalore Days".. I have been enthralled by her movies, no doubt, but it is not until recently that I looked up youtube for videos of interviews with her and I was exposed to the kind of person she is. And Anjali as a person fascinates me more than her movies. What an amazing lady!! Its not that she talks about rocket science or the next space mission or what the various heads of governments are planning to do.. It is plain life. The life of you and me. She talks from her heart, and they are things I can identify with so well. She talks about malayalam serials on her blog and my, the negativity that flows through houses because of those serials is dampening relationships. She does not have the luxury to take a month off to write a script, like you and me. Her kid is running around and when she gets breaks she writes. What she has grown up with, is freedom. The kind of freedom I grew up with. And she has put best use of the freedom she got, no doubt.
If you have watched movies created by the legendary Padmarajan, then you would know that each time you watch the movie you will discover something new that you missed the previous time. Anjali is the only director who has been able to recreate the effect.
"Manjadikuru" is one such example. Its my third time watching the movie and it feels like I have not seen it before. The cast of the movie is the who's who of the malayalam film industry - Thilakan, Kaviyoor Ponnamma, Murali, Urvashi, Jagathy, Rehman, etc.. and each role has its space never enroaching on another and yet such natural appearances. It's a story that many of us have experienced as children. Writing about human relationships and its nuances through the eyes of a child without negatively influencing the thoughts of the child and at the same time taking away the positives from each situation.. REMARKABLE!!
After watching Bangalore Days, I feel Anjali has exemplary ability to space her characters out and carve out a niche for each of them.
Anjali Menon - is a gifted director. A master story teller. A woman like you and me who shuffles through the everyday of life and in between finds time to create magic.
Thankyou.. for.. memorable cinema !!