“I Don’t Like Comedy”, says Sreenivasan

Sreenivasan has an eerie talent of keeping himself the favorite of all. He is one of the most talented actors and scriptwriters in Malayalam cinema. Many of his movies depict problems affecting Kerala, which are rendered in a humorous manner. Excellent characterization, most ironic dialogues and self-disparaging wit are signature of Sreenivasan movies. Ask about his silver screen attraction; it is the lack of star appeal..!
His latest film "Katha Parayumbol", says it all! The film has Mammootty in a glamorous role; but it is Sreenivasan who made an imprint in the viewers' mind. His is the role of a barber in a small village, struggling against innovation in his own obsolete ways. The film has now become the talk of the town because it has been decided to be remade into Hindi and Tamil, starring King Khan and Rajnikanth respectively.
I was lucky enough to spend some time with this gifted actor.. However, that was long time back! Let me share the discussion we had through this post!
Will u be surprised if an actor like Sreenivasan says, “I don’t like comedy”? Laughter is the best pill for tension, but incomplete without the humor of Sreenivasan in Malayalam Cinema. When did Sreenivasan win the hearts? Perhaps it was after they saw him in “Chinthavishtayaaya Syamala”, where he describes a person who loves to escape from responsibilities. Or, it might be two decades before when they saw him as Vijayan in “Nadodikkatu”. Now he is getting thumbs up sign from all around.

“Chinthavishtayaaya Syamala”, was made in memory of his history professor who used to insist on doing a work that gives one the most pleasure. Professor mentions that a person should have a goal to achieve in life and should concentrate on achieving that. “If you choose a job you love, you will never have to work a day”, says Sreeni. It was his teacher who had set a goal for Sreenivasan.

He, Him and Only His:

The versatile actor has acted in more than 150 films, also has scripted close to 45 films and has directed two. Some of his films have won State and National awards under different categories.

He had a great passion for acting since his early college days. He took active part in scripting for many plays in which he acted himself. He has won ‘Best Actor’ award many a time at University level, while in college. During this journey, he realized that his happiness lied in making others happy and the inborn talent in him greeted him to the Malayalam film world.

His favorite pass time is reading, considers books as his best friends. A book represents different things to different people. Books not only teaches one how to face life; but also portrays the thoughts of many writers. He gets inspired by the writings and thinking of great personalities.

Movies and Him:

There is no formula as such to make a movie a commercial success. He believes that each movie is an experiment. A good script is a fundamental element contributing to the success of a film. Instead of giving importance to get better scripts, obsession with star value has reduced the significance of the script in a film. He says in India, the quality of the script is not taken into consideration; they emphasize more on shooting.

In between the conversation, he coolly said, “I don’t like comedy”. I was shocked. I looked at him disbelievingly. He quickly added, “I like only humor”. When I asked him the difference between the two, he chuckled and answered, “A comedian in a film is like a buffoon in a circus. Making people laugh is an art”.

It is his style to make fun of his own looks and appearances through his movies; thus mocking those having an inferiority complex and tries to give them confidence. It is very important to know the psychology of the audience, to keep them entertained for two and half hours. Film makers should decide what the audience should enjoy and not vice-versa. Today, the audience wants variety and that is where Indian films lags.

He has included his personal experiences in many of his films, like “Varavelppu”, where he tells the bitter experiences of his dad and “Udayanaanu Tharam” brings out his own experiences in the field. He himself is his role model since he has stood by his own principles and policies.

We want more from this man, hope we haven’t yet seen Sreenivasan at his best! Looking forward to that, Sreeni! Cheers!!

(excerpts from the interview with Sreenivasan - college project, 2005)


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