Interview Of The Week: Made In Trivandrum
On Aug 01, 2010
|It is a warm evening as I walk in through the gates of film-star Anoop Menon’s house at Killipalam, Trivandrum. The man looks a bit worn out and tired. He’s been down with a fever. Nevertheless, he ushers me in with a warm smile.
“I think, giving an interview is the best thing you can do when you’re sick and home bound,” he says when I apologise for making that untimely visit.
There is a comfortable silence between us before our conversation. As I prepare my set of questions he sizes up this young looking paparazzi and makes him feel comfortable in a couch.
I begin asking about his experience as a Trivandrumite.
“I’m not a Trivandrumite by birth. Actually I hail from Calicut. Trivandrum is my foster city but the closest to my heart. Ever since my childhood, I have been living here and it wouldn’t be too much if I say, I suppose, that I’ve grown to become a Trivandrumite. I owe it to Trivandrum for making me what I’m right now,” he says. “That is, if I can claim to have become a recognizable person now.”
“If I had not come to Trivandrum, I would not have stepped into cinema. I mean, cinema belongs to, and always belonged to Trivandrum. It took roots here with the likes of Prem Nazir, Priyadarshan, Mohanlal… all hailing from this city. Not to forget the video shops and theatres like Sree Kumar/Vishak and Padmanabha, which were my favourite haunts and which still are. Trivandrum planted the seeds of cinema in me and I had to nurture it.”
Anoop Menon has great regards for Christ Nagar School, where he completed his schooling. He said: “Christ Nagar moulded me. It was that school that made me get in touch with the world of literature. The extensive library in that school has books ranging from Enid Blyton to Thomas Hardy. I grew up in company with those wonderful books.”
"Trivandrum is determined against changing, and I like that obstinacy"
He has an interesting observation about the changing face of Trivandrum. “Trivandrum has never changed. You might find new buildings and roads being widened, but the ‘soul’ of Trivandrum remains the same. I see no change in the forts around the Padmanabha Swami Temple except maybe that it gets a new coat of paint every now and then. The long stretch of road from East Fort to Technopark has seen little changes except a few superficial ones. This place is obstinate about not changing, and I like that obstinacy. I love travelling within this city – the beaches, the museum, the palaces…”
“Besides, Trivandrum is lazy and laidback; so am I. I do not do movies back-to-back. I take long hiatus between my projects. I can identify myself with this city. This is a heterosexual and fashionable place – a mix of the old, new and the medieval."
Anoop Menon in the sets of 'Cocktail'
“Another thing I like about Trivandrum is its attitude. People here are frank and no nonsensical. If they can’t do something, they don’t keep you waiting for an answer. They would say it on your face and they don’t take much time to do that too. I’d say this is a ‘one-minute’ city.”
About MusicI heard a ghazal set as his ring tone, when I called him to fix up a time for the interview. Besides, I’ve always observed a musical quality to Anoop Menon’s movies like ‘Pakal Nakshatrangal’. I had no doubts about this man’s interest in music.
“Music has always been a part of my life. I’m an avid listener of music. But I’m not professionally trained. I neither know nor understand the technical side of it. I pursue music with my heart and the beautiful strains of melody never fail to move me. Music is universal and you needn’t know the techniques to enjoy it. I think that through the years I can discern good music and am a fairly good judge of it too.”
About CinemaHaving completed his Bachelors in Law from the Govt. Law College, Trivandrum, he chose to follow his passion for cinema.
“My passion for cinema is unflinching,’ says the actor.
Anoop Menon is also a Screenwriter. He made his debut as a screenwriter in ‘Pakal Nakshatrangal’.
“But scripting is not an easy job. Being an actor is more convenient. An actor has people to support him and pull him out of a fix, where as a screenwriter is a lonely creature. He has to be alone with just his thoughts for company. If you ask me whether I like being an actor or the later, I’d say, I don’t know. I’m neither an actor nor a screenwriter to be reckoned with. I do not even know whether I’m made for cinema. I’m someone who moves with the flow. Let’s see where we’ll reach.”
Currently Anoop Menon is playing the role of actor-cum-screenwriter for a film called ‘Cocktail’, in which he pairs up with Jayasurya. The movie is slated for a release in the second week of September.
Interviews Of Previous Weeks: