Manasantharapetta Yezdi To Reach Theatres On March 4th
Starsberg taught me how to breathe and how to enjoy life! So, with all the lessons learned from my life directing the movie was easy' says debut director and producer Arun Omana Sadanandan about his movie Manasantharapetta Yezdi | By Indu Lekshmi
On Feb 08, 2016

Please tell us about 'Manasantharapetta Yezdi' .
The movie is about an Yezdi bike and its owners since 1978 to present. 'A comedy film with a little bit of fantasy' is what I am offering.  We have all these ‘institutions’ around us, like the society, religion, family, etc. which put lots of restrictions on us and ultimately aim to refine us. But I think the actual refinement of a human being has to come from within. This movie is about two characters, their refinement to better human beings and the Yezdi witnessing that wonderful process of a man getting better.

I don’t personally like propaganda films, or films that try to preach philosophical thoughts to public. I have kept intellectual jargons very subtle in this movie. My movie tells a story, a story that happened in a remote Kerala village in 1997. If people can find the subtle thoughts behind it, I would be a happy man.

Arun Omana Sadanandan
A masters in International Trade Law from Melbourne and then working as Senior Under Writer with Allianz and Hannover-re in Middle East..... Where and when  did cinema beckon you?
Blame it on my parents! That’s what I would say. I was allowed to watch lot of movies as a kid, and when I was twelve I saw this movie called ‘Vachanam’ directed by Lenin Rajendran. That was different from all the movies I had seen so far. So, I asked my dad,'why that movie is different?' And he said,'there is this BIG guy called director, and it is his craft that makes a movie unique'. I had no idea what a director’s job was but I wanted to be a BIG guy in life. Funny thing is, I tested myself at various points of my life, whether this is what I want to do in my life? And always the answer that my conscious gave was,'Yes Arun! This is what you should be doing, making movies, creating art'.
How was it to play the roles of a director, producer and distributor? Being a first time director was it challenging to propel the different roles? 
It wasn’t challenging at all, rather it was interesting! A lot of home work went behind this project. I am not talking about the ‘pre-production’work of this movie but, all those movies that I have seen helped me in one way or other to understand the ‘grammar’ of the medium.

What I believe is your basics have to be strong to create art. In the process of creating your work you may defy the ‘grammar’ that you learned but you need to know the basics.

I spent seven years of my life in various law schools but never attended a film school except that I went to Lee Starsberg TV & Film Institute, Hollywood where I learned acting. Starsberg was kind of a rehab to me. After seven years in law school and five years in reinsurance, I was depressed! Starsberg taught me how to breathe and how to enjoy life! So, with all the lessons learned from my life directing the movie was easy.

As a producer, I think it went easy because of three reasons - Firstly, my reinsurance days helped to plan and coordinate things, secondly, my dad C K Sadanandan who is the co-producer in this venture was the biggest support and finally four friends Philip, Jinu, Anish and Shaiz, my sister Smitha and my mother Omana were there every time I went short of money. 
There are many aspiring for movies. But only a very few with tough determination can make it there. Could you tell us something about the difficult roads awaiting for a movie aspirant.
I think the answer lies in the question itself. Determination is what matters. No journey is easy in life. I mean, look at a school teacher, her job would appear easy to us. But when we talk to a school teacher it isn’t an easy job at all. 

There are a thousand reasons around us to complain and leave our passion mid way but once you are determined things are easy these days. Technology has grown heaps and bounds and making a movie isn’t a mammoth task now.
P Balachandran, Jayan Cherthala
Malayalam cinema has evolved to better narration and visuals in the past few years. Where do you see yourself in that picture? 
I beg to differ. We have imbibed the technology very fast and there is a marked difference in the technical quality of the film that we make in Malayalam today. But in content, in form, in style I think there aren’t any revolutionary changes yet. 

I am a big fan of originality. Any art form in my opinion should have some element of novelty, originality into it. It should be in some way or the other must be different from what you have seen in the past. If you ask me where I see myself in the picture, well I think that question has to be answered by my audience.

The poster of the movie is interesting. How did you come about it? Who designed it and what does it imply ? 
I am big fan of movie posters. Movie poster is a work of art. It gives you the first impression about the movie. A lot of thought process went behind the posters and what we wanted to generate with the posters was curiosity. And I think we hit bull’s eye.

Posters are designed by a great friend of mine, Hrishi.His venture is called ‘Art Hrishi Project’, he is smart chap who won various laurels in paintings, movie review and so on while at Maharajas and now works in Bangalore. This is his first movie project and working with him was a great experience. The ‘wave length’ kind of match, you know.
Tell us something about the actors and technicians who were a part of the movie.
P Balachandran, Jayan Cherthala and Indrans are the known faces in this movie. I have tried not to type cast them. So you will see P Balachandran as ‘chethanappi’ a flamboyant man, Jayan Cherthala is Pappi,I  have tried to use his acting skills and he has done a great job. Indrans is a great actor and I have tried to give him a character which requires lot of subtlety in acting.

Apart from them there are around twenty new faces in this movie. I have selected them from an acting school named ‘ACT LAB’ in Kakkanad, Kochi. Act Lab is run by Sajeev Nambiyath one of the best acting coaches in India today and I think all those new faces have done a decent job.

On the technicians’ side, the music is composed by Baiju Dharmajan. He is a leading guitarist in the Indian rock scene and has got a band named ‘Baiju Dharmajan Syndicate’. Working with him was a great experience. He is a wonderful human being, a true artist, a free soul and a man with zero ego.

Cinematography by Akhil Sasidharan, a good friend of mine for the past three years and this is his first feature film. He had worked with various cinematographers in Mumbai and in Kerala.We have used a camera mounting equipment called ‘Ronin’ to shoot the whole film, so that wasn’t an easy job. Editing is by Jithin Mohan and myself, again our first experience. 

And in all the other departments they were all freshers. I think that made making this movie a precious episode in my life. I mean there were really stupid things that we did, big blunders, sometimes we reinvented the wheel, but at the end of the day we made a movie.

 I don’t like the idea of judging a work of art based on the effort that went behind making it. So, please just watch what you see on screen and I am eager to know how people are going to take it. As my master Francois Truffuat once said,'When you create something, you are putting yourself to judgement'.
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