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First time lucky

BHAWANI CHEERATH

`Kanne Madanguka,' a debut film made by Albert, is one of the seven Malayalam films that won a place in the Indian Panorama 2005.



DEBUTANT EFFORT: Stills from 'Kanne Madanguka.'

Seven Malayalam films find a place in the coveted Indian Panorama 2005.

Among films by well-known directors like Jayaraj, T.V. Chandran and Sathyan Anthikad, a maiden film by Albert has also earned a place.

Elation is evident in his voice when the director speaks of `Kanne Madanguka' and it figuring among the 21 films that will be showcased at various festivals. "The thematic relevance of the film has given me the confidence that it would be well-received," says the filmmaker. What makes the product more interesting is that the team included newcomers in vital areas of production, including script and music.

One naturally is prompted to ask him why he chose a topic, which detractors might describe as worn out.

Harsh reality


"This is the reality. Day-in and day-out, we hear of the manner in which human beings are getting caught up in the consumerist trap and adopting get-rich-quick methods," explains this Adyar-trained director. Add to it the fact that the woman becomes the prime victim who finally is also the perpetrator of the exploitative equation, because there is no way she can retrace her steps to attain respectability.

In `Kanne Madanguka' the director portrays the life of a couple (Murali-Shobha Mohan) whose sole aim in life is to educate their daughters, Karunya (Navya Nair) and Soumya (Baby Neeraja). An apparently well-meaning relative comes with an offer of a job for Karunya, which the family cannot refuse. While things start looking up for the family, the communication from the daughter peters off. The family is shell-shocked when the mother finds a striking similarity between the daughter and the girl behind the bars in a local police station.

Despite the girl calling herself Shweta, we know that this is not a case of mistaken identity but one of masking the true self.

Made on a shoestring budget, Albert says, "For a new entrant it is difficult to find producers for a film. I could not afford to go for famous names to support the production, yet it proved a winning combination. The support and encouragement I received from a well-known actor like Murali, is priceless." Murali as Bhagyanathan has endowed the character with an earthiness that the actor is known for. Shobha Mohan as Visalakshy, a quarry worker and the mother of Karunya and Shweta, carries of the role with her usual restraint.

Cast in a role sans glamour, Navya Nair as the daughter Karunya gone astray, has lent the role credibility. Shot in Pothencode, and a maiden film for producer K.G. Prasannan, S. Vaidhy handled the camera while support for music came from Sharath. Within the given restraints of finance, Albert is content with the final product and feels more confident to move on with script for his next venture.

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