Monday, August 13, 2012

DIRECTOR P.RAMADAS

When the first neo-realistic film in Malayalam was Directed by P. Ramadas, the film industry was only in childhood stage in the State.Up to the 50's Drama field was well flourished and going in full swing but people were being attracted to  the gimmicks of cinema and the unrealistic, wonderful  scenes on screen.So people impressed by cinema preferred  cinema houses rather than drama stages and new film theatres as well as film producers were emerging one by one.Continuous film production was also started.Two film studios were functioning well during that time in Kerala-  'Merryland' at Trivandrum and 'Udaya' at Alapuzha.To attract more viewers to the cinema theatres, films with mythological and historical themes  which use elaborate sets and costumes,mesmerising songs and dances,thrilling fight scenes etc were all usually included  in such films.Other films also contained all sorts of entertainment elements.
It was in such a situation that P.Ramadas, a young student-hailing from Trissur, who was studying at M.G.College,Trivandrum  planned to produce and direct a film.When he read an article in 'Filmfare' that Raj Kapoor was the youngest film director, the inspiration to direct a film and if possible attain the title as the youngest director came to his mind.When he learnt that his classmate 'Parameswaran' was also an aspirant to produce a film, they worked out to materialize that dream.
P.Ramadas performorming Switch-on for a Film
P.Ramadas was involved in the running of a magazine named 'Mahatma' and he had published a story titled 'Compositor' in it.Both the friends thought of filming that story by making slight changes.The screenplay was written by Ramadas himself and the dialogues were written by famous writer/Novelist 
Nagavally R.S.Kurup.The protagonist in the film was a character named 'Appu' 
who was a twelve year boy and was handled by a  boy by name 'Mony' who was relative of Nagavally R.S.Kurup.Nagavally handled the role as Appu's father 'Sankaran Nair'.Nagavally had prior experience of acting in two or three films.Prem Nazir's first heroine 'Neyyattinkara Komalam', a four year boy named Narendran,Adoor Pankajam,Veeran,Kuriathy,Omana etc acted in this film.
P.Ramadas and his friends were having  no experience in film making and P.Ramadas had no technical  knowledge except some details    acquired from books which  he read from British Library in Trivandrum.Still he dared to direct the film himself.The switch-on ceremony was held by Col.Godavarmaraja.
The indoor scenes were taken at 'Merryland Studios' while the outdoor scenes were shot at places in Trissur,Ernakulam and Madras.
Nagavally R.S.Kurup
The story was centred on the 12 year boy 'Appu'  the son of a worker in a press and his mother was working as housemaid in a wealthy house nearby.They were still in utter poverty.The boy's father lost his job after an injury from the printing press and dies later.Appu went in search of a job to Madras City where he struggled a lot.Meanwhile his mother also dies of a disease.Appu came back and determines to become a 'Newspaper Boy' to earn a living for himself and his siblings. 
This story was filmed by Ramadas with sequences very close to reality and all the actors acted well including the central character 'Appu'.The audience but were not at all interested to watch their own replica of life on screen.P.Ramadas walked ahead of time was his mistake and the film flopped.He and his friends became bankrupt.
The film 'Newspaper Boy' earned critical acclaim from all over India and the director was also appreciated widely.But the failure in box Office kept him away from films and after taking University Degree, he studied law and became an Advocate.Moreover he earned M.D. in alternative Medicine and started practising without taking money from his patients.
In 1975 he produced/directed  another film 'Niramala' in which Raghavan,Ravi Menon,Sujatha,Jameela Malick etc acted  and in 1981 yet another film by name 'Vadaveettile Athithi'.
He was given 'J.C.Daniel Award for 2007' by Government of Kerala, which is the highest film award in  Kerala, for his contributions to Cinema.


As the first producer  and director of Neo-realistic Malayalam film he made history and at the same time changed the history of films which were involved in incredible shots and scenes of fantasies only  to a world of reality too.

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