'Captain valued friendships in industry and off it'

Noted filmmaker Sathyan Anthikadu paid tributes to deceased actor Captain Raju on hearing about the sad news. While stating that the former army man was indeed a noble soul as is well known, Sathyan revealed interesting facts about the casting for the popular movie ‘Nadodikattu’ in which Raju had essayed the role of Pavanayi that is still remembered by movie-goers.

While scripting the 1987 film along with fellow screenwriter and actor Sreenivasan, the duo had imagined the character called Pavanayi to be someone who looked like Captain Raju. The director added that the character was written in such a way that the dialogues, mouthed in a serious manner by Pavanayi, would elicit laughter among the audience. “Sreeni told, ‘There is someone who looks like Captain Raju’. When I asked him who that was, he said, ‘Captain Raju himself.’ That is how we offered the role to Captain Raju,” revealed Sathyan.

The filmmaker stated that the actor was confused about the character during the initial days of filming. “He had done only villain roles until then. He understood the character when I told him to imagine himself as a cartoon character. Pavanayi was a highlight in many scenes. His character played a significant role in making the movie, and also the characters called Dasan and Vijayan huge hits. The role has become such an iconic one and that is the reason why the superhit dialogue, ‘Pavanayi shavamayi’ is still mouthed by cinema lovers,” Sathyan noted.

The director also recalled an incident that underlined the gracious nature of Raju. Years after working together in ‘Nadodikattu’, Sathyan and Raju had accidentally met during a train journey. Sathyan confessed that he was a bit shy to face the actor as he hadn’t offered the latter any roles for some time.

“As if reading my mind, Captain said, ‘I am not upset even if you don’t give me another role because Pavanayi was one the greatest roles in my career. Had you given me more roles,theywouldn’t be as good as Pavanayi. It was a fate that my face appeared in your mind when you conceived that character. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have played that role, and we shouldn’t desire more that what we deserve’,” Sathyan recalled.

Sathyan stated that though he was invited to the actor’s home, he couldn’t go due to his busy schedule. He added that Captain was someone who always cherished friendships, and that he often talked about the significance of actors forming friendships outside the cinema industry as well.

“He never complained, and he performed all the roles that he got gladly. Until his death he could keep close ties with all those who had given him roles in their movies. Captain bids adieu without imbibing a trace of the kind of roles that he had mostly done. His life was as clear as crystal, and the warmth of his love was felt by everyone who met him at least once,” Sathyan noted.

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