Thiruvananthapuram: Much like many beginners in the cinema industry, actor Kochu Preman, who passed away on December 3, too had faced a misfortune. Though he eagerly went to watch the release of a film that he had acted in, he was disappointed to learn that none of his scenes were included in it. Over the years, Kochu Preman would laugh whenever he talked about the incident.
The story went like this:
Kochu Preman was busy acting in plays in Valiya Vila in Thiruvananthapuram when he first got a call from cinema. When he reached the sets, he saw three heroines who were the rage of the youth then – Silk Smitha, Unni Mary, and Anuradha. On seeing them together, his heartbeat increased. The film was titled ‘Cabaret Dancer’. Preman was to play the role of Unni Mary’s paralysed husband. After shooting his role, Preman returned to Valiya vila as a star.
On the day of release, Preman reached Sree Padmanabha Theatre with his friends eager to watch himself on the big screen. The movie started. Even though they waited eagerly, not one scene in which Preman acted was screened in the released version of the movie. As he came out from the theatre dejected, the production manager said, “Preman doesn’t have the (good) looks. That is why the scenes were avoided.”
That day, he thought - without height, glamour, fair complexion and fit looks, cinema will not suit him. He decided that theatre be his forte.
Nevertheless, cinema kept enticing Preman and he got calls after going back to the theatre, yet again. Then, it was an actor’s journey through the ups and downs, luck and misfortune in theatre, serials and cinema for more than 50 years.
Kochu Preman, who was once judged and avoided from cinema for his peculiar sound and his looks, later became the audience’s favourite actor for the same reasons. He used to get character roles without differences of generation – be it old or new.