K G George: End of a journey that hand-held Thiruvalla into movies

K G George. Photo: Manorama

The late K G George was a genius filmmaker who brought into frame his hometown Thiruvalla in its true self without any make-up. It was through the camera eyes of cinematographers like Venu and Sunny Joseph that he captured the S C S junction in Thiruvalla for the first time in his much-acclaimed films.

His 1988 telefilm Yatraude Anthiyam (End of a journey), shot for the Doordarshan, even begins at the KSRTC bus stand here. The story plot unfolds when the protagonist boards a bus to Mandarathoppu. Its remaining portions were shot in and around the sleepy villages of Ayiroor Thiyadikkal, Kumpanadu and Iraviperoor, as well as on the banks of the Pampa river at Ranni and so on. In fact, it was the church at Ayiroor that provided the background for shooting the death scene at the climax. The Thiruvalla town, in the late eighties, is well captured in the film.

The building where George's father, Samuel -- a well-known oil-board designer and artist, had worked too, makes a quick appearance in this movie. The telefilm casts actor Murali as a novelist named K V K while M G Soman plays the role of Abraham, his spiritual guru. While capturing beautiful sceneries of the Central Travancore in Yatrayude Anthiyam, George’s attempt was to recreate the struggles that the ordinary people have to endure to carry on with their lives and the unexpected turn that comes in between in the form of deaths, which completely shatter their hopes of a better tomorrow. The filmmaker, through his camera, could foresee the erosion in values that was going to take place in the future.

The film also offers a flashback to get a closer look at the old model bus. It draws to a close with songs and visuals that suit the Christian character long attributed to Thiruvalla.

It was Kavalakkal K T Varghese, an NRI, who extended financial assistance to produce the dark tragedy Kolangal, one of George’s earliest movies. Varghese, who originally hailed from Thiruvalla, was a schoolmate of George at the SCS School here. Later, D Philip too joined the movie as one of its producers.

Assistance for constructing public stadium
It was George who took the initiative to bring prominent artistes and film stars from Thiruvananthapuram to the art shows held to raise fund for the construction of the Thiruvalla Public Stadium.

Kulakkattil Geevarghese George aka K G George, who was born in Puthuparambu house near Thiruvalla Govt Hospital, made his foray into the film world through the formation of the Kalpana Film Society. He graduated in Political Science from NSS Hindu College, Changanassery, and later joined the Pune Film Institute. The politics of cinema had taken root at an early stage in George, who regularly read the famous magazines of that time, including the Blitz.

Later, George formed a film society called Sudrishya under the leadership of a Malayalam teacher named C Babu. He also became a mentor to filmmaker Blessy and several others.

George's younger brother K G Sam and his family are now settled in Thiruvalla. Sam's wife, Delsey Sam, also served a term as the Chairperson of the Thiruvalla Municipality.

Blessy remembers George as mentor from own neighbourhood
Noted Director Blessy regards George as a mentor who hailed from his own native place.

“I was just 10 years old when he made the film Swapnadanam. My aspirations to join the film industry stemmed from witnessing the mastery and craftsmanship of artists like George,” says Blessy.

“In fact, I made my entry to the movie world through George. When I went to Chennai in 1983, I paid a visit to his house and met him personally. When he settled down in Thiruvananthapuram, he also invited me to do a few projects,” recalled Blessy.

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