Philip's is a light-hearted family drama: Director Alfred Kurian Joseph

Alfred Kurian Joseph's 'Philip's' is set to hit the theatres on Friday. Photo: Special Arrangement

“My life is the best example of how a good friendship can change the whole course of your life,” says Alfred Kurian Joseph, director and co-writer of 'Philip's', which is set to hit the theatres on Friday. Alfred, who is the co-writer of the Anna Ben-starrer 'Helen', describes his friendship with the film's director, Mathukutty Xavier, as a 'game-changing' decision that has improved both of their lives by realising and supporting their shared dream of becoming filmmakers.

In a conversation with Onmanorama, Alfred speaks about his debut film, struggles to pursue a career in the film industry and working with Mathukutty.

Alfred Kurian Joseph on the sets on 'Philip's'. Photo: Special Arrangement

About 'Philip's'
It's an easy-going family drama that works for all ages. 'Philip's' explores the fun-filled lives of a father and his three children settled in Bangalore. In a lighthearted manner, it also looks into the topic of single parenting. Mukesh Sir is a delight to watch in this film.

This is his 300th film and I count myself fortunate to have cast him in a role that shares the same enjoyable elements found in the majority of his past films. Innocent Sir, Noble Babu Thomas, Navani Devanand, and Quinn Vipin add life to a script that Mathukutty and myself have been working on since the COVID-19 lockdown period.

There is an ongoing debate on the relevance of film reviews and its adverse effect on theatre collection. What is you take on it?
I want to think positively about it. Reviews of movies, in my opinion, are an essential component of our industry since they enable filmmakers to assess their mistakes and gauge viewers' interest. If we are confidence in our work, we shouldn't be afraid that bad review might affect box office collections.

Good content will undoubtedly be appreciated by the public, and they won't be reluctant to see it on a large screen. After 'Helen' came out, I had taken it upon myself to read every review that was available. Many of them even assisted me in improving my writing and understanding what appeals to the audience. Apart from reviews, word of mouth also works well for few films.

Working with Mathukutty again
We have been close friends for the past eight years, and we have a conversation on the phone and meet each other for tea or coffee every day. Our discussions on one-liners happen during this time. Working as a team helps us widen our perspective and write better. You might become demotivated if someone trashes your idea the first time, but that doesn't happen with us. We have healthy conversations about any script's shortcomings and what will appeal to the audience.

Alfred Kurian Joseph and Mathukutty Xavier on the sets of 'Helen'. Photo: Special Arrangement

Were you always passionate about writing or making films?
I pursued a BTech in Electronics and Communication from a college in Thodupuzha. My aim was to work for a company for a few years, become financially secure, and then pursue a career in the film industry. However, like most of the engineering students, I had to appear for a few supplementary exams, and things didn't happen the way I thought they would.

I moved to Kochi and did ample freelance work to support myself while finding time to write. Friendships played a crucial role in my life, especially during this period. They supported during times of uncertainty, which ultimately helped me have an optimistic attitude to life.

Future projects
We are working on a couple of story ideas now, but, we don't want to rush. Right now, we are excited about hearing what people have to say about 'Philip's'.

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