Actor–screen writer Anoop Menon and his wife Shema visited Shimla, a summer destination, when it snowed. The couple checked into an exotic resort at Narkanda which is is 60 km from the Himachal Pradesh capital. There Anoop and Shema met another couple who occupied the wooden cottage next to theirs. Their neighbours didn’t look like married and at the next dinner, Anoop and Shema introduced themselves to those partners.
The young woman was a candle designer based in Delhi and the man was a chef in Paris. They enjoyed a hearty conversation at the dinner table which was candle-lit. The couple told their life story and Anoop was particularly interested in a bit of it. He took the story back home with him and now it has been made into a movie, ‘Ente Mezhuthiri Athazhangal’, starring him and Miya in the lead roles.
After almost four years, Anoop Menon returns as a screen writer for this movie directed by Sooraj Tom. The actor speaks about his latest movie and the experiences as a screen writer.
Why did you take such a long break from screen writing even though ‘Trivandrum Lodge’ and ‘Beautiful’ were hits?
It was director Renjith who told me not to lose the actor in me, though he really liked the scripts that I wrote. It would have turned monotonous had I written more then. In the meantime, I acted in 20 films which were good and bad. I penned a book called ‘Bramayathrikan’ based on my travels and journeys.
After watching the preview show of 'Ente Mezhuthiri Athazhangal' filmmaker VK Prakash told it was more beautiful than both ‘Trivandrum Lodge’ and ‘Beautiful’. I am not claiming that this is a huge movie, though I can assure that it will make you happy.
Did you name the film as ‘Ente Mezhuthiri Athazhangal’ at Shimla itself?
A red candle has significance in this movie. It is in fact used as a metaphor. In the movie, the character called Anjaly played by Mia is a candle designer. Candle designing is an incredibly creative process. Actress Twinkle Khanna owns a showroom in Delhi which only sells designer candles. You can get custom-made designer candles with scents that suit your moods from there.
Did Anoop become more romantic post wedding?
Love has not changed my life much. This movie is about finding a space for friendship even after falling in love. A space where there is mutual respect is very important if you have had a love marriage or continue your romance. This is a musical love story. To create the beautiful songs in the movie, a group of us including myself, composer M Jayachandran, lyricist Rafeeq Ahamed, producers Noble and Sooraj had gathered together at a place on the banks of the backwaters in Kochi for almost 10 days. So the songs in this movie are mesmerizingly beautiful.
Your journey from TV serials to the silver screen.
Serials are in fact a great learning centre. It is not at all an inferior field of art. I am proud that I came from the TV serials. Many have lost opportunities in the movies just because they have serial background. In fact the people in the movies kept themselves away from serial stars. I came into the movies almost after two years without committing any TV serial. ‘Thirakatha’ is the movie which became a turning point in my career. Though I debuted through the (2002) movie ‘Kattuchembakam’, it was (2008 film) ‘Thirakatha’ which gave me a footing as an actor.
What is your style of writing a script?
My style of writing is in fact very comical. There would only be a one line when the filming begins. I prepare that one line only after conceiving the entire movie in my mind. I usually write the dialogues on the sets itself. I have written all my films like that. I always keep polishing the one line. All the scenes that we shoot would make it to the final cut as well. I would write only what is required for the movie.