Jesus Christ who used to narrate stories of humanity was always Fr Danny’s hero. When he also took the path of Christ he was also able to absorb some of his principles in real life and inspire a lot of people. Right now his script is being made into a film. Headlined by Siju Wilson, ‘Varayan’ is the first film scripted by a priest in Malayalam cinema. Fr Danny Capuchin talks to Manorama online.
When did you start getting interested in cinema? How did this turn into a film?
Right from my childhood, my head was full of stories. Even Christ for me was someone I became familiar with through the stories I read. I used to share a lot of stories with my fellow priests. ‘Varayan’ was formed from a story that I told my friend Jijo Joseph. Later I was asked to develop it into a script. When we narrated the story to Siju Wilson he was as excited. Sathyam Cinema’s MJ Premachandran agreed to produce it. Jijo Joseph is the director.
How did you develop the central character of the priest?
This story is based on a real-life incident. There is a place where some goons forced some capuchin priests to stand on their knees and ordered them to chant the rosary. Though initially, I was shocked and later amused, I couldn’t get that incident out of my mind. The tale begins when a young priest reaches a place and how he turns things upside down.
Are you worried that the congregation won’t accept a priest who drinks from a toddy shop and also romances?
He is the kind of priest who advises a drunkard to climb a coconut tree and get his fix of toddy. He also advises those who play cards to play them with honesty. ‘Varayan’ is one such film and also the need of the hour.
Were your family and congregation supportive? Was it difficult to get permission?
This film has the blessings of the congregation. Capuchin congregation is always welcoming towards the visual media. The famous drama troupe ‘Kollam Assisi’ is owned by our congregation. Most of our young priests approach cinema meaningfully and seriously.
Are you keen on doing more films?
of course. ‘Varayan’ is releasing on May 20th. We are in talks regarding more films.