Cinema will bring him back, hope he will talk: Actor Jagathy Sreekumar’s son

Jagathy Sreekumar
Jagathy Sreekumar (sitting) with (L to R) actor Ranji Panicker, Script Writer S N Swamy, actor Mammootty, actor Mukesh, director K Madhu. (Far right) Jagathy Sreekumar's son Rajkumar.

Cinema is his oxygen, and it is cinema that will bring him back to life, says Jagathy Sreekumar’s son Rajkumar. It was the CBI team’s belief and insistence that the 5th installment won't be complete without Vikram that resulted in the actor’s comeback on screen after a gap of 10 years. The actor’s recovery can also be attributed to his wife and children’s loving care.

Rajkumar thinks his father’s performance in 'CBI 5' was a notch higher than he expected. He is also happy to share screen space with stalwarts he admires. Rajkumar who started a film company to bring back his father likes to think that cinema will always be his father’s reason to live. He talks to Manorama about his father…

My mission is successful

I am of course elated to see him back on screen and I feel I have been successful in my mission. Audiences were also waiting to watch him after his accident. So many people came home with that wish.

We started Jagathy Sreekumar Entertainment Company to bring our pappa back into cinema. We did two ad films and music albums. And through that ad film, we had brought him back on screen. I feel blessed to have been able to bring him back on screen through 'CBI5'. According to the doctors, the best medicine is the reassurance that we will be able to bring him back on screen.

The best man of Sethuramaiyyer

It was when I was trying to bring him back through the ad films that SN Swamy called and informed me about 'CBI5'. I told him that if it is a character that can be accommodated according to his present condition, we can surely do the role. Swamy said the film will be incomplete without Vikram. So they came back with a role designed to suit him. We were welcomed warmly at the location.

I am sure he was sated as cinema is his oxygen. Madhu sir sweetly guided pappa. But then to everyone’s surprise he acted well. It was an emotional moment to watch him sit in front of the camera. This was an occasion we have been waiting for years. Am confident that he will be back with a bang now. That’s how much he loves cinema.

Blessed to share screen space with stalwarts

I have always wanted to act. But my father wanted me to prioritize my education. But when Swamy sir approached us with 'CBI 5' I felt tempted. So I asked him for a tiny part in the film. And he agreed. It's only when I reached the sets that I realised I was to play Vikram’s son in the film. I am really fortunate to act with my father in a film. I also got an opportunity to work with SN Swamy, Madhu sir and Mammukka. I can’t disclose much about the character. But people are saying good things about my character. This is perhaps for the first time that the same actor, director and writer are coming together to be part of the same film and its 5 parts. When they put makeup on I felt like nothing had changed. Mammukka looks more young and energetic now.

My father was welcomed warmly

When SN Swamy spoke to me about 'CBI 5' it was my father who said yes to it. Though we were approached for a few projects, he had declined them. Gradually he is showing an interest to come back to cinema. People from the film industry and friends would come home and urge him to come back to films. When we went to a Dubai event, he was welcomed warmly by the crowd. I think their standing ovation might have inspired and given him confidence.

Though he can’t talk, he is able to communicate with clarity. I think he was able to deliver more than what the director and writer expected. A lot of people called and complimented his performance in the film and said they felt emotional on seeing him.  I heard there were loud claps for his introduction scene.

Rewatching old films    

It is impossible to count the number of films he has acted in. I am sure even he hasn’t counted them yet. He has seen very few films he has acted in. Often he would be surprised to see himself in some films. It was in the last few years post the accident that he started watching his own films. He would watch some films with interest and laugh a lot. He enjoys watching comedy scenes featuring Innocent, Kuthiravattam Pappu and surprisingly saw him laugh at his own scenes in 'Yodha' and 'Kilukkam'.

He is very aware of his surroundings

He has a long-standing friendship with K Madhu. In all his films, pappa will have a role. Pappa is very fond of Madhu sir. He is aware of everything. Doctors are very positive about his health and say he is able to experience happiness and sadness. So many of his dear friends like Kalabhavan Mani, Kalpana, Nedumudi Venu and KPAC Lalitha passed away. I remember how sad he was when he saw the news on TV and switched it off quickly. When I called his doctor and conveyed this he said his reaction was extremely positive. The doctor says he will come back to his old self. Pappa remembers everything now. Now I am hoping he will be able to talk.

 Want to watch the film with him in the theatre

Both of us haven’t seen 'CBI5'. I want to take him to the theatre to watch 'CBI 5'.  We are waiting for the rush to subside to take him. Some theatre owners called and said they will hold special shows for us. I heard his character has been warmly welcomed in theatre. Since the accident, he has never been to a theatre. When I told him that 'CBI 5' has been released he nodded happily and expressed an interest in watching it. Since he was a busy actor, we haven’t really been to the theatre to watch films with him. He has taken us to watch 'Kilukkam' and 'Yodha'. Now we want to take him to the theatre to watch 'CBI 5'. I feel that will give him more confidence.

Those who are waiting for his comeback

Before 'CBI 5' he had acted in two films. One was ‘Ee Mazha Then Mazha’ which got released. The shooting of ‘Kabeerinte Divasangal’ is over. Some surprise projects are under discussion. We have agreed to act in 2 or 3 films. Malayalam cinema hasn’t forgotten pappa. It was after the accident that we realised how much he was loved. People came in hordes to see him in the hospital.

When we would offer prayers for Pappa at the temple, there would be people who would have already done that. Even now I see at least one person who has offered prayers to him when I visit the temple. Then of course there are so many people who visit him daily. I don’t know how he has managed to influence so many people. It was their prayers that brought him back to life. We have always promised his fans that we will bring him back on screen. And today that was fulfilled. This is the greatest cure we can offer him. Cinema will eventually bring back the good old Jagathy Sreekumar. 

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