Biju Menon who was always a good boy in school and college has perhaps got a thrashing only once in his life. But that was a savage one when he was studying in high school. He had gone to watch ‘Irumbazhikal’ at Trissur Jose Theatre. It was jam-packed near the gate. He somehow managed to wade through the crowd and reach the gate.
When the gates opened, the crowd started running amok towards the ticket counter. All of a sudden, a large man grabbed him and gave him a tight slap. That’s when Biju noticed a gold chain dangling in his hands. The man thought Biju was trying to steal the gold chain. Poor Biju started wailing loudly. Those who gathered around the school uniform-clad boy were able to figure out his innocence. That day little Biju ran home without watching the film. But the pain of that piercing slap lingered for a while in his mind.
Were you that calm in school and college?
Of course, I did indulge in harmless mischiefs. But I never really physically fought with anyone. Since my father was a cop, most of my classmates were reluctant to pick a fight with me. And because my father was a cop, I used to stay away from fights since I didn’t want to ruin his reputation.
But then you had the image of a hero who would beat up the villains in your films
That somehow happened. Maybe it has something to do with my body structure. I am usually approached for narratives filled with at least 4 or 5 fight scenes. Somehow I am not really keen on such stories. I prefer essaying more localized/region-specific characters. Take my profession away and I am just an ordinary guy.
Sure, ‘Ayyappanum Koshiyum’ had a lot of fight scenes, but there were a lot of stories lurking behind these characters and fights. That’s why people still talk about the film.
Isn’t ‘Thekkan Thallucase’ an out-and-out action film?
Of course, there are some sturdy fight scenes in this film. Having said that this isn’t really an action film. The film is based on GR Indu Gopan’s short story ‘Amminipillai Vettucase’. The scripted version turned out to be even more layered and powerful. The story is set in the 85-86 period. They have faithfully reconstructed that period on celluloid. You can see how authentically that period is reflected in the character's dressing and styling. The film is set against the backdrop of a village in Kollam and its people. I like to see it as a lovely family film filled with emotions and romance.
The film has two strong female characters played by Nimisha Sajayan and Padmapriya. The character played by Roshan Mathew called Podiyan is also important to the film.
How did a new director like N Sreejith reach you?
Sreejith and Rajesh Pinnada are the scriptwriters of my film 'Pakida'. We had discussed one or two stories with them. And eventually finalized this story. This film is written by Rajesh and directed by Sreejith.