Non-actors deliver better results than actors: Jayaraj

Thiruvananthapuram, December 7: The impact that non-actors and newcomers have brought to his features prompted veteran director Jayaraj to question the need for established actors in films at an International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) event at Tagore theatre.

He was joined at the Meet the Director programme by fellow-veteran V K Prakash and his crew from his IFFK film Nirnaayakam, cinematographer Shehnad Jalal and actor Mukundan. Also present were debutant director Manu P S and actor Jason Chacko from his film Munroe Island, and Kazak actor Aikyn Kalykov.

“My films with newcomers have always received a tremendous response,” said Jayaraj, whose IFFK film Ottaal, also uses non-actors, including a fisherman. “Actors are set in a mould, while with first-timers, I am able to touch the human inside.” The director said that it was painful life experiences that helped him depict loving and lovable characters in his films.

Prakash, who has worked in various film industries, too agreed that non-actors were “fresh, credible and easier to work with”. The director, who has the distinction of having his film Rockstar in commercial screening while also having a film at IFFK, said that it was exciting to see the response at the festival.

“People were applauding Malayalam film Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal here, while it barely showed for a week in theatres when it was released,” he said. “We need to have a rule, like in the Marathi industry, where a film should be shown at a theatre for at least a week.”

Manu, whose film is a philosophical satire on the self, seemed unperturbed by the box office response to his film. “I want my movie to reach more people, but I’ve lost my land and my car and I have to escape to the Himalayas,” he said. “It doesn’t matter, because that is where I belong.”


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