Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 08 December 2023 5.37 PM IST

'During Irakal shooting, he taught superstar Srividya how to cry' — K B Ganesh Kumar MLA


George sir and actor Sukumaran were busy mired in discussions over ‘Irakal’ movie. I first saw him in the office of producer Gandhimati Balan. George sir after pondering much in his traditional style caressing his goatee told Sukumaran that Ganesh is fit to play ‘Baby’ in Irakal. The next day, Sukuvetan, Mallika Chechi, and Balan Chettan reached my home and persuaded me to commit yes to the movie.

At the film set, he didn't treat me like a newbie. Even with actress Srividya who was at the pinnacle of success during that time, George sir was no different. He would act out the scenes for her to easily grasp the situation. There were also times when to attain perfection he could enact a crying scene all by himself for the actress to watch to copy the same.

Like a sculptor who carved beautiful figures out of stone, he was a genius craftsman who had the knack for identifying the raw talents of actors and molding them deftly. He contributed Menaka to Malayalam cinema through ‘Kolangal’. With ‘Ulkadal’ in 1979, actor Venu Nagavally grabbed a sleek image in Malayalam cinema. Even actor Mammootty rose to superstardom only through George Sir’s masterclass ‘Mela’ released in 1980.

Every script of K G George was fresh which shed light on the least discussed topics. 'Yavanika' is a realistic documentation of the working of early professional theater groups like KPAC. Whenever there is a corruption story in real life or in the news, every Malayali mind makes a detour back to the 1984 released ‘Panchavadi Palam’.

There is another anecdote about George sir. He smoked a lot while shooting ‘Irakal’. One day he arrived at the location with a hand-cranked machine made of plastic.

He would roll a piece of paper into the shape of a cigarette and will fill it with tobacco. Later comes a soft touch with his lips to stick the paper. Then it is spun in the machine and pulled. Seeing that, I asked, 'Why are you suffering so much, why don't you buy a cigarette and smoke it?'

He looked at me and said “ By doing this I waste a good lot of time in labour. At least during this time, I am not smoking. If I do this often, my smoking will gradually decrease. “

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