Of Art and Cinema

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KR Rejeesh

There are myriad creative souls that have stumbled in the tinsel world before fulfilling their dreams. But for director Roy P Thomas, it was a kind of self-imposed exile from the big screen. Once a busy art director during the 90’s, Roy has worked with noted filmmakers such as Bharathan, KS Sethumadhavan, Bhadran, Venu Nagavally and P. Padmarajan et al.
No wonder, his long association with Bharathan helped Roy learn more about the nuances of art and cinema. “My association with Bharathettan made me a filmmaker. He was a perfect genius as far as art and cinema are concerned. I got the opportunity to direct the film “Paavam I.A. Ivachan in 1994,” says Roy, who is always gung-ho while taking about his mentor Bharathan.
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Recalling his initial days, Roy says: “I met Bharathettan through a friend. It was a great experience to work with him. Since I was an alumnus of Fine Arts College, Trivandrum, we discussed more about topics ranging from poster designing to art direction in films. I joined him during the shooting of film “Kaattathe kilikkoodu,” starring Bharath Gopi, Sreevidya, Revathy and Mohanlal.”
At a time cine mates nostalgically ruminate the golden era of P. Padmarajan and Bharathan, Roy was fortunate enough to closely associate with them. In his view, Bharathan was the filmmaker with artistic skills while Padmarajan was outstanding with his writing skills.
“Paavam I.A. Ivachan” was scripted and directed by Roy. Innocent, Jagadeesh, Siddique, Kavya Madhavan and Sreevidya were the major cast. “The film gave me some bitter experience regarding scheming of some people with vested interests,” he rues.
Later, Roy took a sabbatical from films. Talking about his ‘sulky’ detachment from film world, he comments: “I was deeply pained by some ‘backstage plays.’ In the hindsight, I feel I should have done more films.” Moreover, he was not happy with the intrusion of unwanted elements in a filmmaker’s creative freedom.
But Roy was active in mini screen over these years. He was also the jury member of Kerala State Television Award in 2015.
He also directed a host of noted serials and TV shows for Doordarsan. Roy was the art director of mega TV sop “The Bible.”
Meanwhile, Roy is gearing up for a comeback into Mollywood with his new script “Agni”, which he would like to highlight as his dream project. “Discussions are going on for the project. I am waiting for a producer who can understand the artistic value of “Agni”. After reading the script, actor Siddique was deeply impressed by it.”
Roy is also active in drawing cartoons under the title “Kuthivara”. With a string of disciples in art direction in films, he is proud that one of his mentees, Murugan, is a busy art director in Telugu films. Roy feels that art direction in films is dying as technology rules the roost in films’ art section.
Hailing from Kanjikkuzhi, Kottayam, Roy is involved in his artistic activities at his house in Thiruvananthapuram.

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