x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Director's new drama was decades in the making

Shyamaprasad's penchant for drawing from timeless literary works is evident in his latest film about troubled relationships, a project that the South Indian director has been revisiting for two decades.

Shyamaprasad's new movie Elektra will be released in India and the UAE next month.
Shyamaprasad's new movie Elektra will be released in India and the UAE next month.

DUBAI // Shyamaprasad's penchant for drawing from timeless literary works is evident in his latest movie about troubled relationships, a project that the South Indian director has been revisiting for two decades.

Shyamaprasad's new movie, Elektra, in the Malayalam language with English subtitles, will be released in India and the UAE next month.

Drawing from Greek mythology and the American playwright Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra, the film explores the tragedy that unfolds when a daughter devoted to her father discovers her mother's infidelity.

"The mark of a classic is its timelessness and it can work across regional boundaries and languages," Shyamaprasad said. "It connects with essential human dilemmas. I have created a certain loyal viewership over the years who come to experience something serious, something deeper than the usual boy-meets-girl kind of story."

The film has star power, with the south Indian actors Nayantara and Prakash Raj, and the Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala.

The project was a long time in the making - the script took Shyamaprasad two decades to write. He first worked on it as a student and picked it up again later when he was making films for the Indian national broadcaster Doordarshan.

"It's basically a story of a family where there is conflict," he said. "It's about how when one love is set against the other, it splinters the family. It explores the basic human need to be loved. The structure kept changing and improving over the last 20 years."

The inspiration provided by the classics has served Shyamaprasad well in the past. He has won several Indian national and state awards for six films inspired by writers from the French novelist Albert Camus to the Indian author Sunil Gangopadhyay.

"Whether it is Camus or Eugene O'Neill or Gangopadhyay, they are authors I grew up with and it's an international cross-section, not just Indian or Malayalee," hesaid.

 

rtalwar@thenational.ae