Directorial venture-''Cocktail''- a success for Mollywood editor

Balakrishan Nair

Chennai,Jan 24 (PTI) For a first time effort it wasa smooth take off for Arun Kumar, a ''favourite'' editor ofBollywood top director Priyardarshan''s movies, as hisdirectorial venture ''Cocktail'' turned out to one of Malayalamfilmdom�s box office hits last year.

The film, still running in some Kerala cinema houses, isloosely inspired by the Pierce Brosnan starrer �Butterflyon a wheel�.

"I wanted to do something different and was searching for adifferent script as most stories followed a similar pattern.

It was then that actor-scriptwriter Anoop Menon came up withthe theme which I found appealing," Arun Kumar said.

"But it was not easy to convince producers to take up theproject. That was the biggest struggle.....," Arun Kumar,probably the first Malayalam film editor to turn director,told PTI.

Some straightaway said it won�t work, Others wanted thecast to be changed and wanted superstars.But he remained firmand so did Anoop and actor Jayasurya who played an importantcharacter in the film.

"Our firmness paid off and we managed to find a producerand the rest is history," he said.

He did not find any problems switching from editor todirector.

"A good director will always have an editor''s analyticalmind and as an editor of 18 of Priyan sir''s movies I can say Ihave picked up some skills from the master," he said.

"Anoop also had the confidence in me as I was from thePriyadarshan group.Shooting went off well. There were no egoproblems and the crew was supportive and I really did not feellike a first time director."

"This is the first time in Malayalam film industry thatan editor is turning director," he claimed.

Arun likes to soak in the pressures of being director.

"I love making films. As an editor, it is only working ona director�s project but as a director you have an enormousresponsibility-- everything --production, reproduction thenitty gritty-- rides on your shoulders.. I can''t say it istension but responsibility that I felt while doing the film."

''Cocktail'' dealt with extra-marital affairs and moralambiguities of the lead characters, a storyline which appealedto the Malayali audience and ensured its success unlike itsEnglish version which was a box-office disappointment.

A lot of additional characters had been fitted in and thescript tweaked to suit the Malayali taste..

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