Stories have always been a part of our life. Life itself can be portrayed as a story with drama , action, horror, romance, mystery, thriller etc.We have grown up on stories narrated to us by our grandparents, parents and other elders in the family. It was a golden age where we lay on our grandparent’s lap, as they took us on a journey through fantasies with their tales. Those were the stories that helped us learn some important lessons in our lives. They taught us about the good & bad and also had a hand in moulding us into who we are now. If any of these stories still occupy some space in your mind, then it clearly denotes the fabulous way it had been presented to you. Every time, the method or the way of storytelling has got an important role in how much you enjoy it.
When it comes to cinema, storytelling takes a new path. Here the written story is to be converted to an effective screenplay which is done by the scriptwriter. It is not as easy as writing a normal story because here the communication is more audio-visual rather than literary. Now the storytelling can be portrayed through light, frames, colours, shades, sounds, shots etc. If there is a strong story structure, the language will no longer become a barrier. Character development, engaging plot points, minimal dialogues, communication through visual medium, sounds, senses - all these will contribute to a strong screenplay. It can be presented in a very detailed manner or can be short. But the ultimate aim is to convey the story in an organized and visually impressive manner. Various patterns and styles of this art have evolved with time and technology.
Malayalam film industry
Malayalam film industry has always been ahead due to its realistic approach towards filmmaking. Scriptwriters and filmmakers play an important role in making the ordinary story more realistic and effective. With filmmaking, the role of storyteller is progress to a scriptwriter.
Guru is a classic film that was released in the early 90s and the theme of the movie is still a point of discussion. In this movie the sinful side of human beings including religion, power, greed etc are symbolically represented to an "Ellama fruit" .The narration of the movie is outstanding. The fact that a politically relevant movie was released about thirty years back is really impressive. This fantasy drama written by C G Rajendra babu was the first Malayalam film submitted by India for the Oscars.
Later in 2000, a romantic - musical movie came out which was completely new - Sibi Malayil’s Devadoothan. This is a horror movie without even a single ghost scene. It completely flipped the entire film industry. Even though the movie was not a commercial success, its poetic element in narration helped to create a gothic atmosphere for the audience. Those mysterious bgm and music was completely new in the 2000s period.
Storytelling with a message is difficult. It will become a really tedious task especially in the case of a movie. There are many movies which have a socially relevant issue conveyed through them. Da thadiya is one such movie which is distinct from others. Bodyshaming is the main theme of the film. But they have narrated it in a brilliant way. Even though it is a rom-com, it discusses many relevant matters in society in a different way.
Real life stories have always been a motivation. When it comes to cinema, the originality of the incident shouldn't be lost at the same time the cinematic flavour should be there. One such successful movie was the 2019 released Virus. Another Ashiqu Abu's movie which was a blockbuster due to its strong screenplay and brilliant casting. The movie turned out to be exceptional due to its different storytelling.
To do experimental work, it takes huge risk and courage. If there is any missing element in the screenplay it will directly affect the whole film. Also it really requires a good audience to welcome it with full heart. There are many films in this category which were both failures and successes among the audience. Ibilis, Double Barrel and the latest C U Soon are some of the out of box projects. These movies take the Malayalam film industry to another level. By changing the patterns, there is a strong screenplay behind it which makes it distinct from others.
Stories have always been part of our life. Even our life can be portrayed as a story. We are always anticipating our future from our past activities and our present. However the main point is about the storytelling. It gives the energy and courage for living. As the development happens we are always adding on new elements to our storytelling and updating our narration. We should always remember that a story never ends. Another story is always just the beginning, and they all are connected.
Everyone has a story, more often many stories, and all are meant to be told.
- Hitha Jayapalan