May 22, 2011 Y. Sunitha Chowdhary
Jeeva's exciting and heart pounding introduction in Ko (Rangam in Telugu) was an easy conception for director KV Anand. It bears a similarity with the director's life. Years ago, as a staff photographer of a national magazine he took pictures of an MLA's home that encroached the national highway by 20 feet. The MLA's men chased him and he removed the exposed film and hid it in his pocket, immediately replaced it with a fresh film inside. He was hit and the camera taken away, subsequently the action that took place was something to remember.
KV Anand says it's common for a photographer to be a part of lathi charge; the reporter can stay in a safe place and file a story but not the photographer. He quotes Robert Capa, "If your pictures aren't good enough then you aren't close enough." He also explains that a script shouldn't be too intelligent, if it is the audience cannot understand it. If it is too low they will walk over you, he was successful with Ko because he maintained a right balance and approach.
A brush with physics during his grad helped Anand know more about lenses, and film appreciation classes in Visual Communication gave him an understanding of what works and doesn't for a film. After the academics he became a freelance photographer and joined India Today, then he assisted PC Sriram and worked for various other directors like Priyadarshan, Rajkumar Santoshi, Shankar, Mansoor Khan. His first film was Kana Kandaen, a low budget movie and the second one was Ayan with Suriya. The film that revolved around smugglers and custom officers got him many compliments.
Anand derives his ideas by reading three or four newspapers every day. He reminisces, "I woke up once dreaming that I bagged a Pulitzer for the photo I clicked," he giggles.
On Ko, he says there were many things that people could relate to it, the positive and the negative. Finally through the process, he portrayed Prakash Raj, the chief minister to be a far more practical and a good man than the student leader Ajmal. On Ajmal he says, a gradual success is a normal and a most accepted one, power in two months is unnatural. In one scene a scribe questions him on corruption and he says where there is a bag full of rice, there are rats and he's killing them. He then tells the journalist that she has no moral right to ask him about distributing freebies as newspaper publications do the same.
Anand says, "True, in Chennai we get sometimes shampoo, coconut oil sachets. One magazine attached a sanitary napkin to promote it's circulation." So when is his next movie taking off? "I haven't planned as yet and I don't have strategies, when ever it happens, I will do it properly," he signs off.