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Chaaver writer Joy Mathew: KG George was able to straddle different genres as he was sincere about his craft and content

Actor-scriptwriter-director Joy Mathew talks about what made KG George an inspiration to a lot of today’s filmmakers in Malayalam

Chaaver writer Joy Mathew: KG George was able to straddle different genres as he was sincere about his craft and content
Joy Mathew and KG George and (R) Joy Mathew

Last Updated: 01.35 PM, Sep 24, 2023


Several of today’s Malayalam filmmakers and scriptwriters would list legendary filmmaker KG George’s movies as their go-to material when it comes to honing their craft. Actor-scriptwriter-director Joy Mathew, who started his career with John Abraham’s Amma Ariyan in 1986 and has worked with some of the top talents in the industry today, tells OTTplay what made the work of the filmmaker, who passed away on Sunday , stand out in an era that had so many greats.

“There’s no doubt that he was a great filmmaker. He was able to prove his craft in movies of different genres – from social satire and family drama to investigation thriller and political satire,” says Joy Mathew. “He created a third category of films, which was distinct from the proper commercial films as well as the so-called artistic movies that directors such as Adoor Gopalakrishnan, G Aravindan and John Abraham made. His movies were commercial but at the same time, also had an artistic quality about them.”

KG George
KG George

The director-scriptwriter also notes that during the same time, filmmakers such as Lenin Rajendran and Bharathan also took the same route, but their names arguably figure more in the list of the best in the industry. 

“Now, a lot of people, including the media, evaluate a filmmaker based on his commercial successes and not his artistic value. I believe that’s the reason KG George was always sidelined, because he didn’t have huge successes in his career. There were only a few films like Yavanika that went on to be hits. But making-wise, compared to some of the biggest successes or the so-called art films that were made just for awards, KG George’s films stood out,” he explains

Some of George’s best works include Adaminte Variyellu, Yavanika , Mela, Kolangal, Lekhayude Maranam Oru Flashback, Ulkadal and Irakal. It’s a feat that all of these films were of different genres. Joy attributes this to George being “genuine and sincere about his craft and content”.

“All of these films can be watched repeatedly,” he says. “For instance, Kolangal comprised a cast of largely newcomers and one of Mammootty’s best performances was in Yavanika. Mela had a vertically-challenged protagonist. He was able to create successes out of experiments and that’s why a lot of filmmakers of today looked up to him as a great filmmaker and learnt from his movies.”

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