In 2009, Shaji N Karun's Mammootty-starrer 'Kutty Srank' won 5 national awards – best feature film, best screenplay (Harikrishnan and P F Mathews), best cinematography (Anjuli Shukla), best costume design (Jayakumar) and special jury award for editing (Sreekar Prasad). Mammootty lost the best actor award by a whisker to Amitabh Bachchan as the latter won it for his inspiring portrayal of a progeria patient in 'Paa'.
The jury, recognising the script by Harikrishnan and Mathews, noted that it was a 'mysterious narrative that weaves together multiple perspectives to create a coherent whole, and yet leaves a haunting ambiguity'.
Onmanorama caught up with Harikrishnan to Decode a Scene from 'Kutty Srank'. The ace scriptwriter chose the moment where a speech and hearing impaired Kali (played by Sri Lankan actor Meena Kumari) confesses her love to Kutty Srank (Mammootty).
Before going into the scene he gave us a bit of insight into 'Kutty Srank' – the movie and the protagonist. “Kutty Srank is an explorer of the waters. He anchors his boat on three different shores in three seasons. The movie develops as he meets three women on these shores,” said Harikrishnan, who is also a journalist. Kamalinee Mukherjee, Padmapriya and Meenakumari played the three lead women in the movie.
'Kutty Srank' explores the relationship of man and woman. It follows the philosophy that 'a man's life is an expedition to understand his woman, which at the same time, a quest to understand oneself'.
On a quest after realising that it was not love he gained from the two women he met during his earlier stops, Kutty Srank once again embarks on his quest. He sails off leaving the warmth of a woman and summer behind. After being on the waters for months, he anchors at some place in the southern part of Kerala in the winter, a season that implies to the character's solitude and discontentment.
He meets Kali, a lonely woman who can neither speak nor hear, at this third shore. “Some dramatic moments bring Kutty Srank and Kali closer to each other, but circumstances prevent them from expressing their true feelings,” said Harikrishnan. “Shaji sir and I discussed at length to find a suitable scene which will allow the pair to open up.” The solution they came up with was a dream sequence.
“Our next dilemma was what Kali will say to Srank if she is blessed with the ability to speak in just one scene. After pondering for long, we came to a conclusion. Even if it is a magical world or in a dream, which Kali and Srank see at the same time, Kali would only expresses her love for him,” said Harikrishnan. The dramatic moments and the frustration of the characters act as a fine prelude to this scene, which undoubtedly is one of the most touching and beautiful scenes in the movie.
'Kutty Srank' was Harikrishnan's first script, he signed off promising to return to Decode a Scene from his latest movie 'Odiyan', which would hit the screens on December 14.