The movie 'Nonsense' finally started making sense to the Malayalam audience. Released on October 12, the debutant filmmaker MC Jithin's ambitious project started collecting good numbers after a tepid weekend. Positive reviews, especially by film personalities, had appeared on social media platforms by then. The movie discusses the struggles of a boy who is passionate about bicycle motocross, aka BMX, and exposes the futility of textbook-driven educational system prevalent in India. On a freewheeling chat with Onmanorama, director and scriptwriter MC Jithin revealed his 18-year-old journey for his movie 'Nonsense.'
The germ of 'Nonsense'
Jithin, a post graduate in visual communication and a teacher for six years, was a day-dreamer himself. He owes the idea of his first movie to his physics teacher at high school who did not waste a single chance to term his actions 'nonsense.'
“Many a time did I stand alone in front of the mirror and asked myself 'Why don't I make sense to my teacher? Am I really a nonsensical one?' I realised that my dreams are 'unconventional.' The word 'nonsense' slowly became a part of my identity and the base of all my self-estimations,” he recalled.
Years later, Jithin met a boy who did bicycle stunts on street. Curious about the sport, Jithin talked with the cyclist for some time to realise that his actions too were termed 'nonsense' by his teachers and family members. “Immediately, I stumbled upon the idea of doing a movie called 'Nonsense.' Though I already mulled to do a movie in support of students who are underestimated by their teachers for thinking out of box, the concept of BMX came only after meeting the bicyclist on street,” Jithin explained.
Casting lead character
It was in 2013 that Jithin, a fresh post-graduate working in the ad-film industry at that time, met Rinosh George on a casual trip to Bengaluru. “Rinosh's passion for music and movies impressed me. He was just 17 years old back then. He was such an enthusiastic guy that I was overwhelmed by his energy-level all through our conversation. After a half-an-hour's chat, I asked him whether he could play the protagonist in my movie, which he agreed on the spot,” Jithin said.
But Rinosh had a long way to achieve his transformation to the character. He purchased a sport-utility bicycle and practised BMX so that he could deliver his best whenever the project began. “I knew Rinosh would go to any extent to make his character perfect. That is the level of enthusiasm and dedication he has. He literally pushes his boundaries to deliver his best,” Jithin lauded the novice actor.
Rinosh has been equally passionate about the movie as I am. He risked his health and career to master BMX for this movie. I just couldn't find a better actor for my movie than Rinosh, Jithin said, while stating in this context that his script was rejected by several major production houses for the lack of star-cast.
Jithin had earlier directed a public service film called 'Water' with Rinosh in the lead role. It had won several awards at the national level. He also directed a music video ideated and penned by Rinosh, which became viral on social media platforms. Rinosh has sung three songs in the movie 'Nonsense.'
A DPEP-inspired filmmaker!
Jithin realised that his future lies in filmmaking, while he was a fifth-grader. Around that time the Kerala state government had introduced an activity-based interactive educational syllabus called DPEP (District Primary Education Programme) which prevailed for less than two years. “DPEP syllabus encouraged the students to find their own ways to explore academic topics. It was based on constructive activities and creative thinking. I discovered my passion for movies through one such educational activity. I understood that I could convey my ideas best with the help of cameras and story-boards,” Jithin traced a signal phase in his life.
Building upon his tastes, Jithin graduated and post-graduated in Visual Communications. He worked as a guest lecturer for almost six years in different institutions, including Loyola College for Media Studies, Hyderabad.
“I have tried my best to be a good teacher to my students. The main problem with practice-oriented subjects like visual communication and media studies is that, it is those who fail to reach the practical realms who take up teaching as an alternative choice. I became a teacher in visual communication out of my passion for both teaching and filmmaking,” he remarked.
'Pretham' fame Sruthi Ramachandran plays the role of Jithin's physics teacher in the movie 'Nonsense.' Vinay Forrt, Kalabhavan Shajohn, KPAC Lalitha and Sudhi Koppa play other significant characters. The movie elaborates the famous saying that the best creative minds are found on the last benches of a classroom. It has been compared to Raj Kumar Hirani's motivational movies by the netizens.