Until recently, role of women in Malayalam cinema was limited to that of an actress, singer, or a dubbing artist. However, a bunch of talented women have made their mark in the industry, both behind and in front of the camera, ushering in a more female-friendly work environment. One such woman script writer who is set to make her entry into the Malayalam cinema is Linda Jeethu Joseph, wife of noted film maker Jeethu Joseph. Linda reveals how she ended up being the screen writer of the forthcoming movie 'Mr and Mrs Rowdy' directed by Jeethu Joseph.
Began as 'one line'
After wrapping up the filming of Aadhi, Jeethu Joseph said that he was fed up doing thrillers and would love to do a small movies like 'Mummy and Me' or 'My Boss.' Hearing this, Linda's eyes lighted up as she has been looking for an opportunity to tell him a small love story that had been in her mind for quite some time. The story of a bold girl and a small time rogue and their unique bond, impressed Jeethu, who asked his wife to prepare a one line. Linda didn't waste any time and began to write the one line of the story, determined to make it amazing.
"I have seen Jeethu writing the scripts of movies like Drishyam in one go. But once I started writing I couldn't stop and finally presented a 100 pages long 'one line,'" laughs Linda. Seeing it, Jeethu jokingly asked whether she had written the entire script. However, he was right in a way as Linda had written a 'one line,' explaining scenes with dialogues. Jeethu was now sure that his wife would become the scriptwriter of his next movie. "Jeethu didn't like the suspense and thriller elements in the second part of the script that I wrote. He asked me to change it completely into comedy and sentiments," says Linda.
Rewriting the script
Linda admits that she felt sad when Jeethu asked to rewrite what she has already written. She remained adamant that she was not going to change her script at all. However, Jeethu kept encouraging her saying that a good script is born only when it is rewritten or changed. Linda reveals that she had either rewritten or changed the script at least six times before coming up with the final draft of ‘Mr and Mrs Rowdy.'
"We had arguments whenever some changes had to be made in the script. I didn't like to change some of the scenes that I wrote. The final draft could be made into a movie which was more than three hours long. Jeethu had shot the movie avoiding some scenes from the final draft. We watched together the dubbed version before adding the back ground score. Jeethu had filmed it better than I had written. It was only then I realized that I should listen to the experienced ones when it comes to screen writing. When I saw 'Linda Jeethu Joseph' under 'story and screenplay' in the title card, I was thrilled and a bit scared as well," notes Linda.
Linda’s maternal grandfather used to write small poems and that is her only legacy in literature. She has been a voracious reader since she was a BA literature student at the Devamatha College in Kuravilangad. She married Jeethu Joseph when she was studying for the master's degree. However, she dropped out immediately after her marriage.
"It was I who rewrote the scripts of Jeethu's movies from 'Detective' onward. I had only read the scripts written by Jeethu until writing the screenplay of this movie. I have never seen him making major changes in his scripts. Now I know that it is because he writes every scene after amazingly planning it in his mind," says Linda.
Linda and Jeethu's elder daughter Catherine has completed her bachelor's degree while their younger daughter Katina is a plus two student. Linda says that Jeethu liked a few more stories that she had told him. "It will be planned only after completing the already committed projects. As of now I have no plans to write scripts for other directors," Linda makes her stand clear.