It may look a bit odd now. Srikant Murali started his film career way back in 1988 with veteran director K G George. Though associated with big names and projects in the industry for more than 25 years, his directorial debut, Aby, was released only two weeks ago. Curiously, its hero who chases his dream against all odds, had a close resemblance to the life of the maker himself.
“When I was a pre-degree student, I sent a mail to George sir narrating my intention to work with him. Surprisingly, a reply came inviting me to join his team.
Thus, I worked under him in all departments of a television film, Oru Yathrayude Anthyam, for one month,” says Srikant. After graduating in Chemistry, he tried thrice to make it to the Film and Television Institute of India, at Pune. “As all those who sat for the entrance exams with me got admission, people flocked to me thinking my presence will turn lucky for them,” he said, in the presence of his wife playback singer Sangeetha.
He continued to associate with a few television productions but films remained elusive. However, his cinema wishes were rekindled when he joined director Priyadarsan, with the help of his cousin Sudheer, and singer MG Sreekumar. “Priyan sir drew nine dots on a paper and named his team. My turn was the ninth and he said I would not even be visible. But I was ready to join as the last dot,” said Srikant.
He started at Karaikkudi, on the sets of Saath Rang Ke Sapne, a production of Amithabh Bachchan, and a remake of Thenmavin Kombath. Among the 13 films with Priyadarshan, eight were in Bollywood and five in Malayalam. He took a hiatus from films and returned to television in 2001 as a producer, as demanded by his father Muraleedharan Nambuthiri.
“For some reason or the other my attempts to make a debut did not materialise. But I did not lose heart as I was happy with my career in advertising. I did 225 commercials. But I was taken aback by the hardships after I started Aby. But I was not ready to succumb. I cannot elaborate how I felt when I watched the moment when Aby’s flight left the ground.”
Now, as Aby did in the climax, he, too, has started flying with a slew of projects waiting for him in more than one language.