Death Offers Life - Says Madhu N.R
The film Death Offers Life - Last Moments of Vincent Van Gogh, directed by Saheer Abbas and written and produced by Madhu N.R provides a fictional account of the last five minutes of the legendary painter, Vincent Van Gogh. Now, it is noteworthy that Van Gogh, though a sensation after his death, was not considered successful in his lifetime. In this film, Death has to come to take him away from this earth and makes an interesting offer to him, which Van Gogh refuses to accept. Rather, he accepts his destiny and takes the hand of Death for his journey to the land of eternal sunshine.
We got hold of the writer and producer, Madhu N.R and chatted with him about the film.
After Hour : As a writer what part of your job satisfies you the most?
Madhu : I find satire and humour as satisfying even though both are not in this work. As films get a wide acceptance i am naturally interested in screen writing. I write poems, stories and novels. Have published four books, two in English and two in Malayalam.
After Hour : How did you come up with the story-line for Death Offers Life?
Madhu : Death Offers Life is based on my story "Vincent Van Gogh meets Death" published in 2015 in my book "Glimpses of life through Cobweb". Actually Van Gogh's pathetic life haunted me. He had to suffer hunger and insanity in spite of being a gifted artist. The irony is that his paintings got money after his death, one painting even valued at over sixty million dollars. I too had depression for about 37 years and know what insanity is. I have a family, a job ways to treat me none which Van Gogh had. The last days of his were agonizing and moves all especially artists.
After Hour : How did you collaborate with the rest in the crew? How did the project come into life?
Madhu : I am an unknown writer. An actor wanted to act as Van Gogh when he read my story. He too is unknown and asked me to contribute 20% of the cost the balance 80% to be borne equally by the two actors playing Van Gogh and Death. He brought in a director. The project cost was valued at 1350 dollars. The project planned in 2018 got delayed by some unforeseen reasons. Later i decided to become the sole producer. The director fell out with me and i searched for a director through a Facebook friend and finally reached Saheer Abbas. His two short films were in YouTube. I got impressed by his short film "Inside" and contacted him with this story. He said this was an off beat theme good for festivals and we should film just like a movie otherwise it would affect his reputation. He said that the budget would be around 3450 dollars. I later made some suggestions noting that the quality should not be compromised. So a cinematographer (Noushad Sherief) who was in Malayalam film world was brought in. The final budget came to nearly 6000 dollars. The film was produced by me wholly in the name of our children under the banner N.A.N.R films. A preview was conducted on December 16th, 2019.
After Hour : How do you think your surroundings shape you up as a writer?
Madhu : Today religion has become the greatest problem. All fighting saying that their God is supreme and killing innocents. These terrorism is actually a blessing for the corrupt politicians who make a cut in everything and point to terrorism when asked about their inefficiency. Surroundings actually shape the artist. First our home shapes us, then the outside world ie our nation and then the world.
After Hour : Please tell us a bit about other projects of yours.
Madhu : Yes i have a few projects with me and the only impediment is money. I hope to realize it when money comes.
The first one is regarding Charlie Chaplin and his mother, a movie for five minutes.
The second one is a discussion of life by some hospitalised mental patients, a ten minute movie.
The third one is Death playing chess with Life. Death here would not be a gracious one but a fiereceful killer who comes to take a young man with high spirits. It may last up to 20 minutes.
I also have a plan film the story "The Outrage" by Alexander Kuprin and one or two other ones too.