Joseph was a movie that hit the screen without many expectations or claims. The movie unexpected success might have surprised many, but not the director M Padmakumar. There were those who were left open mouthed up on learning he was casting Joju in the lead role for the film. However, Joseph went on to become a huge blockbuster hit at theaters, and ended up not only silencing the skeptics but earning their praise. The experienced director, who is determined not to let success go to his head, reflected on the key moments and challenges involved in the making of the most thought-provoking Malayalam movie of year 2018.
When asked if he expected the success of the movie, M Padmakumar said; “it is not so much that I expected the success but that I desired success. But while making the movie, I personally expected it to leave a good impression on the public. However I didn’t expect it to become a commercial success and earn so much praise from people”. M Padmakumar was greeted with derision when he made the decision to play Joju , as eponymous character of the movie. The director said that it was Joju who came to his mind when he thought about the character. Following discussion with the writer, and having learned that Joju had already read the script of the movie, we decided he was the right person.
Asked about the challenges faced during the filming of Joseph, M Padmakumar answered that it was the faith in script that helped everything. “There were problems on the part of producers, and at the end Joju assumed production responsibilities. During the filming, Kerala was hit by flood. Shooting had to be halted. When shooting resumed it was hard get all the artists back. Flood had also affected some of the previous shooting locations. There were difficult circumstances where we could have easily faltered and given up. But we overcame all the difficulties.
It was his answer to the question about superstar dominance in Malayalam movie industry that might really fascinate the readers. “It’s not some tendency that is unique to Malayalam movies, on the contrary, it has application in every movie industry in the world. Undoubtedly it’s the stars who determine the value of commercial movies. One shouldn’t overlook the fact that Stars hold special distinction in Hollywood, Bollywood and so on. There should be movies with stars in them, and movies without any stars. I’m not of the opinion that a movie should be free of stars. Nor do I think that star dominance is a liability for cinema as a whole.