"Charlie," the Dulquer Salmaan-Parvathy-starrer, swept the Kerala State Film Awards this year by bagging eight honours.
For Jayashree Lakshmi Narayanan, who bagged the best art director award, the State Awards came as a complete surprise as she wasn't expecting such an honour to come her way so early in her career. With just four films under her belt as an independent art director, Jayashree says she's humbled by the early recognition.
"I was first overwhelmed to have bagged one of the prestigious awards in the country, then of course I was pretty shocked initially and speechless in happiness," Jayashree said in a chat with International Business Times India.
Entering the Film Industry
Jayashree was a communications student in MOP Vaishnav College for Women, Chennai, when she decided to explore the possibility of a career in the film industry. Soon she moved to Mumbai and worked there for five years where she learned more about the different aspects of film-making.
"In Bollywood, though I worked only as assistant and associate, it did help me learn a lot about the intricacies of film making and production design as such," says Jayashree, who was part of blockbuster projects including "Once Upon a Time in Mumbai" and "7AM Arivu." She debuted as an independed director in Myskin's "Pisassu."
It wasn't long before Mollywood beckoned and she became a part of Lijo Jose Pellissery's "Double Barrel." The film wasn't a commercial success, but Jayashree's work got noticed and it gave way to Lal Jose's "Nee-Na."
But it was Martin Prakkat's "Charlie" that truly thrust her into the limelight, thanks to the unique and quirky Charlie's room. Talking about how she zeroed in on junk art to adorn Charlie's room, Jayashree said it was the best medium to describe his happy-go-lucky nature.
It also helped viewers form an impression of Charlie much before the character was introduced.
"Martin sir wanted the room to speak for itself as the (protagonist) Charlie makes his appearance 20 minutes after Tessa (Parvathy) is shown entering the room that he once inhabited. So I decided do something different and zeroed in on the concept of junk art as Charlie, being a person who spreads happiness, would see the beauty in the things that others have discarded."
After "Charlie," Jayashree now has Vineeth Sreenivasan's "Jacobinte Swargarajyam" to look forward to. She is also in talks to sign a few Tamil and Hindi movies, however, the details are yet to be finalised.
When she is not busy creating fabulous sets for movies, Jayashree focuses her attention on creating spaces that are movie inspired. Her favourite, for instance, is Monica's apartment from the American sitcom "Friends."
"Oh yes !!! I love her apartment," says Jayashree, adding that she considers Monica's apartment one of the best sets, as it truly reflects the character's personality.
"She has a small living space but a great kitchen, which showed interest in cooking. This is what a good set design is all about- it should talk about the people living in it. There are few sets in films that create a permanent impression on you and Monica Geller's apartment is one such," concluded Jayashree.