07 May, 2021

The Lost World

A regional actor misses the chance to feature in a Spielberg film

The Lost World

IN Adoor Gopalakrishnan's 1993 masterpiece Vidheyan, M.R. Gopakumar, then virtually unknown outside Kerala, played a born loser, a migrant labourer who is battered into submission by a dissolute feudal lord. It was a first-rate characterisation that won the sensitive Malayali stage actor, in his first major film role, unstinted critical accolades all around. It also earned him, last month, a significant part—that of Indian scientist Ajay Sidhu, a long-lost friend of the film's explorer-hero—in Steven Spielberg's upcoming blockbuster,

The Lost World: Jurassic Park II. Only Amrish Puri had done it before: gone global with the Cincinnati kid. So Gopakumar knew exactly how big the The Lost World offer was. But his leap into the international league was nixed by the American consulate in Madras, which denied him a 'work visa' on the grounds that he had no documents to prove that Spielberg had actually hired him. "I was scheduled to join the unit in Los Angeles on September 4 and work until November 11. The consulate sought a...

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