Malayalam short film ‘Scent’ is a story about parenthood

The short film, directed by Jayakumar Menon with Nirmal Palazhi in the lead role, is about a parent who goes that extra mile for his daughter’s future

Santosh dreams of a bright future for his daughter, Aishwarya, and has admitted her in an English medium school. His family has been told that he works in a perfume shop. Santhosh always exuded the strong aromatic fragrances that he was supposed to be working with. However, when his daughter stumbles upon how her father actually earns a living, she is shocked.

The short film, Scent, written and directed by Jayakumar Menon and streaming on YouTube, is a heart-warming story about parenthood. The protagonist, who comes from a financially backward family and is low on confidence because he has a stammer, is forced to take up a job, which he thinks might be humiliating for his family to accept. Viewers are also kept guessing about his real job, especially when he takes a room in a lodge and visits his doctor complaining about an infection.

Jayakumar Menon, director of the Malayalam short film ‘Scent’ | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Nirmal Palazhi, usually seen as a comedian in Malayalam films, nails it as the protagonist. The 23-minute film, shot in and around Kozhikode, has already got a few awards, latest being the awards for the best director and best Indian short film at Port Blair International Film Festival.

This is the second film by Jayakumar, a civil engineer who used to work with a leading animation company as animator and visual effects supervisor. “I left the job because cinema is my first love. It was not easy to balance work and my passion,” says Jayakumar.

Nirmal Palazhi on the set of the short film ‘Scent’ directed by Jayakumar Menon | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Open Fridge, his first short film, was on the subject of food wastage and the concept of community refrigerators to feed the hungry. He says that the story of Scent was inspired by an experience he had while living in Chennai. “I used to observe this well-dressed guy whom I met daily. One day, I was taken aback to learn what he did to earn a livelihood. Later I developed it into a story and when I approached Nirmal, he was happy to come on board,” says Jayakumar, 39, a native of Kozhikode.

Jayakumar adds, “I want to emphasise that every job has its dignity. I also want children to understand the difficulties parents undergo to give them a good life.” Also part of the cast are Jipsa Beegum as Nirmal’s wife and Theja Lakshmi as the daughter. Scent is scripted by Sushil and has music is by Bijibal.

Watch it on YouTube.

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