Versatile screenwriter John Paul has died

He was associated with more than 100 cinemas and counted among the mainstays of the time like Bharathan, Padmarajan and KG George.

He was associated with more than 100 cinemas and counted among the mainstays of the time like Bharathan, Padmarajan and KG George.

Jean-Paul, who left his mark as a screenwriter, author and speaker, breathed his last in a private hospital here at 1 p.m. on Saturday. He was 71 years old.

He had been undergoing treatment for various ailments for some time. His condition deteriorated and he died of cardiac arrest, according to a medical report issued by Lisie Hospital.

Mr Paul was admitted to hospital on March 23 after complaints of chronic diarrhoea, decreased sensory sense, very large pressure ulcers and high levels of carbon dioxide in the body, following which a team multidisciplinary was trained for its treatment. He responded well to treatment and his condition initially improved. “Despite all efforts, the pressure sore worsened and the infection spread to multiple organs,” the medical report said.

Identified with the golden generation of Malayalam cinema in the 1980s and 1990s, Mr. Paul was associated with over 100 cinemas and counted among the stalwarts of the time such as Bharathan, Padmarajan and KG George. Although he has not been active in film lately, he was a constant presence in the cultural sphere of the state as an author and speaker.

“He created his own path by writing films, which were as popular as they were critically acclaimed. And when he was not active in films, he was always a dynamic presence in the cultural arena of Kerala,” said director Kamal for whom the deceased wrote his last screenplay.

Mr. Paul was born as the fourth of five children of PV Paulose and Rebecca in Ernakulam on October 29, 1950. He did his postgraduate studies in Economics at Maharajas College. Although he worked as a bank clerk for a short time, he quit when he became active in film.

“He was such a versatile writer whose scope and observations were impressive. His talent was not limited to films alone and had a deep knowledge of various other subjects and art forms. He had a fighting spirit in the face of the challenges that marked his life and which were also reflected in his films,” said VK Joseph, President – International Federation of Film Critics – Indian Section.

He wrote the most films for the late director Bharathan while associating himself with all the great filmmakers of his time including PN Menon, KS Sethumadhavan, IV Sasi, Joshiy, etc. Yathra, Athirathram Kathodu Kathoram, Unnikale Oru Kadha Parayam, Oru Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettam, Keli, Chamayam were among his notable works.

“The body will be kept at the town hall for people to pay their respects from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday. The organizers of a meeting of CITU-affiliated head workers scheduled in the room voluntarily agreed to move it to another space. We will consider a proper tribute to the great writer in due time,” Kochi Mayor Mr Anilkumar said.

The body will also be kept at Chavara Cultural Center before being taken to his home in Maradu at 12:30 p.m. The funeral service will be held at St. Mary’s Soonoro Simhasana Church, Elamkulam at 3 p.m.