No more run-of-the-mill roles: Kavya Madhavan
Kavya Madhavan has an interesting range of roles in her kitty, both commercial and offbeat.
An Adoor film is a once-in-a-lifetime chance and I am honoured to be part of it.
Photo: H. Vibhu
TALENT UNLIMITED: Consistency is Kavya Madhavan's hallmark. She always tries to give her best to all her films.
Beautiful, versatile, competent ... mediapersons are never short of superlatives when it comes to writing about Kavya Madhavan. One of the most celebrated heroines of our times, she is also perhaps the most under utilised of talents in the Malayalam film industry.
She has given years of consistent performances and breathed life into a multitude of characters, acted in blockbusters and won critical acclaim too. But Malayalam cinema has not given Kavya her due - a classic, performance-oriented role.
No filmmaker has bothered to tap this actor's potential. Her fans and critics wonder why she has not been given the kind of role that she enacted with panache in `Perumazhakalam' or `Mizhi Randilum.' What could be the reason? Is she not competent enough? Is she taken for granted or simply overlooked?
"I don't know," says a baffled Kavya. "I really don't know. It is indeed a sad state of affairs. I have been working for more than eight years and I think I have done justice to all my roles. I don't know why I am not taken seriously or considered for heroine-centric narratives."
But a prestigious offer has come her way. Kavya will be donning an important role in Adoor Gopalakrishnan's forthcoming `Moonu Pennungal.'
"An Adoor film is a once-in-a-lifetime chance and I am honoured to be part of it. Being invited by somebody of his stature is an award by itself. I cannot tell you my character because I don't know about it. I said yes even before he could tell me that. I have learnt that it is a period film set in Kuttanad. I also know that I have Nandita Das as my co- star. I have great respect for. Altogether, it is going to be an enriching experience," she says. The film, she hopes, will add up a new dimension to her career. "There have been fulfilling roles, but there has not been one that I could showcase as `the best of my work.' My characters in `Sadanandante Samayam,' `Perumazhakalam,' `Mizhi Randilum,' `Seelabathi' and `Chakkaramuthu' were good, but I don't know whether my performance in those films got the critical acclaim it deserved. Barring `Perumazhakalam,' everything went unnoticed," she rues.
Kavya won the State Award for the Best Actor for her portrayal of a young Brahmin widow in Kamal's `Perumazhakalam.'
"It was a predominantly subtle character. There were no situations in the film where I could go overboard. Emotions had to be conveyed with subtle facial expressions, gaze and a very passive body language," she recalls.
Sharing screen space with Meera Jasmine also helped her excel in her role, feels Kavya. "You perform better because you know you are under scrutiny and likely to be compared. A mutually complementing energy transfer happens when you work with exceptional artistes. It includes technicians also," she adds.
`"Ananthabhadram' turned out to be special because it had Santosh Sivan in it. He has imagination and creativity and knows to translate it aesthetically. I consider myself lucky to have been portrayed in a Ravi Varma frame," says the actor.
Looking good on screen obviously puts you on a high, confesses Kavya.
"It is something every actor would aspire for. Looks is very important, it adds glaze to the image on screen," she admits.
So does all this serious talk mean adieu to commercial ventures?
"Not at all. It is a matter of joy and pride to be part of a box office success. I acknowledge the visibility and star value that commercial cinema has brought me. And I am not negating it. I am just trying to be selective from now on. I have taken up silly roles because I could not say no for many reasons. But now I have decided, it is a big no to run-of-the-mill roles. It is high time I said this," she asserts.
Vinayan's `Athisayan,' K. Madhu's `Nadia Kollapetta Rathri,' and Vinod Mankara's `Arunam' are some of her forthcoming films. `Athisayan' is due by the end of this month while `Nadia Kollapetta Rathri' is an investigative story starring Suresh Gopi. "It is not a regular hero oriented subject. In fact, mine is a double role, one of them is Nadia."
There is also another interesting assignment in Kavya Madhvan's kitty.
K.P. Kumaran's film based on Vaikkom Mohammed Basheer's `Ente Uppoppaku Oraana Udaarnu.' "That is one film I am waiting for. I play Kunji Pathumma in this..."
Before signing off, she adds: "I will soon be working on a play `Shakespeare Restaurant,' directed by Praveen, erstwhile associate of director Ranjith. The story is a combination of `Othello,' `Tempest' and `Macbeth.' It will be staged sometime in May at The Fine Arts Hall in Kochi."
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