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Riding a wave of success

SANGEETA

After a year, Bhavanna returns to Malayalam cinema as Parakkum Latha in Anwar Rashid's `Chotta Mumbai.'



ON A ROLL: Bhavanna in `Chotta Mumbai' and `Deepavali.' She says her assignments in Tamil will keep her away from Malayalam cinema for a while.

Energy, enthusiasm and excitement - those qualities best describe Bhavanna, on screen and off screen. She brings in those qualities to the characters she plays on screen with ease and confidence. After a year, the bubbly actor appears in Malayalam cinema as Parakkum Latha in Anwar Rashid's `Chotta Mumbai.'

Auto driver's role

"Latha is an auto driver. She is called `Parakkum Latha' because her auto almost flies through the Kochi traffic. The boisterous Latha was no challenge for me," says Bhavanna.

"Benny P. Nayarambalam, script writer of `Chotta Mumbai,' narrated the storyline, but did not bother to give me a character sketch of Latha. He just said it is a `rowdy' kind of a role, so you don't have to act, your normal behaviour would do. The only preparation I did was to practise driving an auto. That was the only condition put forward by Maniyan Pillai Raju, producer of `Chotta Mumbai.' He must have heard stories of my earlier encounters with vehicles," giggles Bhavanna as she recalls her tryst with cycles and cars in some of her earlier films.

"The first one was during `Swapnakoodu' in Vienna. There was a shot that showed Meera Jasmine and me on bicycles. I was not very familiar with cycles, but my ego did not allow me to admit that. So I told the director that I could manage. But when the camera started rolling, I realised that I was going to fall off the bicycle. And before the shot ended, I had bruised my legs and arms. In fact, I was sobbing through the first sequence of the song `Karuppinazhaku.'"

"The second incident was during the shoot of the Tamil film `Aarya.' I was supposed to drive a car into a parking lot. I had learnt driving back home, in an old car. Here I was given a brand new, high power luxury car and you know, old habits die hard. I applied my technique of driving; the car just zoomed into the sidewalk. I escaped unhurt, but the car was damaged," she adds.



Bhavanna in `Deepavali.'

So this time a careful Bhavanna got trained and learnt how to drive an autorickshaw, thus adding a new skill to her kitty.

"I enjoyed enacting Parakkum Latha. `Chotta Mumbai' was a fun ride. It was a great team - Lalettan [Mohanlal], Sidique, Mani Kuttan, Biju Kuttan and Indrajith. We had a gala time during the shoot. And I am glad people are enjoying it too. I had to go to Peringottukara to watch the film because the theatre in Thrissur was booked for the next few weeks."

A delighted Bhavanna says that her Tamil films are also doing well. "My film with Bharat - `Veyyil' - has completed 100 days. `Deepavali' with Jayam Ravi and `Koodal Nagar,' again with Bharath, are in theatres now. Box office response has been good to both the films. My next release would be `Aarya' with Madhavan," she says.

Bhavanna will be working with Madhavan in `Vazhthukal' too.

"Seeman is the director of `Vazhthukal.' It is to be shot in Udumalpet and Coimbatore. I have also signed a film called `Rameshwaram' with Jeeva. Selva, erstwhile assistant of Balu Mahendra, directs the film. The theme revolves around the life of refugees in Rameshwaram. I have just completed the photo shoot for the film.'

So does the busy schedule mean no Malayalam films for the next season...?

"Sadly, yes. Tamil movies are usually shot on multiple schedules with breaks. They take 60-65 days to complete a film. Malayalam films generally functions on a continuous 30-day schedule. One needs to have at least 20 days at a stretch to do a Malayalam film. Once I finish my current projects, I will definitely come back home... to Malayalam cinema," she adds.

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