Samvritha Sunil’s patient wait has paid off and she reinvents her career with some well-chosen in-depth roles.
The last decade was undoubtedly the leanest patch that Malayalam cinema ever went through. The creative low not only affected the box office, but also the career of a new crop of actors who came up during that time.
They danced to the tunes of mindless narratives and ended up becoming repetitive, bored and disillusioned. But there are a few who tried deriving some meaning out of those meaningless exercises. They stayed put, waiting for the elusive ‘meaningful' roles without being bitter or fussy about ‘pulling along.' Their wait might have been long, but as the industry gradually opens its avenues to novel and diverse attempts, the actors too are getting prepared for a revival, if Samvritha Sunil's case is an indication.
The actor, who completed 25 films with ‘Neelathamara' is all set to hit the refresh button, with a series of films that offers her the scope and platform to prove her mettle. “Completing 25 films is just a personal milestone, but the direction my career has taken from that point is definitely a matter to rejoice. I have been offered interesting, central roles post-‘Neelathamara’. My work in the film was well received; the crew used to remark that it was my ‘coming-of-age' film. It was the same crew that introduced me to films with ‘Rasikan’, so they were able track my progress as an actor before I myself could do so,” remembers the actor.
In ‘Neelathamara’, Samvritha played Ratnam – an artistocratic Nair woman who woos away the hero from his fling – with grace and elan; her classy looks and patrician upbringing making the task easy for her.
“The character was well etched out. The script had it all, each nuance was detailed. Moreover, I have an excellent working relationship with Lal Jose, which complemented my performance.
The 25th film, thus, is of qualitative relevance and not quantitative. It is more of a turning point than a milestone,” she observes.
Twenty-five takes – good, bad, meaty, lean – Samvritha's evolution as an actor might have taken a little long; but the end of the incubation period finally sees her stepping into her own space with roles of dimension and depth. “I have taken up the roles that came my way for many reasons; it was my way of learning and survival. I wouldn't claim that all of them were significant ones. But every single film brought in a set of experiences that helped me polish my skills and reinvent my passion for the art,” she introspects as she prepares to portray an important role in Mohanan's much-awaited ‘Manikya Kallu’.
“It is a challenge for me as it is a role in a typical middle-stream cinema. I play a P.T. teacher in a government school who also moonlights as a poultry farmer to make ends meet. It is completely different from the petite, pining girl-next-door stuff I have done so far,” she asserts.
The actor who was last seen in Raj Nair's ‘Punyam Aham’ and Saji Surendran's ‘Happy Husbands’ is delighted about the reviews and recognitions her films are fetching her off-late.
“My characters in ‘Punyam Aham' and ‘Happy Husbands’ are poles apart. The former is a subtle, conservative and pensive one, while the latter is the exact opposite. I am glad both were well received. I am also proud that I got to play a role in ‘Thirakkatha’, the film that won the national award for the best regional film,” says Samvritha.
Samvritha also diversified into Hindi cinema recently with ‘The White Elephant' directed by Aijaz Khan, which was premiered at the 11th Mumbai Film Festival and was subsequently selected for the Indian Pamorama 2009.
“It is an off-beat film and I did the role of a good natured Anganvadi teacher in it. I took it up to get a feel of working in a Hindi film. Earlier, I had worked in a Tamil and Telugu film too. It has nothing to do with migratory aspirations. I have no intentions of doing so, though I have realised the value addition that gets attached to your star status once you do a Tamil or Telugu film,” she reveals.
“I believe whatever is meant for me will come my way. And I don't mind waiting for that. At the same time, I want the industry to be a little more sensitive towards the artistes who choose to remain here. I want the fraternity to understand the commitment behind their decisions,” she concludes.