Rahman acts as a lawyer in Subil (Kukku) Surendran’s film Ente Sathyanweshana Pareekshakal
Age has not withered his looks or his charm. Rahman has retained the grace and youthful exuberance that made him a teenage sensation of Malayalam cinema in the Eighties. In his second innings in Mollywood, Rahman is not in a tearing hurry to make up for lost time. The actor says he is taking things slowly and wants to pick and choose his roles with care. “Malayalam is my mother tongue and I want to make sure that I get interesting characters that I can do justice to,” says Rahman during a tête-à-tête on the sidelines of the shooting of Ente Sathyanweshana Pareekshakal in Thiruvananthapuram.
He plays George, a laidback lawyer in the film, that is said to be a cliff hanger. Shankar Ramakrishnan, the scenarist, Aparna Gopinath and Suraj Venjaramoodu play significant roles in the film directed by Subil (Kukku) Surendran.
“What I like about the film is that the role is a complex one with many nuances in his character, the way we are in real life. George is a lawyer who does not like going to the court. He is more of a wheeler-dealer. The only person in their office who is a dedicated lawyer is their female colleague,” he adds.
He clams up with a smile saying that revealing more of the script would kill the suspense in the story. In the pipeline are Lavender, and Venu Nair’s Blue. Lavender is all ready for release while the shooting of Blue begins soon. Rahman plays a film director in Blue, which also touches upon the Aruna Shanbaug case (in which a former nurse has been in a coma for more than 35 years after she was raped). Aparna Nair plays a lawyer in the film.
“I have had an interesting run in Malayalam after I made a sort of comeback in Ranjith’s Black. It is not that I was not interested in Malayalam cinema in the interim. It is just that I was getting good roles in Tamil and Telugu. One day I realised I had not done Malayalam cinema for some time," he says.
Rahman had worked with the best of directors and film stars before disappearing from screens in Kerala to work in Tamil and Telugu cinema. In an introspective mood, Rahman says he was too young to understand the necessity of keeping in touch with the stalwarts he worked with and so after a film was over, Rahman would just go on to his next film.
“The reason is that unlike many actors, I have never had to go knocking on doors for a role or wait in the sidelines to play the hero. Stardom was handed to me on a platter by some of the best directors in Malayalam. I was not smart to realise that advantage I had and I did not use it to further my career,” admits Rahman.
Since the actor stepped in front of the camera as soon as he finished school, Rahman, like Mammootty and Mohanlal, was able to work with several stalwarts of Malayalam cinema who are no longer with us. “It was a great period in Malayalam, when directors like Pappettan [Padmarajan], Bharathan sir, I.V. Sasi sir and many others were making some of their most memorable works,” she adds.
Last year, the actor had caught the eye with Mumbai Police in which he played a senior police officer on the trail of a murderer. Rahman feels that his care in choosing films and characters have worked in his favour.
With his kind of experience has he ever thought of direction?
“It is there at the back of my mind. Maybe, if all goes well, it might happen soon,” he says.