Parvathy plays Panimalar opposite Dhanush’s Maryan in Bharat Bala’s upcoming film
There are two kinds of heroines in today’s cinema — one a glam doll who is just a wall flower and the other an intelligent actor who portrays strong characters. Thanks to a largely hero-centric system, we get to see more of the former.
Bharat Bala’s Maryan will change that perception. And, his leading lady Parvathy is hopeful that her character of Panimalar in the film will bring to life the essence of the story which is based on Bharat’s interpretation of human survival. “Portraying Panimalar and working under Bharat have given me tremendous opportunities as an actor. He doesn’t put a leash on you. He will explain the emotions of a scene and let you enact it till you get it right. And, for a man of his experience, he is open to ideas and suggestions; he makes you feel like an equal,” says Parvathy.
“I remembered the character of Mari I played in director Sasi’s Poo (2008) with Srikanth as my co-star. Both Mari and Panimalar are deglam roles, but as different as chalk is to cheese. I love to do research for my characters and for this I lived with the fisherfolk in a village near Nagercoil to understand their psyche. As for Bharat, his commitment and enthusiasm are infectious and made me push the boundaries.”
Inspired by life
A couple of years ago, Bharat had read about an incident where three migrant workers from India were kidnapped in Sudan and how they managed to escape from being held hostage. Maryan is partly inspired by this real-life crisis and Bharat has centred the story around the fishing community in South India whose members face similar situations in their quest to work abroad.
Panimalar’s character presents a conservative image of womanhood. She lives her life for one love — Maryan “It is a kind of love you don’t see in today’s cinema, or for that matter, in most societies. In Maryan, I think I have managed to portray true love through the bonding between Panimalar and Maryan,” says Bharat. “In Parvathy I found an intensity that was so required for the role of Panimalar and to match the talent of Dhanush. Her performance was a challenge to him in every scene. And, this has translated into some exceptionally emotional scenes in Maryan.”
Parvathy was still in her twelfth standard when she was offered a part-time job as a VJ for a television music channel in Thiruvananthapuram. That, probably, set the ball rolling for her journey into the glamorous world of films. “I was always interested in dramatics, loved to talk a lot and was never shy in front of an audience. My inspiration always used to be Sushmita Sen; her strong personality is what drives me even today, to achieve something big. My mother wanted me to be a dancer; I learnt Bharatanatyam, but never wanted to make a career out of it. Then, Out Of Syllabus, my first Malayalam movie, happened and I have never looked back since,” explains Parvathy. Five Malayalam films, four in Kannada and two in Tamil have led Parvathy to Bharat’s Maryan.
Acting with Dhanush
Acting alongside Dhanush was a totally different experience for Parvathy. “This is the first time I have come across someone who is so private, but I learnt a lot from just watching him. He is completely focussed and absolutely aware of his strengths and weaknesses. While he would offer the director his strengths, he would work on his weaknesses, challenging himself all the time. Dhanush lives and breathes cinema; his home theatre travels with him and he is always watching movies after pack-up or during long breaks. If he has something to say about a scene that involves another actor, he conveys it only to the director. He firmly believes that as an actor, his responsibility is only towards his director. When Dhanush enacts a scene, he really doesn’t anticipate how I will do my part. So, it brings out the best in both of us.”
What the future holds
Parvathy is not one to run after every other film that comes her way. “This year I have done three films; my Kannada film Andar Bahar has just released. I need to recharge myself and plan to take a long break before I sign on any new film. I also hope to launch my own production company where I will be actively involved in making meaningful films as a creative producer. I am not satisfied with just being an actor. In Malayalam films, there are very few women writers and directors. I am sure they are out there and all I have to do is give them that opportunity to come out of their shell. Well, this is all at the back of my head right now and when the time is right, it will come to fruition. Meanwhile, let’s see what the industry has to offer me after Maryan.”