Mamta Mohandas says that her character, Anuradha, in Shyamaprasad's film Arike, is someone all of us can relate to. As the movie releases on Friday, she talks about the film and her forthcoming projects

Mamta Mohandas is making headlines – for her roles, for her career moves, for her sense of fashion and for finding and marrying her Mr. Right!

Mamta has been on a high since 2009 when she was catapulted to the centre stage of Malayalam cinema with some interesting roles that gave her an image makeover and established her credentials as an actor of substance who could also sizzle on screen. An actor who could actually sashay around in slacks or saris!

2012 has also begun well for Mamta who has a bonanza by way of films. Come Friday, she will be seen in Arike, Shyamaprasad latest film based on Sunil Gangopadhyay's short story in Bengali. Mamta's jubilation at having landed the plum role of Anuradha in the film is evident as she talks on the phone from Alappuzha where she is shooting for My Boss, again with Dileep, her co-actor in Arike.

“My mom and I are great admirers of Shyam sir's work. His films are the kind you would want to buy and collect. Deeply sensitive and strongly rooted in reality, his films have situations and characters you can easily relate to. I had always wanted to work in Shyam sir's films and so when he gave me this role, I accepted it immediately, although it was just days before my marriage,” says Mamta in her faintly accented English and Malayalam, which has subtle cadences of her Malabar roots and her Bahrain upbringing.

All the planning for the marriage, she says, was on the sets of Arike while she frantically tried to cram in space for herself amidst the tight shooting schedules. So while Anuradha came alive on screen, Mamta was getting set for a new beginning in her life. “Anuradha is a character with so much of depth. She has a shadowy past that has a pervasive influence on her present. One bitter incident in the past has her fleeing from love. She is forever agonising over each decision of hers and is wary of most people,” explains Mamta.

“It is a movie that searches for that thin line that divides friendship and love… how, sometimes, one fails to recognise what is love and friendship, how one fails to understand that relationship that is right there….until, sometimes, it is too late,” she adds. Dileep enacts the role of Shantanu while Samvrutha Sunil plays Kalpana.

Mamta is also elated about her soulful number Iravil Viriyum… in the film, which has been composed by Ousephachan. “Great mood listenin 2 favorit tracks frm my upcomin movies. ‘Iravil viriyum'& ‘Veyil pole' frm ARIKE n ‘Kelamalae' frm THADAYARATHAAKKA,” tweeted the actor recently. Thadaiyara Thaakka is the Tamil film she has starred in.

In the meantime, the songs in Arike are garnering likes on Youtube and Facebook. Says Mamta: “Ousephachan is a master who surprises you with his music and his compositions,” she says. Humming the lines of Veyil Pole, sung by Karthik for the film, she says that is another favourite number of hers in the film.

Her not-so-great first innings in the Malayalam film industry seems to be a thing of the past. “Nothing seemed to be working for me after a dream launch by none other than veteran Hariharan. Movies I had banked on did not work out the way I had expected it to and my career seemed to have come to a standstill even before it had taken off,” recalls Mamta.

However, fortuitously, Tamil and Telugu cinema knocked at her door and she became a singing and acting sensation. As her Daddy Mummy rocked Kerala, the actor quietly made her way back to Mollywood in Passenger.

Her bout with the Big C was also something she took in her stride and Mamta made no effort to keep her illness or the treatment under wraps. The actor has moved on and it is clear that she is on a roll.

“As of now, I have committed myself to two films only. One is My Boss and the other is Jawan of Vellimala opposite Mammootty. It is being produced by him as well,” she says.

TV host

Her television debut as the hostess of Kayyil Oru Kodi on Surya TV has won her rave reviews, as much for her work as for her impeccable sense of fashion and colours.

“Ah well, wardrobe issues always become a talking point when I do something. I prefer to go with the flow and try something different each time to sticking to a style,” says Mamta.

She adds that since she has already finished her shooting assignment till June for Kayyil Oru Kodi, she is looking forward to a break to spend time with her husband, Prajith.

“I have been working constantly for some time now and I deserve a break. He has been very supportive and thanks to him, I have been able to do a sort of balancing act between work and home without too many hassles,” says the actor.