Ranjith Sankar’s Molly Aunty Rocks, with Revathy in the lead, is the tale of a strong-willed woman who sticks to her principles.
Molly Aunty is one cool woman; one who knows exactly what she wants from life. It’s an interesting period in the life of this middle-aged dynamo that writer-director Ranjith Sankar narrates in Molly Aunty Rocks, which releases today. Veteran actor Revathy plays the title role of the confident Molly ‘Aunty’.
The character, says Ranjith, was inspired by a real story. “A friend once told me about her aunt, a bank clerk who had returned home to India after living abroad for many years. I decided to model some of the basic traits of my character on that aunt of hers. Thus Molly took the shape of a 50-year-old woman, who lives alone in a remote village called Nemmara in Palakkad and works in a bank there,” explains Ranjith, director of Passenger and Arjunan Sakshi.
And Revathy, he says, signed up for the role as soon as she heard the narration. “I had actually met her to narrate another script, but she said she wasn’t interested in playing what she termed as run-of-the-mill characters. Agneepath But when I told her about Molly, she was totally impressed,” says the director.
Agrees Revathy, who, from all the promos, seems tailor-made for the role: “It was for the first time in the last 10 years or so that I heard a script that totally focusses on a middle-aged woman; one that was not about her husband or her children but, instead, one that was about her and her career. I was impressed by Ranjith’s previous works and when he narrated this story, I just knew that I had to do it. Molly has an iron will and stands by her principles.”
The story begins when Molly returns to India after living in the United States (U.S.) for 20 years. Before her marriage to Benny (Lalu Alex), who hails from a wealthy family, she worked in a scheduled bank as a clerk. She takes leave from her job when they decide to move to the U.S. Now, Molly, who is living a happy life with her husband and two daughters, has come back to India temporarily, to work for a few months to fulfil stipulations for voluntary retirement. During her stay in Nemmara she has a showdown with an egoistic revenue official named Pranav Roy (Prithviraj) and the film sketches this rather tumultuous period in her life.
Is Molly Aunty Rocks a female-oriented film, then? “Not in the conventional sense, where a victimised woman takes revenge against atrocities meted out to her or fights against some social injustice. This is a tale of how a normal person would react to certain issues. It is a simple, feel-good story,” says Ranjith.
He also doesn’t seem comfortable about branding films as ‘new generation’ based on the existing parameters. “I believe that there are only good films and bad films. In my opinion, a film doesn’t become ‘bold’ simply because it narrates urban themes or is peppered with expletives or because it showcases extra marital relationships. A film should be labelled as bold only when a filmmaker experiments with a new genre or takes a different stance,” says Ranjith, who’s banner Dreams N’ Beyond is producing the film.
So is the director/first-time producer nervous about the reception of the film, especially considering that his last venture Arjunan Sakshi didn’t do all that well at the box office? “I used to believe that I could handle success and failure quite calmly. But that all changed with the disappointing show of Arjunan Sakshi. I actually went into depression and it took me a while to come out of it! With Molly Aunty Rocks, though, I feel that there are several elements in it that could appeal to viewers,” says Ranjith with a smile.
Prithviraj’s August Cinema, meanwhile, is releasing the film. Says the actor: “Molly Aunty Rocks is all about the battle of wills between a young man who really enjoys flexing the power and the authority that comes with his job and a tough woman who instinctively questions it. It is not a love story, but is a light-hearted tale of the clash between two unrelenting egos. A relatively small industry like Mollywood needs to make films of this kind more often. Not only are such films cost-effective and viable but refreshing too.”
Mamukkoya, KPAC Lalitha, Sivaji Guruvayur, Sunil Sukhada, Sharath, Krishnakumar and Lakshmipriya are also part of the cast. Cinematography is by Sujith Vasudev and music director is Anand Madhusoodanan.