The debut of Mammootty’s son Dulquer Salmaan and the return of Madhubala are the highlights of Balaji Mohan’s Vaayai Moodi Pesavum
Balaji Mohan’s second film Vaayai Moodi Pesavum is in the news mainly for two reasons — Dulquer Salmaan, son of Malayalam superstar Mammootty, is making his Tamil debut, and actor Madhubala, famous for her roles in Roja and Gentleman, will make her comeback in Tamil cinema.
“I didn’t realise how big a deal launching Dulquer in Tamil is until I went to Kochi and witnessed his popularity. The same is true of having Madhubala play a role in the film. She wasn’t very keen on acting and we had to convince her,” says Balaji Mohan.
Madhubala, he says, plays a career woman trying to balance her ambitions with her familial responsibilities. “Women have come a long way but they are still expected to take care of the family. Madhubala plays a writer.”
The film derives its name from its plot. “The film deals with the collective nightmare of people from a village about losing their voice, following a flu,” says Balaji Mohan.
Having grown up in Chennai, Dulquer Salmaan’s Tamil is accent-neutral. “I am a Chennai boy,” he says. Having featured in critically acclaimed movies such as Ustad Hotel and 5 Sundarikal, he is already a popular name in Malayalam cinema. Comparing Tamil and Malayalam film industries, Dulquer says that Tamil cinema offers much more space for experimentation. “It is a bigger industry and movies made here are of a bigger scale.”
Will we see him along with his father soon? “He has to decide that. I don’t feel I have accomplished much to share screen space with him.”
On the advice received from his father, the young actor says, “He doesn’t interfere with my decisions; I take my own decisions.” This is his third film with Nazriya Nazim, the young actor from Kerala. When asked if he would remake his successful Malayalam films in Tamil, he says, “I don’t believe in remakes.”
Madhubala, making a comeback after a little more than a decade, says she is open to working again in Tamil. “I wasn’t really interested in doing films but Balaji Mohan and Sashikanth (producer) didn’t give up.”
On the kind of movies that she wants to do, the actor says, “I don’t want to define my roles. I want directors to decide what roles they want to cast me in. As long as I am offered a place I deserve as an actor, I will do the film. Tamil industry has always had extremely creative people. I have found better roles in Tamil than in Hindi.”