Ajmal Ameer is juggling roles in three languages. He says Bangles, his Malayalam film releasing today, is a horror flick with a difference

Doctor-turned-actor Ajmal Ameer has always followed his roles ever since his debut in the Malayalam film Pranayakalam in 2007. Busy in Tamil and Telugu, the actor was last seen in Mollywood in Shyamaprasad’s Arike, in which he played a cameo role. His willingness to experiment and go beyond the image of the virtuous hero have garnered him a rich spectrum of characters from Tamil and Telugu. But he returns to Malayalam cinema as Vivek, a cameraman in Bangles, his fourth film in Malayalam, releasing today.

He says what made him return to Mollywood was the desire to act in a new genre of film that he has never done before – a horror thriller.

“However it is not your usual blood and gore horror film. This is more sophisticated and subtle. It is chilling and each frame keeps the viewer guessing,” says Ajmal, speaking from Hyderabad, the location of his new Telugu film Prabhajanam.

“Not every actor gets the opportunity to play the lead in three languages. Even without godfathers of any kind, I have been lucky in getting plum roles in three languages – Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu,” he adds.

In Bangles, Ajmal’s character trails a serial killer. After every murder, he leaves some bangles on the scene of the murder. Poonam Kaur and Archana Kavi are the two heroines in the film.

“Both the heroines have strong characters and contribute substantially to the movie. They are not arm candy to add some glamour to the frames,” says Ajmal.

The story and music is by Suvid David, the director of the film, while it has been scripted by Shyam Menon. For Ajmal, it has always been his character that has wooed the actor in him.

His strong negative roles in Anjathey and Ko (both Tamil) and Ranja (Telugu) won him some interesting films in both the languages and a clutch of awards too. Like many actors from Mollywood, Ajmal insists on his characters speaking in his own voice. He writes down the dialogues and seeks the help of experts to get his diction right. Not an easy task but something he says is essential if he wants to go places in filmdom.

In his opinion, each film is a learning experience and each director has helped hone the actor in him. Every film talks about a certain issue and during its making the cast and crew also learn about the theme, the characters, places and so on, points out the actor. “You know something,” says Ajmal, “I play the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in Prabhajanam too. I had played the CM of Tamil Nadu in Ko.

In Telugu, in addition to Prabhajanam, Ajmal has two movies in the pipeline – Tanu Monne Vellipoyindi and Chaitanyam. In Tamil, there is Vetriselvam and Ula.

Ajmal feels that it is important to do a wide range of roles to prevent being typecast and his oeuvre has certainly yielded him that space. However the actor from Aluva does not have many roles in his kitty in Malayalam on account of his packed schedule in Tamil and Telugu. “But it feels good to do movies in Malayalam because it is nice to be recognised for your work in your own language. Moreover, my friends and relatives keep telling me to do more films in Malayalam,” he says.

The fact that Madambi remains his only hit in Malayalam does not dampen his enthusiasm. He says he gives each film his best no matter how big or small his role is.

Madambi remains special. I know that the kind of hits I have got in Tamil and Telugu have not been repeated in Kerala. But with Malayalam cinema going thorough a rejuvenation in terms of themes and characters, I am sure Bangles will do the trick,” he hopes.

Mazhaneerthullikkal is another Malayalam film that Ajmal plays the lead in. Then there is a big-budget, untitled one that he is hoping will be announced in December.

Till then Ajmal will continue speaking different languages that spell success.

Style mantra

My latest wheels is a black Jaguar XJ that I bought recently.

My favourite brands are Zara and Diesel.

Fitness is important for me. I have a personal trainer who travels with me. No matter where I am, I do some cardio and stretching exercises every day.