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Act of expression

NITA SATHYENDRAN
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Chat Young actor Muktha George, a.k.a Bhanu to Tamil audiences, talks about her tryst with filmdom

Charm unlimited Muktha George
Charm unlimited Muktha George

These days, it's hard to find young actors, male and female alike, who're not caught up in the glitz and glamour of tinsel town. Amid these divas and teen idols it comes as a refreshing surprise to find an actor as grounded as young Muktha George. The bubbly actor with the expressive eyes and svelte frame, who is sometimes likened to Nayanthara for her looks, has been consistently making waves on the silver screen in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu, since she debuted as the female lead in director Lal Jose's heart-wrenching Achanurangatha Veedu (2005).

Starry role

Kochi-based Muktha is now busy shooting for arguably her biggest film to date – director Vasanth's (of Keladi Kanmani , Aasai , and Rhythm fame) Moondru Per Moondru Kadhal , a Tamil film in which she is paired opposite veteran actor/director Cheran. In the film, which also stars Arjun in the lead, Muktha plays the role of a “feisty young woman” called Mallika who belongs to the fishermen community. “It's quite an interesting character, something different from what I've attempted before. Mallika has the weight of an entire community on her shoulders. She is the first in her family to go off to college; she is the first woman in the community to learn driving – she rides a rickety TVS Scooty. She's very straightforward and always obeys all traffic rules even when she is on a deserted road. I can't reveal too much about the film, but Mallika has a certain positive impact on the character played by Cheran sir,” says Muktha, who got noticed in Tamil for her role in Thaamirabharani (2006) , opposite Vishal. It was a role which earned her the moniker Bhanu , by which she is still known among audiences in Tamil Nadu.

To Malayali audiences, though, she is still Lisamma, the fresh-faced, 14-year-old of Achanurangatha Veedu , who along with her father and sisters, gets caught up in a maelstrom of injustice. It's perhaps one of the most enduring female roles in modern Malayalam cinema. “Honestly, I was as surprised as anyone else when Lal sir chose me for the role. I was in class eight at the time and I didn't know anything about cinema or the seriousness of the role in question. On that note, I didn't know anything about reel acting per se,” says the actor.

Before Muktha caught the hearts of film buffs across Kerala as Lisamma, she acted in a few serials such as ‘Swaram' (on Amrita TV). “I've been facing the camera since the time I was in class six (at St. Augustine's Girls Higher Secondary School, Kothamangalam) and I didn't feel nervous at all when we started filming Achanurangatha Veedu . However, my acting skills were, lets just say, woefully inadequate for the silver screen,” recalls the actor, with a laugh. “I am a trained classical dancer and I used to take part in youth festivals for classical dance, folk dance, and mono act, and so on, and unfortunately my abhinaya skills reflected all of that. When Lal sir would tell me that I needed to cry for a scene, I would melodramatically burst out into tears; when I had to emote a dialogue I'd say it at lightning speed; when he'd asked me to walk gracefully, I'd prance about like a dancer! It took a lot of effort and grooming on his part to tone me as an actor. However, I am a quick learner,” explains the 19-year-old.

Since her sterling entry into filmdom, Muktha has gradually shed her baby fat, and has gone on to star in significant roles in films such as Nasrani , Avan , and Kanchepurathe Kalyanam in Malayalam, Azhagar Malai and Sattapadi Kootram in Tamil, and Photo in Telugu.However, none of which has had an impact at the box office.Muktha, though, is ever hopeful. Up next for Muktha is Ee Thirakkinidayil , directed by B. Kannan, with Vinu Mohan in the lead.

NITA SATHYENDRAN

When Lal sir would tell me that I needed to cry for a scene, I would melodramatically burst out into tears

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