Entertainment

Bilas Chandrahasan’s cop act in ‘Menaka’

Bilas Chandrahasan in ‘Menaka’

Bilas Chandrahasan in ‘Menaka’   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The actor talks about his role in the new Malayalam web series

“I scared off a group of men who were taking a puff. They thought that I was a real cop because I was in police uniform,” says Bilas Chandrahasan with a guffaw, recalling an incident during the shoot of Menaka, a Malayalam web series in which he plays a police officer, Akbar Ali.

Last seen in Jayaraj’s Veeram and Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s S. Durga, Bilas says that although he is not the protagonist in Menaka, he “thoroughly enjoyed” the project.

Akbar is part of a four-member team headed by DySP Jacob Anookkaran (Ashwin Kumar, who acted in Jacobinte Swargarajyam and Ranam), investigating a unique case. The story revolves around Ajayan, an unsuccessful writer, who announces on a live television chat show that he would murder seven people in seven days and that their names would be revealed an hour before they are killed. And then he kills himself on the show. The police is left high and dry as they fail to identity the victim and the “deceased Ajayan” goes on a killing spree.

“It is a well-fleshed out character. Because of his experience and no-nonsense attitude, even his team leader, a young officer, looks up to him for suggestions,” says Bilas, a veteran theatre actor. He says the digital platform is new for him. Other than theatre and cinema, he has done one show on television and dropped out of a daily soap when he realised he was not cut out for the same.

Natural acting

However, when Menaka was offered to him, he didn’t have to think twice. “I’ve always rooted for natural acting and I think a web series gives that space. I cringe when I watch my performances in some of my short films. But now I know that I should be in control and relaxed in front of the camera. In my acting classes, I tell students how not to act. I am a huge fan of Netflix shows such as Narcos, Delhi Crime and Sacred Games and have been inspired by the realistic performance of the actors,” he says. Menaka also has some fellow artistes of Abhinaya, the theatre group that nurtured him as an actor. Praveen K, director and one of the scenarists of Menaka, was with Abhinaya before he moved to Chennai to work with Gautham Menon. VK Sreenivasan, who plays Ajayan, is another Abhinaya veteran, so too Maala Parvathi.

Bilas, a voiceover artiste as well, believes that the web series is the future of entertainment. “While a serial might exhaust a viewer and a movie condenses everything in two or three hours, a web series packs suspense and excitement in the right amount. Also, there is no limit to how much you can experiment with themes and treatment. And, of course, you can watch it any here, any time,” Bilas signs off.

Menaka, which has nine episodes, is streamed on Manorama Max.

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Printable version | Mar 23, 2020 2:20:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/bilas-chandrahasan-on-his-cop-act-in-the-web-series-menaka/article29399780.ece

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