Movies

Surabhi Lakshmi's 'Kaumaaram' gains acclaim

The National Award-winning actor from Kozhikode released her debut directorial venture, a music video, recently

Surabhi Lakshmi has taken baby steps in direction. The National Award winning actor from Kozhikode has directed a music video, the second in a series on womanhood called Pennal. Titled Kaumaaram, it was released on YouTube a few days ago.

She is happy with the response, especially from those in the film circles. “I am in no hurry to direct a short or feature film, but I want to do it at some point of time in my life,” says Surabhi, who is still recognised more for her brilliant portrayal of Pathu in the popular television serial M80 Moosa. “For the time being I am happy being an actor; there are many more characters I want to explore.”

Surabhi says it was her friends and collaborators who suggested she direct the video. “Though I was part of the Pennal project, which traces a woman’s life in different stages, I wasn’t involved creatively much initially,” she says. “My role was more of that of a coordinator or facilitator.”

Shyla Thomas and Shani Hafees conceived the idea of creating five songs for a woman’s childhood. “Shyla is a singer and Shani is a singer and they are good friends; and I loved the concept,” says Surabhi. “They had made the first song, about childhood, on a low key. But, I thought the song on adolescence could be shot on a more ambitious scale.”

When Shyla and Shani said Surabhi could direct it, she decided to give it a try. “Though I didn’t have any experience behind the camera, I have learnt academically the direction on stage, while I was a student at Sree Sankaracharya University, Kalady,” she had. “I had directed plays there.”

She has shot Kaumaaram in the background of Nangiarkoothu. “I chose Nangiarkoothu not just because of the scope it offered for different, pleasing visuals, also because it is an art form practised exclusively by women,” she elaborates. “I decided to shoot the film against the background of a forest.”

Surabhi, who had won the National Award for the best actress forMinnaminungu in 2017, says it was a challenge directing the film as a fresher. “But I received tremendous support from crew, especially the cameraman Pappinu,” she says. “I chose Meenakshi Binesh for the main character; I had met her during an ad shoot. I could also rope in Nangiarkoothu artist G Indu.”

Surabhi says she is encouraged by the response from those who have seen it. “Directors Ranjith, Jayaraj and Dileesh Pothan have all told me they they liked it,” she says.

She is, of course, focussed more on her career as an actress. “I am hopeful about my role in Vikruthi, directed by debutant M.C. Joseph,” she says. “I team up with Suraj Venjaramoodu and Soubin Shahir.”

She is also excited about Arakkallan Mukkalkallan, which is also directed by newcomer, Jithu K. Jayan. “Soubin and Dileesh play the lead characters in the film” she says. “I too have got an interesting role in it.”

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 7:25:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/surabhi-lakshmi-on-her-debut-direction/article28853621.ece

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