Cinema

A ‘surprise’ winner

Anjali Aneesh Photo: Shijin P. Raj   | Photo Credit: Shijin P. Raj



Celebrations are far from over for Anjali Aneesh, winner of Kerala State Film Award 2015 for the best character actress for her role in Vipin Atlee’s Ben. She is on the way to the location of Kinderum Joyeem, directed by her husband, Aneesh Upasana, when we catch up with her. “I have got over the initial shock. But my cup of joy is running over and over. People are still calling up to congratulate me,” says Anjali.

She won the award for playing Asha, a mother whose school-going son, Ben, is weighed down by her ambitions for him. “Ben falls into depression owing to the pressure. However, her husband (played by Suraj Venjaramoodu) arrives in the knick of time to help him come out of it. It is based on a true story and in real life the boy has still not recovered from the trauma. An award was expected for Gourav who plays Ben and he won it. But I never thought I had a chance, especially with the other contenders being Lena and Anusree, among others. The award came as a surprise,” says Anjali.

The role gave enough scope to perform for Anjali, who had been limiting herself to supporting roles in Malayalam films. She started out as a model, then worked as an anchor on television and began acting in ad films. Music albums followed and the one that really got her noticed was the song ‘Ninne…’ from the album La Cochin sung by Vineeth Sreenivasan.

Soon she made her debut as an actress in Kollywood with Nellu. Two films ( Unnaiye Kadhalipen and Kotti) later she decided to tie the knot with Aneesh, whom she had met during an ad shoot. “Just before my wedding, I got my first Malayalam movie, Seniors, in which I played Kunchacko Boban’s sister. After marriage, I did Venicile Vyapari and The King and the Commissioner,” she says.

Motherhood followed and she decided to be a home-maker. “But that was when Shyju Khalid gave me the role in his film, Sethulakshmi, in the portmanteau movie Anchu Sundarikal. I acted with my daughter, Aavni, in the movie. I am really happy that it was after I became a mother that I got more active in films,” she says.

She has done 45 films, most of her roles being that of a mother. In fact, the 27-year-old will soon be seen as Dulquer Salmaan’s mother in Rajeev Ravi’s Kammatti Paadam. “I play his mother in three different stages of his life. I asked Dulquer how he felt about it. He said that he was convinced about me playing the role and the director was also confident. So I had nothing to worry about!” she says. She will also be seen in Pulimurugan, once again playing a mother, this time that of the boy who plays Mohanlal’s childhood in the film.

Anjali seems to have no qualms about doing small roles. Rather, she is happy to have shared the screen space with established names and new faces alike. For instance, she has been paired opposite seasoned artistes such as P. Balachandran, Vijayaraghavan, Suraj Venjaramood and Sarath Kumar, while she has also been cast opposite young actors such as Shine Tom Chacko, Sreenath Bhasi and Soubin Shahir.

“People keep asking whether I will become choosy now that I have won the award. Nothing is going to change. Whatever be the role, I have a commitment to it as an artiste,” she says.

She will also be seen in Sameer Thahir’s Kali and Krish Kymal’s Olapeepi.





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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 4:27:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/chat-with-anjali-aneesh-winner-of-kerala-state-film-award-for-best-character-actress/article8334714.ece

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