Friday Review

Back in the buzz

Unni MukundanPhoto: K.K. Mustafah   | Photo Credit: K_K_Mustafah

There’s more to Unni Mukundan than chiselled muscles and heavy-duty action on screen. The soft-spoken youngster was catapulted into the big league with Mallu Singh, perhaps even before he was ready for it. Since that initial high, though, his career has not really taken off. Unni hopes that his fortunes will change with his latest release, Vikramadithyan. Directed by Lal Jose, the film also stars Dulquer Salmaan and Namitha Pramod in the lead

Vikramadithyan is a big film for me. Hopefully, it will be a commercial hit, which is crucial for any actor,” muses Unni.

The actor says he feels really close to Vikram Shenoy, his character in the film, and draws many parallels with his real self. “Actually, Vikram is quite like me in real life. He has a sunny outlook and finds joy in the simplest of things. I’m like that too. Vikram’s ambition is to become a police officer and he has been training for the same from childhood. It is similar to my story in the sense that from a very young age, I wanted to be an actor and I have done everything in my own little way to become one. More than smiling, both of us like laughing,” says the actor.

Over the years, Unni has been anointed as an ‘action hero’ but he’s been struggling to break out for quite some time now. “I have enjoyed the action, but it is only a part of me. Nine out of 10 films offered to me are action movies. I did Orissa to break the image but that didn’t work. Lalu sir (Lal Jose) had told me at the beginning of Vikramadithyan that this character would give me a respite from the action tag. Vikram is not too aggressive and you wouldn’t see him reacting to a situation as a typical action hero would. So, I have hope,” he says, with a laugh.

Unni is effusive in his praise for his co-star, Dulquer. “We have a great equation on screen. Dulquer is perhaps the only one among my peers with whom I share aspects of my personal life as well. We come from totally different backgrounds and have different images on screen but we are both attached to our friends and families. He is a regular guy and so grounded,” says Unni.

He hopes that with Vikaramadithyan, he is able build a solid foundation for his career and make up for lost opportunities post- Mallu Singh. “After the success of Mallu Singh, audiences and industry personnel realised that I am a bankable star. But then, it all happened too fast and I didn’t do much to build my career on its success. But, I believe that I am a better person after Mallu Singh. I have become more focussed and disciplined,” he explains.

He adds that he thinks of failure as but a stepping stone to success. “I come from a non-filmi background and I believe that one has to learn from one’s mistakes in this industry. I have taken certain gutsy decisions at a young age. If I hadn’t made those decisions, be it right or wrong, I wouldn’t be here in the first place,” he says, oozing confidence.

Unni will next be seen in romantic entertainer Enthoru Bhagyam, directed by Sharath A Haridasan. But right now, he’s enjoying the buzz surrounding Vikramadithyan. “I haven’t had a film this much discussed for a long while now. So it’s quite thrilling. I am aware that the buzz is more because of Lal Jose and Dulquer. But hey, I’m in it too!”, says Unni.


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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 7:42:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/unni-mukundan-is-back-with-vikramadithyan/article6241062.ece

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