Nadhiya speaks about her upcoming film 'Neerali', in which she acts with Mohanlal, her co-star from the classic 'Nokkatha Doorathe Kannum Nattu'.

People still remember the sunglass scene with Mohanlal Nadhiya Moidu on Neerali
Flix Mollywood Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - 15:23

Nadhiya Moidu has just reached her Mumbai home. Relaxed, after a lot of travelling back in Kerala where her parents come from - mom from Thiruvalla and dad from Thalassery. She’s happy to visit Kerala and her relatives whenever she’s in town. With her new film Neerali coming, Nadhiya has been in Kerala quite a bit. 

Neerali’s teaser had come out a few weeks ago. Audiences who loved Nadhiya in her very first film Nokkatha Doorathe Kannum Nattu, watched an old favourite scene re-enacted. It’s the same pair from that first movie directed by Fazil which came out 34 years ago. Nadhiya and Mohanlal. There is a pair of sunglasses between them. The old scene is a classic, the one in which she claims she could see people naked if she wore the glasses and Mohanlal tries to hide behind a chair. 

The new one is, is in one word, different. “We just wanted it to be a bit for the teaser. We were not sure if everyone would get it, especially the younger generation. But everyone, including the teenagers, seems to have watched the film. It’d strike a chord,” Nadhiya says in a phone interview.

She is pleased that she is reuniting with Mohanlal after so many years. And also aware of how this is not common, a male lead acting opposite a woman of her age. “Male leads are generally paired with younger persons. So I was quite delighted they decided to cast me. It sent a very positive message to women and actors of my generation,” she says.

The idea came from Mohanlal, she says. He suggested her name, to play his wife in the film. They meet off and on for social gatherings or events, and he must have thought she would fit the character, Nadhiya says. “When you see the movie you will understand why they have cast someone like me. It is very subtly put in the film. Also, we look good together on the screen, two mature individuals.”

She plays the overtly loving wife, the possessive kind. And from the teaser, also a very bad singer. “I was asked to sing as off tune as possible.” She sings the Jerry Amaldev classic ‘Aayiram Kannumai’ from Nokketha Doorathu to Mohanlal on the phone. She’s dubbing for herself too. In Nokketha... it was Bhagyalakshmy we heard. 

“I have been doing that in a few movies now, including the Shyama Prasad one, English,” she says.

But Neerali is an out and out Mohanlal film, Nadhiya adds. She doesn't want the audience to be misled. "Me, Parvathy, Suraj Venjarammoodu, Dileesh Pothen are all there to put the story together. End of the day it is a Mohanlal movie.” Nokkatha... on the other hand was a Nadhiya film, of the girl who came home to her grandmother after 17 years.

For a heroine who was immensely popular in her prime, she sounds very accepting of the fact that she has limited choice these days. Ironically, this is the woman who had played the lead in a movie titled Vannu Kandu Keezhadakki (Came Saw Conquered).

“For a middle aged woman like me, it is nice to be working again. There is the job satisfaction. And most of my responsibilities, as a mother, are done. So there’s time for yourself. The only downside of being the age that I am is that there are not many films that come your way. That is tricky. In the limited space that I get, I pick whatever I can do.”

Nadhiya had acted in a bunch of movies in the '80s, soon after her really smart role as Girlie in her first film. Nadhiya disappeared after she got married, but only after doing one more Malayalam film - Vadu Doctoranu. She went out of the country and thought this would be it for her - family life and her own stuff to do. But then she was called back for the Tamil film M Kumaran S/O Mahalakshmi, and since then, there’s been a movie or two every year. 

Also read: Breaking up with the Malayalam film industry: When the stars you love turn to dust

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