Samvrutha is making a comeback to Malayalam cinema after acting in 'Ayalum Njanum Thammil' seven years ago.

Nervous about whether audiences will accept me Samvrutha on her comeback filmSamvrutha Sunil / Photo: Ben Joseph
Flix Mollywood Saturday, July 06, 2019 - 12:43
Written by  Cris

Going by the tone of her voice, Samvrutha Sunil has not changed much in the last seven years. It’s been that long since Ayalum Njanum Thammil, a movie in which she acted opposite Prithviraj, and left the sets on that final day of shooting, happily, contently, badly wanting a break from acting. And then, on a call from Kerala to the United States, Samvrutha listened to the story of a new film, and said yes, she would do it. She would be the village woman, the lower middle-class wife and mother, playing a really down-to-earth character called Geetha, for Sathyam Paranja Viswasikkuvo.

“When I heard about Geetha, I felt she represents a lot of homemakers in Kerala. I was very happy to choose such a character for my comeback. The second reason to choose it was to work with this team. It is written by Sajeev Prazhoor, the writer of Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum. When I watched Thondimuthalum, I had wondered what it’d be like to act in a film by such a writer. And the director is Prajith ettan, who made Oru Vadakkan Selfie. I was excited to work with such a team,” says Samvrutha, who is currently in the US. She’s gone back after 20 days of shooting, but keeps in touch with the team to know any updates, anxious about the release and how her comeback will be accepted.

“I'm more nervous than excited, even more than when my first movie Rasikan got released (in 2004),” she admits. “After a long time, people will see me on screen. When I came to the shooting location, everyone treated me as a senior artiste, who’d worked in so many films. Will the people watching my film also see me like that, expect a lot from me? I really hope I have done justice to Geetha.”

Samvrutha in Sathyam Paranja Viswasikkuvo

She's Biju Menon’s wife in the film and he plays a mason. Samvrutha has acted with Biju Menon before, but not as his partner. She is also playing the mother of a girl and this, she doesn’t mind at all.

“Even at the peak of my career, I have done characters much older than my age. When I did Swapna Sanchari, I was in my early 20s and I played mother to a girl who grows up to be a doctor, played by Bhama. I played mother to an actor my age. It’s never bothered me, what kind of role I get. Then or now. So in my comeback, I don’t at all mind playing a mother. I'm in real life too, the mother of a four-year-old boy,” she says.

Female actors leaving cinema after marriage rarely come back, and even when they do, they mostly get mother roles. That is true, Samvrutha agrees, but in her case, there is a difference for she had not just left the industry, but also the country, and is settled abroad. “There are the practical difficulties of coming to Kerala for work when you are running a home, a family in another country. It is just my husband, my son and me there. If it was Kerala, there’d be our families and friends to support us. But now, if I stay away for a month, there would be no other help. My son got leave from his school and he came along for the shooting. My husband and other family members looked after him and made sure he was ok, so that I could focus and enjoy the work I was doing.”

She wouldn’t have thought of making this difficult journey to act again if it hadn’t been for a television show she did recently. “I thought I hadn’t missed acting; that I was done with it, and was truly content and happy with my life. But then I did a show called Nayika Nayakan for Mazhavil Manorama and when I sat in front of the camera again, when I went through that whole experience, it struck me that I had missed it. I felt I’d be complete only with this and decided I should do it again. Even this film, I so enjoyed doing it,” Samvrutha says.

She did watch all the movies she heard were good in the years that have passed, learnt of the new crop of directors and of the changes in Malayalam cinema that she calls ‘positive’. “I happily watched the changes and thought how it’d be to work with such filmmakers, what would be their working style. I’d heard about the classes and the preparations actors are given before the shooting. I did not have such experiences when I acted. Even in Sathyam Paranja Viswasikkuvo, I could see this change. The makers had a clear idea about even the way Geetha should look. Sajeev ettan asked me not to thread my eyebrows because my character wouldn’t do that. I found it interesting that such attention was given to the details for a commercial film. I could see the change in the approach towards cinema.”

She's also impressed by the real, down-to-earth characters that Sajeev has created. Samvrutha had always done her part from the first film she acted – insisting that she dub for her character. “I have always been very particular about it. I don’t feel it is complete if you just act in a film – you also need to give voice to your character. Acting makes only 50 percent of it, the rest is in the voice. There is so much emotion in voice. I should thank all the directors who had the confidence in me to let me dub for myself. Only in one film, I had not dubbed because the director didn’t want it so.”

Sticking to reality also means being limited to playing characters around her age. She can no longer act as a college girl, now that she is in her 30s, Samvrutha says. “You change physically. But I have felt that in male actors, this physical change is not so visible, at least till they reach their 40s. In women, who get married and become a mother of one or two kids, there’d be a lot more change between their 20s and 40s. I'm not worried about playing mother roles in my comeback. My only concern is, would the audience feel ‘why’d she come back’ or would they feel ‘it is good she came back’. I really hope it is the latter.”

Also read: My next film has no similarities to 'Thondimuthalum': Writer Sajeev Pazhoor intv