With Take Off, Parvathy shows why she's a force to reckon with in Indian cinema
You might not know her but she is one of the most talented Indian actresses today. The recent Malayalam film Take Off, based on a real-life ordeal, had Parvathy the lead role and proving to the audience – yet again –how she is uber-talented. Now, she is set to make her Bollywood debut with Irrfan Khan in a Tanuja Chandra film.
Parvathy snagged her debut flick in 2006 and since then nearly every film of hers has been critically and/or commercially acclaimed.
Having essayed roles in Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada, Parvathy already has 16 awards in her kitty.
Repertoire of films
So what makes Parvathy unique? Firstly, it’s her choice of films. She loves strong, character-driven roles and language is no bar for her. If in the Tamil film Poo, Parvathy played a young married village girl, in Bangalore Days, she was an RJ in a cosmopolitan city.
In the acclaimed Ennu Ninte Moideen, Parvathy was Kanchana Mala in the tragic love story. And in the survival thriller Take Off, she was Sameera who got 19 nurses safely back to India from war-torn Iraq.
Secondly, the literature grad is very clear on what roles she would be open to and which she would shun outright. The Malayalam actress said in a recent interview she would never accept movies that vulgarise gender or make fun of those who are physically/mentally challenged. In fact, she went on to add that she was ashamed of such films.
Parvathy doesn’t compromise on her values and has often turned down films to work with newcomers in smaller films because she believed in the script.
Over the years, she has worked in many new-gen Malayalam films and women directors like Vijayalakshmi Singh, Anjali Menon and Roshni Dinaker. She’s not necessarily the protagonist in her films but her role leaves a lasting impression on you.
Bold and Beautiful
This Malayalam actor is also known to be very outspoken when it comes to social issues and women’s rights.
In 2015, Parvathy rebelled against having a caste surname – Menon - tagged to her by journalists in 2008.
In a Facebook post she wrote candidly:
“I am not the religion or the caste I was born into, alone. I am also not my gender or my skin colour, alone. I believe that I am a bit of everything and so are [sic] everyone else. I also do not believe that any of these aspects are of any value in defining how well I live or how qualified I am at work.”
The actress went on to add that she wanted to wash the ‘poison off our minds as we go forward and retain what is in our culture that supports a healthy co-existence’. Parvathy was widely applauded for this stand of hers.
Child abuse and sexual assault of women is now widely spoken about with more influential women coming out and speaking against it. Recently, Parvathy revealed that she was also a victim of these.
In an interview, the Bangalore Days actress stated that she was assaulted by her co-workers in the film industry and she has also experienced child abuse and eve teasing.
She reportedly added, “I am never a victim to such a crime, I am a survivor who won over them through positive thinking. I would tell all my sisters that such crimes often happen in our society and never feel that you are the only one affected.” While her revelations have shocked some people, it has given courage to many women as well to stand up and fight.
Currently, Parvathy has two films that the audience can look forward to – My Story in Malayalam with Prithviraj and a Hindi romcom with Irrfan Khan.
Incidentally, both these films are helmed by women and it’s a given that Parvathy will be essaying stellar roles in these films.
All set to make her Hindi film debut, there's no doubt that young Parvathy from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, has firmly cemented her place in Indian cinema today.