From Simran to Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, southern actresses have no qualms exploring the dark side on screen

Haricharan Pudipeddi

Feb,01 2018 10:49:14 IST

It has been nearly two decades since Ramya Krishnan played Neelambari, a character filled with unabashed lust and rage, in superstar Rajinikanth’s Padayappa but there have been not many noteworthy female characters in all these years that have made us quiver in our seats.

Varalaxmi Sarathkumar. Facebook

Varalaxmi Sarathkumar. Facebook

Maybe all that’s going to change this year as leading southern actresses such as Simran, Jyothika and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar are willing to go against the grain to explore the dark side, even if it means playing a full length negative character. If you thought a heroine’s job is just to look pretty on screen, you might want to reconsider your stance now.

After playing a grey-shaded cop in last year’s Tamil thriller Sathya, Varalaxmi will be seen in a full length negative role in Vishal’s Sandakozhi 2, which will release later this year. According to director Linguswamy, her character will stun audiences. “I can’t talk much about the character now as I feel it’ll kill the suspense. But I can assure you that audiences will be shaken by her performance. Let the audience be the judge of her character,” Linguswamy said.

As the gun-toting Assistant Commissioner of Police in Sathya, a remake of Telugu thriller Kshanam, Varalaxmi’s performance was appreciated by critics and audiences alike. At the success meet of Sathya, she said, “I never expected this kind of response for my character. I was not quite sure if I had to take up a slightly negative character, but a part of me wanted to do it because such roles don’t come often.”

In Kshanam, Anasuya Bharadwaj, a television anchor turned actress, played Varalaxmi’s role. In a chat with this writer soon after the release of the film, she said, “I wanted to play something that was very different from my television avatar. This role was not plain negative but there was a very strong reason behind my character’s actions.”

Jyothika, after making a smashing comeback in 36 Vayadhinile and playing a documentary filmmaker in the heartwarming Magalir Mattum, will be seen as a foul-mouthed and violent cop in Bala’s Naachiyaar, slated to hit the screens on 16 February.

When the teaser of Naachiyar was released, her character became a topic of debate on social media. At the end of the teaser, Jyothika utters the most commonly used Tamil abusive phrase which translates to ‘son of a whore’. Amidst the debate about how a leading heroine and actor Suriya’s wife could swear on screen, the hullabaloo earned the film the attention its makers sought.

The trailer of Naachiyaar made it evident that Jyothika’s character is sure to make us cringe. She is seen torturing and kicking people in the trailer. There is even a dialogue where a senior official asks Jyothika – are you a police officer or a professional rowdy?

Even though Jyothika has played a negative character in Gautham Menon’s 2007 Tamil romantic thriller Pachaikili Muthucharam, the anticipation around Naachiyaar is unparalleled. It will be really interesting to see how audiences receive Jyothika in a character that will not be easy to like.

Simran plays a negative character in Sivakarthikeyan’s upcoming yet-untitled project with director Ponram. On signing the role, she said, “It’s a very unique role, unlike anything I have done in my career so far. I consider it a feather in my cap. I accepted the offer because it gave me an opportunity to explore a new side of me.” 

Updated Date: Feb 01, 2018 10:49 AM