Nithya Menen talks about Kolaambi, working with Mysskin, and making a positive impact on her audiences
Nithya Menen, who was last seen in Mission Mangal, has a zen-like calmness that often shrouds the whirlpool of emotions that she has grappled with over the years. At one point of time, she was resisting the idea of acting in films since it wasn’t a choice she consciously made; however, she confesses that she made peace with it and once she understood her purpose in life, she has worked with renewed enthusiasm.
Today, there’s nothing more important to Nithya Menen than leaving the audience with a positive feeling after watching her films. “I’m consciously trying to choose films that will make people feel happy. It’s true that I’m often offered intense roles where the character goes through all sorts of terrible situations. But whenever I get a chance to do something that makes me happy, I take it up without thinking too much. There’s too much negativity in life, and if I can make people feel happy when they watch my films, I’ll know that I’m doing the right thing,” Nithya says.
To give an example of how serious she’s about making a positive impact, Nithya reveals, “I love doing stuff for children and when I got an offer to dub for Elsa in the Telugu version of Frozen 2, it was an instant yes from me.” Ask her if she was happy about how her performance in Mission Mangal was received by the audience, she says, “I am glad that I was part of a film that celebrated the contribution of women to India’s space research programme, and people remembered me and my performance long after watching the film. What more can I ask for.”
Then, there’s her next Malayalam film, Kolaambi (which translates to ‘Loudspeaker’), which will be screened soon in the Indian Panorama at the 50th International Film Festival of India, Goa. Directed by TK Rajeev Kumar, the film has Nithya Menen playing an artist who goes to Kochi Biennale for her art installation, and the story focuses on her relationship with an elderly couple whom she befriends during her stay in Kochi. The film also has some of the foremost technicians like cinematographer Ravi Varman and sound editor Resul Pookutty onboard to bring alive Rajeev Kumar’s story, and Nithya reveals that it was an ideal set-up for her to thrive.
“I have known Rajeev Kumar for a long time now and he’s very passionate about the stories he wants to tell. All of us wanted to make a good film and we didn’t compromise anywhere,” she says, adding, “I’ve often stated that making of Kolaambi was one of the best experiences I’ve had over the years. The whole film was shot in real locations and despite having limited resources, the atmosphere on the sets was so beautiful that we all gave our best. We shot a significant part of the film in an agraharam in Trivandrum, and spending time with the people there was a beautiful experience.”
Another filmmaker who has bowled her over with his craft is Mysskin, the director of Psycho, and Nithya states that he’s one of the best filmmakers that she has ever worked with. “He’s a master of his craft and his vision is so unique that I would rank him among the best international directors of our times. His films deserve to be studied in film schools,” she says, with a great deal of admiration. Ask him what makes Mysskin’s style of filmmaking so unique, Nithya avers, “I guess it’s really tough to pinpoint. He’s very clear about what he wants and even if there are any logistical issues, he’ll somehow manage to do something. Sometimes, when it comes to cinematography, there are some basic rules that everyone follows; however, on his set, he refuses to follow any conventional filmmaking style. The camera movement is quite unique and original. I can’t wait to see how the final output is going to be, and I’m sure that it’s going to be amazing.”
Last year, Nithya Menen signed The Iron Lady, a biopic of Jayalalithaa, which is going to be directed by Priyadarshini. The actress is eagerly awaiting to start filming and says that she’s quite satisfied with the vision that Priyadarshini has for the film. “She has a very different take on Jayalalithaa’s life and it’s a complicated subject. We have been discussing quite a lot about the story and screenplay, and it’s something that we want to do it the right way,” Nithya adds.
In Telugu, the actress made a cameo in NTR Kathanayakudu earlier this year, and Nithya spills the beans that she has as many as three films lined up in Telugu soon. “One of them focuses on a mother-daughter conflict, and another project is a feel good film which has a lot of food & cooking as part of the story,” Nithya signs off.
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Updated Date: Nov 23, 2019 08:55:18 IST