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The awakening of Kamalini in Kutti Srank

Last updated on: July 27, 2010 16:46 IST

The awakening of Kamalini in Kutti Srank

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Meghna George in Kochi

Kamalini Mukherjee is on cloud nine.

And why not? After all her acting debut in Malayalam is none other than director Shaji N Karun's Kutty Sranku starring Mammootty. She plays one of the three women who come into the life of Kutty Sranku in the story.

She is currently busy with her projects in Telugu, Tamil and a Bengali film. After Kutty Sranku, she hopes to do more films in Malayalam as well. 

In this exclusive interview, Kamalini tells Meghna George about Kutty Sranku and more. Excerpts:

How excited are you about Kutty Sranku?

[Smiles] I am super excited that I got to work with such a stellar cast and Shaji sir (Shaji N Karun) at the helm.


Image: A scene from Kutti Srank

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'I had to go back a few years and become 19 again'

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Was it tough playing this character in a period film?

It was not that tough as the director really guided me. It came naturally to me and I immersed myself into the character. It worked out very well. The only difference was that my character here has a very strong sexuality. This was new to me.

How did you manage to understand the psyche of this peculiar Malayali character who lived several decades ago?

I think any girl who is 19, whether in the 1950s or present, more or less has the same mental makeup. They are all coming of age, they are coming into themselves. Sometimes they are in the flush of love and in her case, her background played a part of who she was, the family that she came from. But then Shaji sir guided me through the whole thing. It didn't seem like an effort at all. I just had to go back a few years and become 19 again.

Also, my character being a Christian girl is an important aspect. A lot of her values, her upbringing and the way she lived her life had to do with her religion.

My look in the film too was very authentic, well thought out and put together.


Image: A scene from Kutti Srank

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'Shaji sir is the reason the why I did the film'

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What was the experience of performing Chavittu Natakam?

[Chavittu Natakam is a popular art form of central Kerala, where actors perform with highly colourful costumes. The name signifies the way they use their steps. It's a colourful version of drama, and mostly based on biblical stories.]

Usually in Chavittu Natakam, the part done by the women is also being done by men. Here, she is allowed a role in the play because her brother is the leader of the troupe. This goes against the wishes of a lot of other people. She is excited by the fact that Kutty Sranku is also a part of the troupe and that pushes her into it, as she has been following him around. It was actually a Portuguese play that we did and it was really nice.

How was it being directed by Shaji N Karun?

Shaji sir is the reason the why I did the film. I wanted to work with him and I was just thrilled when he called me for this role. I was scared as this was one thing that I hadn't done before -- because this is a character which had apparent sexuality even though there is so much innocence. He brought it out and gave me so much confidence. It is indeed great to have a chance to work with him in my debut film in Malayalam.


Image: A scene from Kutti Srank

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'I was scared to work with Kamal sir initially'

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How was it sharing screen space with Mammootty?

Mammootty is not only a big star, he has been one of my idols and I've always wanted to work with him. The first south Indian film that I ever saw was his Vidheyan. It had such a great impact on me.

When I was told about this character in Shaji sir's film, I was not aware that the part was being played by Mammootty. I was so excited when came to know about it. He is so down to earth and so professional. It was great fun working with him. You learn while you are working with him.

Your song from Vettailyadu Vilayadu with Kamal Hassan had become a rage. How was it working with the legend?

See, these are the people who you have grown up watching and suddenly when you become their co-stars, it's so intimidating in the beginning. We tend to be in awe of them.

But then they are the kind of people who will put you at ease because they want you to perform well. I was really scared at the beginning to work with Kamal sir, but he made me feel comfortable. It was a beautiful and romantic song. He gave me a lot of confidence and it was great working with him.


Image: A scene from Kutti Srank

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'Writing is something I can never give up'

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As it is often seen -- the heroines in most films have to be dumb, pretty dolls. Isn't it frustrating at times?

Fortunately, it has never been like that for me. I have balanced my roles with the commercial ones and rock solid characters. I have worked with newcomers and also with veterans. I think my experience has been great.

You are still passionate about writing poems?

I am always into writing. Essentially I think I am more of a writer than an actor. Writing is something that comes to me naturally. It's a great source of expression for me, and that is why writing is something I can never give up. I am still learning and also, I have plans to make a film sometime in the future.


Image: A scene from Kutti Srank

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