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Neelavelicham: Rima Kallingal’s eyes and ‘vintage look’ made her apt for the film, says Aashiq Abu

Aashiq Abu’s Neelavelicham, which is the remake of Bhargavi Nilayam, also has Tovino Thomas and Roshan Mathew

Neelavelicham: Rima Kallingal’s eyes and ‘vintage look’ made her apt for the film, says Aashiq Abu
Rima Kallingal as Bhargavi in Neelavelicham

Last Updated: 01.45 PM, Apr 19, 2023


After almost two years of announcing Neelavelicham, director Aashiq Abu and team are gearing up for the remake of Bhargavi Nilayam to hit theatres. Over the course of the past two years, there have been several changes in the cast, including Tovino Thomas replacing Prithviraj Sukumaran, Roshan Mathew coming in place of Kunchacko Boban and Asif Ali and Shine Tom Chacko being roped in for the role that initially meant for Soubin Shahir. But the film's lead actress has always been Rima Kallingal and the filmmaker recently revealed why.

“Rima is the only constant in the movie because of her ‘vintage look’,” said Aashiq, referring to the artiste’s skills to look convincing as a character in the film that is set in the 1960s.

Talking at the film’s press meet in Kochi on Tuesday, the director also recounted how Bhargavi Nilayam’s director A Vincent had zeroed in on Vijaya Niramala to play Bhargavi. “Vijaya Nirmala was the projector operator’s daughter in Vahini Studio. Vincent mash had gone to the studio for some work and was immediately attracted by her eyes. Madhu sir said Vijaya Niramala was a mother, but Vincent mash was adamant that he wanted someone with those eyes to play the lead in the film. Rima’s eyes are a big factor in this movie.”

As Bhargavi in Neelavelicham
As Bhargavi in Neelavelicham

Meanwhile, Rima, in an earlier interview with OTTplay, said that there is a “healthy competition going on” between her and husband Aashiq. “At the end of the day, he is a director and I am an actor, so I can’t take him for granted. And vice versa. It is important to respect that boundary as it only adds to the performance,” she said.

On advantage, she points out, in having Aashiq helm the movie was that she “could be part of the journey from the time the idea germinated”. “But that doesn't make the process any easier,” she explained. “I had to enact Basheer's vision of an ideal woman on screen. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be part of a surreal Basheerian world,” she said, adding that she is aware that it’s a huge responsibility for the team to remake a classic film that had great actors as part of it.

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