Anjana Jayaprakash made her Malayalam debut with Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum
One of the highlights of director Akhil Sathyan’s debut directorial Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum, apart from Fahadh Faasil’s performance, was its female leads – Anjana Jayaprakash, Viji Venkatesh and Dhwani Rajesh. All three actresses made their Malayalam debut with the film and were all appreciated by the audience too.
In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, Akhil tells us that he is “happy with the response” that the actresses got. Viji, who is a cancer-care professional, made her acting debut at 71 with the movie. “Viji ma’am isn’t an actress and she doesn’t speak Malayalam well, and yet we could make her perform in the film as well as do a four-minute dialogue-heavy scene,” says Akhil.
Anjana, who had starred in Gautham Vasudev Menon’s series Queen, played Hamsadhwani in the Malayalam movie, which is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Though her combination scenes with Fahadh are now celebrated, it wasn’t always the case.
“A lot of people also were against casting Anjana opposite Fahadh because visually there wasn’t a match. But I would just look at her audition clip and how she performed that poignant scene. Eventually that’s what worked with the audiences too and helped them connect with her character,” says Akhil. “Right now, there’s even a group of ‘Hamsa’ fans on social media. So, her character has got that following.”
Dhwani Rajesh, who had previously starred in Majid Majidi’s Beyond the Clouds, was handpicked by Akhil to star as Nidhi in the movie, which is set in Mumbai, Kerala and Goa. “The other day, a censor board member had called me to ask about casting Dhwani in his movie. He has already watched the film thrice in three different languages, because it was also dubbed in Tamil and Telugu for the OTT releases, and loved her performance in the movie. So, it’s a huge boost to think that our idea has clicked with the audience too,” says the director.
Apart from the three female leads, the movie also has cameos by established actresses such as Ahaana Krishna and Shruti Ramachandran. “We initially planned a lot of new faces,” says Akhil. “I knew Ahaana and so asked her if she would be interested in playing the character, because it’s the fish bone that gets stuck in Pachu’s throat that pivots the story. If it didn’t get stuck, he wouldn’t have caught the next flight to Mumbai and there wouldn’t have been a train journey. Also, Shruti came to be part of the movie as part of a friendly appearance. I wanted popular faces as it didn’t have a female lead in the first half.”
Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu.