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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Living with characters is a highly complicated thing: Mohanlal

Actor Mohanlal on how Drishyam 2 should be made in multiple languages and the impact of the pandemic on the film industry.

Written by Alaka Sahani | Mumbai |
March 3, 2021 10:28:26 pm
MohanlalMohanlal said he is planning to start shooting his directorial debut Barroz in April first week. (Photo: Mohanlal/Instagram)

“I don’t expect to live with my characters. It’s a highly complicated thing,” says Mohanlal. The prominent Malayalam actor, who has appeared in nearly 350 movies in a career spanning four decades, calls himself “a free man” even though he holds each character that he has played close to his heart, irrespective of their box-office performance.

Yet, reprising the role of enigmatic Georgekutty, who will go to any length to protect his family of four, was exciting for the actor. “It was a great feeling to go back to the same house and family, though some things have changed as children are now in college. Georgekutty still has a turmoil raging within him,” he says. Seven years after Jeethu Joseph-directed thriller Drishyam released to commercial success and was followed by several remakes, its sequel released on Amazon Prime Video recently.

When asked about reports of Drishyam 2’s Hindi remake, Mohanlal says, “Let Drishyam 2 be made in all languages. If people want to watch Kamal Haasan or Ajay Devgn in Drishyam 2, they should have the choice.” However, the Padma Bhushan recipient believes that ideally the same set of actors should be cast in the sequel. Drishyam 2 reunites Mohanlal and Joseph. Producer Kumar Mangat has reportedly bought the rights of Drishyam 2’s Hindi remake. The Hindi version of Drishyam features Ajay Devgn and Tabu.

The original Drishyam’s success had raised the audience’s expectations about its sequel and many had even come up with possible storylines. Drishyam 2 was initially planned to bring the audience back to theatres after the pandemic. “When the entire film industry came to a standstill due to the pandemic, we thought of making a sequel to draw the audience,” says Mohanlal. When they found that the film was ready but the theatres were not yet fully operational, they chose to release it digitally. “Drishyam was viewed all over the world. We want everyone to watch this film too. This is a platform where we can get maximum viewership,” says the actor who is known for many critically-appreciated and commercially-successful movies, including the political drama Iruvar (1997), Vanaprastham (1999) and Company (2002).

The much-anticipated historical Marakkar, featuring Mohanlal in the titular role and directed by Priyadarshan, was earlier expected to have a worldwide release. But the makers have been waiting for the right time for release. “We have dubbed the film in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and English. The film is technically one of the best. Due to the pandemic, the release plan went haywire,” says Mohanlal, adding, “The entire entertainment industry is in a bad shape. People don’t know how to rectify it. We are trying to come out with movies and we want to bring people back to the theatre.”

Mohanlal’s directorial debut Barroz is also delayed due to the pandemic. He is planning to start shooting the movie in April first week. “Most of the actors are from abroad. One young actor is from the US. We also have actors from Ghana, Spain and Portugal. We have the action team from Thailand,” says Mohanlal, who, in the meantime, has written the foreword of his daughter Vismaya Mohanlal’s book of poetry, Grains of Stardust.

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