Since her comeback in 2015, Jyotika’s movies have been quite varied. She no longer humours stereotypical female characters. While feeling grateful for all the opportunities, the actor says she wants to use her star status to talk about issues concerning society, especially the challenges of women.
The trailer of her upcoming movie Ponmagal Vandhal promised a courtroom drama, involving a serial killer case. Jyotika says it is not just a thriller, the film also has an important social message. Bankrolled by Suriya and helmed by newcomer JJ Fredrick, the movie is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Excerpts from a conversation with Jyotika:
Ponmagal Vandhal is such a happy title, but the movie looks so intense and dark. Why did you think this title was apt for the movie?
It is always nice when it contradicts. It won’t be cliche. Definitely the title does relate to the film. Once you see it, you will understand.
Since your comeback, you have been challenging patriarchal ideas aggressively and relentlessly. What happened during your sabbatical? Any specific incident, movie or book that influenced you to become uncompromising.
No, not really. There doesn’t have to be anything drastic. If you look at your own life ten years back, you would have been very different (person). Your thought process would have been entirely different. I think I have become more responsible. I have kids, and I want them to be proud of me. I have friends from different circles of life – working and non-working. I learn a lot, and I feel that a lot has to be spoken. I would like to be a voice. And I think women still need that support. I have been blessed and lucky to get some scripts. When I get them, I really leave no stone unturned to get them out there.
Are you not afraid when you market a movie heavily as women-centric, it will limit the size of the audience and may not reach a wider audience?
Yes, every time a (women-centric) film is made to look small. We struggle to release it. Every time we wait for a gap to release it. We do have a second preference when it comes to it. That said, I wouldn’t want to be part of a film because it is big. I want to be part of a film because me being part of it makes that film big. I leave my kids back home, and I want to feel like I am doing some good work when I step out. And I want to tell my children and family the quality work I do every morning.
What significant change will we see in the business of cinema in the post COVID-19 era?
I think you all will be more comfortable doing online interviews.
…. in terms of filmmaking – is it going to be expensive, cheap?
I think we should all get back to the same situation. There won’t be much of a change. I think we all will roll back into our own zone once it (lockdown) is lifted. The only question is – How long now?
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