I am here to act, not to decide trends: Kamalinee Mukherjee
After a long time, one actress made the audience muse over traditional-looking Andhra girl. She also repeated the feel – Anand, immediately followed by Godavari, a Sekhar Kammula's films. However, it was not all bed of roses for her. She soon slid into a low-profile zone and found alternative through Kollywood. Luck began to smile again. She is now turning into a busy actress, no matter the venture or small or big. Coming all the way from Kolkota, Kamalinee Mukherjee believes she is not greedy, but will never give up till she achieved the target. Excerpts from the interview:
Chitramala: Tell us about how your first step into the tinsel world?
KM: I do not have any filmy background. I entered the film industry with sea of hopes. I am swimming across giant waves. I was born and brought up in Kolkota and pursued studies in Delhi. I am a student of English literature. I happened to take up course in theatrical arts. My journey in the tinsel world began when I signed my first film Phir Milenge (directed by Revathi). I got excellent appreciation. Filmmaker Gowtham Menon recognized by first intuitions. I could make it to Tollywood through Sekhar Kammula. I am thankful to Telugu audience for their great support, without which I will not be what I am today. Later, you know everything. My second film Godavari was also a hit.
Chitramala: Your experiences with Anand project?
KM: Well, I played the role of Rupa. The entire story revolves round me. Sekhar Kammula specially designed the character. You try your level best to forget it. But, it will continue to haunt you. Though it was my first film in Telugu, I got a full-length role. My character as Rupa explores the new dimension of freedom for the woman. I represented the feelings of any other girl who loves not to loose her self-esteem. Well. Theoretically, it sounds good. Coming to practicality, the expressions require special attention. I went through a rocking rehearsal. Even in sleep, I dreamt of perfection. Of course, I achieved it. At the same time, I feel that Rupa's characterization is not complete.
Chitramala: While everybody liked it (Rupa's role), you found dearth in it. Please elaborate your feeling.
KM: Words fail me. I can say I did full justice to the role. Director Sekhar too got absolute victory in finishing the mold of Rupa. Still, I feel it is incomplete. I am continuously haunted by my own instinct, because the role Rupa passes through a tube with its end open. Nobody needs to open it. That way, I felt the treatment drab. Anyways, I am thrilled; it is a great click, though not a product from the deepest of my heart.
Chitramala: Your observations on Godavari ?
KM: An excellent poetic presentation of an interesting happening in everybody's life. Such scenes always take place across many a river. But, who cares for recording such memoirs? Here comes Sekhar's specialty. It established the impressions made in Anand through Godavari . It all happened not like a film shooting. But, like a daily choir. It was a musical presentation. The technicians from a light-boy to makeup man to a cameraman – everybody found it a pleasant experience. It will continue to be a good pictorial presentation.
Chitramala: Heard you found good offers in Kollywood and Kannada?
KM: Yes. I don't have selection in particular. I love film industry and the medium of Big screen. Let it be any language. Recently, my film with Kamal Hasan sir released for Telugu audience. My role, though short could make a strong impression. For the last three days, I got several calls from my well-wishers. I am thankful to them for their words of appreciation. You knew. I already did Phir Milenge. So, why should we corner ourselves to one particular zone? Where there is encouragement for talent, I love to be there.
Chitramala: Now, you are an actress with maturity and understanding of the film industry. Did you ever regret for not getting chances to work with big heroes?
KM: (Turns serious). How can you say like that? You should know what you are asking. I did my first film, which has Salman Khan as the hero. Take Vettaiyadu Villaiyadu (Raghavan in Telugu). I acted with Kamal Hasan. Also take Style. It's a hit movie, which has the presence of Chiranjeevi and Nagarjuna. Aren't they big heroes? I don't believe in this concept. I should be a good actress first. If I get chances to work with established stars, it would an added advantage to me to reach out to maximum number of audiences. Otherwise, I have to discharge my own duty as a committed artiste. Of course, luck will never miss a struggling soul!
Chitramala: You did the heroine in Pellaindhi Kaani. EVV has praise for your acting. How did you enjoy the moments in their unit?
KM: I thank EVV for his humane attitude. He is one director, in whom I can see a strong urge for perfection. He took pains to shoot in Kashmir. We were skeptical of our trip. But, he convinced us and finished the shoot fruitfully. You are going to see it. Though, I lived in the North for several years, EVV made me visit Kashmir for the first time in my life. It is heaven on earth. Naresh is a superb artiste. I am puzzled at his adaptability to the multi-demands of the director. His timing is amazingly fast. I play the role of Gayatri, who loves individuality. Of course, cinematography would definitely play a major role while shooting the beauties of Kashmir. You know, they are pristine. Never seen the lens for several years! (Due to terrorism).
Chitramala: In Raghavan (Vettaiyadu Villaiyadu), there is a scene. You are thrown to the ground from second floor or third floor. You also fight with the villains. How did you feel those moments?
KM: I was scary. You know the film is highly serious. The woman thrown down was not me. It was my dupe. I watched the sequence. Director Goutham wanted the real effect. He got it. This also sharpens my understanding of the technical requirements in the film industry.
Chitramala: Anand and Godavari were two films regarded as heroine-oriented subjects. Do you want to continue this trend?
KM: Who said they are heroine-oriented films? You better call them Heroine-centric. This type of genre originally came from Bengali. Since the beginning, Indian cinema continues to be dominated by the male-world – both cast and crew. Things have changed a lot and also the demands of the audience. Now, a heroine has come to get lot of importance. If a movie wants to become a hit, it also requires the women segment of audience. In turn, they too want their personality come alive on the screen. In this sense, I am lucky to give two good hits. It is a successful experiment repeated after several years. Anand and Godavari brought some trend. It may or may not continue. Who am I to decide?
Chitramala: What kind of encouragement you get from your parents?
KM: They are the best parents in the world. (Laughs). My dad is a businessman and my mom a garment designer. They love me like anything. They also love my interests. What more I need?
Chitramala: What is your ambition?
KM: To make my parents enjoy the ultimate bliss of happiness.
Chitramala: Thank You.
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