Anjali Menon, who gave Malayalam cinema much to be proud of with films like “Manjadikkuru” and “Bangalore Days”, is set to make waves again with “Koode”, her latest venture. Significant about the new flick is that it also serves as the comeback vehicle for Nazriya Nazim, who had stayed off the screen after her wedding. The star studded film also has in its cast big names like Prithviraj Sukumaran, Parvathi Thiruvoth, ace director Renjith Balakrishnan, Parvathy and others. For Parvathy, who is also a trained psychologist, public relations expert and social activist, the film offers a role she considers is a dream come true. Blive talks to Maala Parvathy, who is making it big not just in Malayalam films, but in Tamil too, of late.
Looks like Anjali Menon is set for another mega movie. How does it feel being part of it?
Super excited, indeed. Anjali Menon has been rather quiet about the whole process to the media and the public. Now, finally, the dream has blossomed. The audience, I’m sure, is in for exciting times.
Your excitement makes us think you are doing a significant part in “Koode”. How exciting is the role?
I play the mother of Nazriya Nazim and Prithviraj Sukumaran in the film, and wife of Ranjith sir (the ace film maker). Donning the garb of Lily, the wife of the character played by Ranjith Balakrishnan, a legendary director in the film industry, is an honour that goes beyond words. I consider this character my lengthiest and most detailed in my entire career of around 60 films.
Being part of a movie helmed by an ace director, and starring some of the best names in the Malayalam film scene is sure to have brought much to you that you would want to relish for long. Could you please elaborate on the experience working with Anjali Menon, Prithviraj, Nazriya and the others?
Being a part of the “Koode” team is the real reason for my excitement. Since “Manjadikkuru” and “Bangalore Days”, it has been my desire to work with Anjali. Sharing screen space with Prithviraj, Nazriya Nazim, Ranjith Balakrishnan, Pauly Wilson and Parvathy Thiruvoth comes as a privilege. This, in fact, is a huge step in my career as an actor. The perfect on-screen chemistry between the actors made me commit to my role even more.
You have been wearing myriad hats all through, switching comfortably between career roles. What makes you an actor?
My personality is the biggest trait that pins me as an actor. With all humility, the ability to control my emotional wavelength in acting has contributed as my greatest asset in this field. Anjali once told me that she has found a more sensitive person in me, than herself. That makes me smile. She found my vulnerability instantly. Most people think of me otherwise.
Trained psychologist, media person, public relations expert, social being, and actor. How have these roles helped you in choosing scripts?
I usually find a block when choosing scripts without the right political opinion. My overview of projects tends to incline towards my perception of the outside world. This is a big No for an artist, but I’m trying to get over this hesitation. However, my other career roles do interfere in my thought process and decision-making.
For example, my character in a recent film had to marry her daughter off at the age of 18, which I found very difficult to digest. Finally, I went through with it with great difficulty.
You have always been vociferous enough on social platforms, and off them too, with your opinionated voice on many a social issue. Will the actor in you continue to be the firebrand social being in future too?
For sure. I will be the same person in future too, as it is part of my existence. But I will try to exercise constraint in my political and social views, so that they wouldn’t poke into my acting career.
Your name scrolls as Maala Parvathy in film credits. Is that your screen name?
🙂 Maala, in fact, is my pet name. People close to me know me as Maala. Further, in a world where there a quiet a few actors with the name Parvathy, I thought it would be apt to distinguish myself by adding my pet name to my official name. I would be glad to be known as Maala Parvathy not just among friends and relatives, but among my audience too.
The current phase of Malayalam cinema looks immensely promising with a range of thinking film makers who aren’t afraid to experiment with themes coming in every passing day. And, most of them have made an impact too. As someone who has been closely watching and playing myriad roles, how do you see the current phase of Malayalam cinema shaping up?
Movies like “Ee Maa Yau”, “Sudani From Nigeria”, “Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum” et al lead the trend in new age cinema. Directors who are not afraid to break the rules of cinema should always lead the industry forward. Honesty and genuineness are the foundation stones in cinema, and once new age directors realize this, they too will be a part of the movement.
You seem to have been picked for a Tamil venture recently. Can we have the details, please?
In fact, I have done three films in Tamil already. Priyadarshan sir’s “Nimir” was the recent one. A L Vijay’s another film “Ethu Enna Mayam” as Keerthy Suresh’s mother was the second venture. And I’m waiting for the release of “Nilam Neer Kaatru”, an offbeat parallel cinema which was actually my debut film in Tamil.
As we wait for “Koode” to open in theatres, here’s a song from the film for you: