Just like the champions in any other field, women have long proved to be scene-stealers in cinema too. From Sheela, who broke the mould in Kallichellamma (1969) to Seema who mocked convention while putting forth an entire discourse on feminism in Avalude Ravukal (1978), Malayalam cinema has witnessed quite a few interesting portrayals of women.
Then came a slew of actors who wowed us with their natural performances, raising the ordinary to the extraordinary. In the 'no-viral' age, these characters inspired and humoured thousands, proving talent rules, no matter what. This Women's Day, Express talks to a few people from the industry on who their favourite female character is.
Tovino Thomas, actor
"Ganga in Manichitrathazhu is ultimate"
What Shobhana did in Manichitrathazhu mesmerised me with the layers it had. The finesse with which she played Ganga is evident from the fact that none of the lead actors in the remakes could come near what she did. As an actor, I find this one character the most inspiring. And, I am sure that Ganga is the personal favourite of many.
Anu Sithara, actor
"Inspired by Urvashi"
Urvashi in Midhunam is my favourite onscreen female character. Then, Manju Warrier in Kannezhuthi Pottumthott and Shobhana in Manichitrathazhu were inspirations too. I think it is the way they effectively handled these characters, whilst proving their talent that makes all of us root for them.
Bobby (of Bobby-Sanjay duo), scriptwriter
"The perfect journey of Sameera"
Of the recent female onscreen characters, the one that touched me the most was Sameera in Take Off, because of the way Parvathy portrayed it. In Take off, Sameera's personal battle later takes her into a real-time war field and the transformation was handled brilliantly by Parvathy. For a character that required a nuanced performance, Sameera was safe in the hands of Parvathy.
Balachandra Menon, actor/director
"All characters are special"
My perspective on women characters has always been reflected in my work. While my leading lady in April 18 was a woman whose dreams were limited to her home and man, I showed a different, bolder side in Achuvettante Veedu, where the woman overcomes struggles to turn independent. In my later project Krishna Gopala Krishna, the woman had a different facet to her. All these characters are special in its own way
Aju Varghese, actor
"Lalithamma my superstar"
My favourite onscreen characters are Bhargavi in Amaram (1991) and Mary in Veendum Chila Veetukaryam (1999), both played by KPAC Lalitha. She is in her natural best in both these roles. She can give the most dramatic of dialogues with a natural ease. But then, it is impossible to point out the best of what Lalithamma has done in her mammoth career. I have never let go of any opportunity to share screen space with her. She is my all-time favourite.