AS a fresh new year gets a heady start and everything looks bright and new, tinsel town too is set to don a fresh new look. Three upcoming movies from well-known Malayalam directors will introduce a bunch of talent to filmdom. While Shaji Kailas and Fasil are giving final touches to their first Malayalam movies this year, Lal Jose, the director with the Midas touch, is getting ready for his Tamil debut.
The director with a set of thrillers to his credit, Shaji Kailas, whom we last heard of in Boot with his lucky charm Suresh Gopi in the lead, is ready to start the year on a high note with a thriller, this time with Mohanlal in the lead. Red Chillies as the name suggests will have a hot, vibrant and young theme, not to mention a lot of new faces. But who is the dame who has grabbed a chance to show her acting skills opposite the super star? “It’s a fact that not many will get an opportunity to act with a seasoned actor at the beginning of their career and I feel lucky to be involved in such a big project by a talented director,” says Julia, the 23-year-old waiting with bated breath for the release of Red Chillies in mid January.
The dusky beauty who plays the main character Madeleine in the movie is one of the nine RJs in the movie. Julia is not a totally new face; she has already proved her acting skills in the feature film Manjadikkuru which grabbed an award at the recently concluded International Film Festival of Kerala. “Red Chillies tells the story of a group of young RJs whose lives revolve around OMR (Mohanlal) the owner of a radio station,” says Julia, an MSc student at Bangalore. The other actors in the film are Siddique, Manian Pilla Raju and Biju Menon.
Fasil, the director who gained a special place in moviegoers’ hearts with his endearing themes right from Nokkethadoorathu Kannum Nattu to Aniyathipravu, is once again gearing up after a break to tell the tale of human relationships, this time with a heroine-centred movie. This will be a whiff of fresh air in the Malayalam movie industry where heroines are relegated to mere shadows of the hero. Fasil’s new find Aswathy Ashok will show her acting skills opposite Dileep, who plays the hero. Aswathy, based in Kochi and a final year degree student at St Teresa’s College, is also a popular anchor of the music program Thirai Thendral on Jeevan TV. The doe-eyed beauty with a mellifluous voice had no reason to think twice when the offer came by. “I was so excited when Fasil sir called after watching my programme on TV. In fact I had acted as a child artist in two of his movies years back,” says Aswathy who has 12 movies to her credit as a child artist.
While Aswathy and Julia are thrilled about making their debut in Mollywood, Rima will get her first taste of Kollywood as the heroine of Lal Jose’s Tamil venture, Mazhai Varapoguthu. Not many Kochiites would’ve forgotten the way the girl sashayed into their hearts with her confident answers at last year’s Miss Kerala contest. A danseuse who globe-trots with her dance programmes, Rima says she doesn’t have any qualms about the language as she spent most of her formative years at schools in Ooty. “To me what mattered most was the script of the movie which tells the story of a village that goes through a period of drought and how my character helps them come out of the situation,” says Rima, who dons the character of a shepherdess in the movie.