With just two Tamil releases in 2017, Parvatii hopes for a revival of fortunes in 2018. “The last year was fine but I expect a lot more. I’m glad that 2018 is starting with Nimir,” she says.
She’s the heroine in this film which also stars Udhayanidhi Stalin, Namitha Pramod and veteran director Mahendran. “I play Udhay’s love interest. My character is a girl who will be very relatable,” she says, but adds a line of warning. “I wouldn’t say it’s the most performance oriented role of my career.”
The story is set in Tenkasi, but Parvatii didn’t have to sport a deglamourised look.
“Usually, when paying a village role, directors usually opt for dull makeup and oily hair, and I’ve done that too, but in this film, I just had to focus on looking good. I’m told that it’s come out very well,” says Parvatii, who adds that she had little trouble understanding the local dialect. “Nimir isn’t one of those dialogue-heavy films. So the role wasn’t too tough.”
She doesn’t think the film, a remake of the Malayalam hit, Maheshinte Prathikaaram, is too similar to the original. “There are a lot of changes, even if the soul is the same. Sometimes, when different actors come on board, that is enough to create differences.”
Parvatii heaps praises on her director Priyadarshan. “It was a privilege to work with a legendary filmmaker like him. I was surprised by how cool and composed he was, while managing to be extremely efficient,” she says.
That the film is not set in a city made for a novel experience for Parvatii. “I haven’t seen a lot of villages; so it was wonderful to see their people and culture. Given Udhay’s family heritage and his experience, I was a tad sceptical in the beginning but he showed himself to be a very simple and co-operative person. That really lends itself to a film like this,” she says.
Parvatii has mainly got a lot of negative roles so far. Her Tamil debut, Yennai Arindhaal, had her play a negative role, while her last two Tamil releases, Koditta Idangalai Nirappuga and Enkitta Mothathe, had her portraying a character with grey shades and a village belle, respectively.
“When I picked Yennai Arindhaal, I didn’t know I’d be playing a negative character. Gautham originally planned my character as being just Victor’s love interest who dies in the end but they liked my scenes and decided to add strength to my role,” says Parvatii. “I look for variety. If I get another role like Yennai Arindhaal’s, I wouldn’t do it. My films may or may not have done well, but they will never be stupid.”
Parvatii is also making her Telugu debut this year and with that, she will have worked in all four South Indian languages.
“In Tamil cinema, more people watch a film and your effort tends to get appreciated. Though Koditta Idangalai Nirappuga wasn’t a blockbuster, a lot of people knew about it. In Kannada cinema though, a film has to be a blockbuster for you to get noticed outside the state. It’s disheartening to shoot for 100 days for a film like Vascodigama, and to have it not reach a larger audience.”
Parvatii has also bagged a Malayalam film that stars Mohanlal. Is the intention to test waters in all languages before plunging into one?
“I’ve never consciously tried to explore all the industries. A lot of people have told me that if I had concentrated on one industry, I would’ve been more successful, but it’s something I won’t do, something I don’t regret.”
I don’t watch a lot of films, and it’s a habit I intend to change. I watched and loved Aruvi though. I like how female-centric films are doing well and I hope this opens the market up for directors with such scripts.