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Last Updated Tuesday December 01 2020 08:12 PM IST

When Dharmajan taught Shanthi Krishna how to handle humour

Anagha Jayan E
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When Dharmajan taught Shanthi Krishna how to handle humour As her latest movie 'Kuttanadan Marpappa' is all set to reach theatres on March 24 Friday, Shanthi Krishna opens up to Onmanorama, expressing her views on the changes, both in the industry and her life.

Actress Shanthi Krishna made a mark in Malayalam cinema in the 1980s and early 90s. Her beautiful willowy frame, melancholic smile and dreamy eyes left a lasting impression. Having left the industry owing to personal priorities, the 'Nidra' girl made a powerful return to the industry after a two-decades-long break to play the role of a breast cancer patient in Althaf Alam movie 'Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela'. Now, as her latest movie 'Kuttanadan Marpappa' is all set to reach theatres on March 24 Friday, Shanthi Krishna opens up to Onmanorama, expressing her views on the changes, both in the industry and her life.

When Dharmajan taught Shanthi Krishna how to handle humour Her beautiful willowy frame, melancholic smile and dreamy eyes left a lasting impression.

Reasons to choose a comedy character...

Right from the beginning of my career, I have been doing characters which are either quite serious or quite romantic. , I was literally surprised when actor Kunchacko Boban and director Sreejith Vijayan approached me with Marykkutty teacher's character in 'Kuttanadan Marpappa'. I wondered why they came to Shanthi Krishna with such a peppy character. Sreejith Vijayan gave me a convincing answer. “I have watched some television programmes in which you took part. Off the silver screen, I have noticed you as a very animated and lively person. I think you can do this character,” he told me. That is how I chose this character. I don't think anyone else would suddenly think of me when they conceive a character like Marykkutty's. The film gave me an opportunity to dig into my talents once again. Hope it works well.

When Dharmajan taught Shanthi Krishna how to handle humour "There is a very beautiful and funny relationship between the mother and her son in the movie," says Shanthi Krishna.

About your character and your preparations for that...

I play the role of Kunchacko Boban's mother in this movie. There is a very beautiful and funny relationship between the mother and her son in the movie. I struggled to deliver a natural performance during the initial shoot schedules. It was Dharmajan who helped me out back then. As a much experienced person in this genre, he started giving me tips on how to handle a comedy character. We had a lot of combination scenes in the beginning. Slowly, within a couple of days, I fell in the track. I could do this character only because of the immense help I received from the team. Mary is a hyperactive person whom many of us would love to have as a mother. She is a friend to her son. I could relate to that aspect of my character as I am a good friend to my own kids. 

When Dharmajan taught Shanthi Krishna how to handle humour "Mary is a hyperactive person whom many of us would love to have as a mother."

Major difference you noticed in the industry when you returned after a long break...

First thing that amused me was technology. Back when we were performing as lead actors, there were only a few basic terminologies that were used in the location. The person who operated the camera was called a cameraman and who managed the lights were light-boys. When I started working in 'Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela,' several people on the set had titles. When somebody asked me about the DoP, I felt so ignorant and I had to ask actress Ahana Krishnakumar about it. Ahana was surprised by my question. “Director of Photography! Don't you know that?” she asked. I felt I was learning the basics of cinema all over again on my re-entry. I felt completely like a newcomer who discovers new things. 

When Dharmajan taught Shanthi Krishna how to handle humour "I don't have any regret over my past. Yet, you learn several lessons from the ups and downs in your life," Shanthi Krishna says.

On-spot preview was another new find. After each successful scene, the director who sits behind a digital screen would call out the artists for a preview. So when everyone run to watch the preview I take a chair and sit back till the next shot is ready. It was after a couple of sequences that the director explained me in person about the preview. Even the word 'digital', which resonates everywhere on the location these days, astonishes me! Now a days, one is supposed to 'act' in such a way that it seems 'real'. The whole things felt weird and confusing to me in the beginning.

When Dharmajan taught Shanthi Krishna how to handle humour "As I've made a return to films, I feel that I have come out of all the crises with a lot of positivism just to spread love and joy among all of you."

The wisdom you gained in your life off the silver-screen...

Never give up on your individuality. If you realise that you have a particular talent, do not wrap it up and keep it aside for any reason. I don't have any regret over my past. Yet, you learn several lessons from the ups and downs in your life. Fortunately, I came out of all the crises by god's grace and the support from my family members. As I've made a return to films, I feel that I have come out of all the crises with a lot of positivism just to spread love and joy among all of you. 

When Dharmajan taught Shanthi Krishna how to handle humour "If you realise that you have a particular talent, do not wrap it up and keep it aside for any reason."

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