The trapped and helpless Kabeer of controversial 2017 Malayalam film 'S Durga' has undergone an absolute make-over. Kannan Nayar, who played Kabeer in the much-appreciated and controversial film by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, essays a cruel character in 'Lilli' directed by debutant Prasobh Vijayan. The Thiruvananthapuram native with a strong background in theatre gets candid with Onmanorama as his latest film hits theatres on Friday.
'Lilli' is a survival drama by genre. The title character, Lilli, played by Samyukta Menon ('Theevandi' fame) is pregnant and is in a predicament. As the film progresses, the anxiety over whether she would escape from her abductors or not builds up. It portrays violence in a different manner than usual Malayalam films. Even Lilli's character has some grey shades. It is the debut film of Prasobh Vijayan who has learnt the art of filmmaking on his own. It is produced by the major brand E4 Experiments.
About your character
My character is named Sali, who is one of the three men who abduct and torture Lilli. Dhanesh Anand and Sajin Cherukayil play the other two. Sali is a peculiar type. He doesn't talk much. He doesn't involve in physical violence instead he tortures Lilli mentally. In doing so, he has a motive. I can't reveal much about it as it is related to the film's climax.
Sali is above 40 and is shown balding. The full credit for the looks goes to RG Wayanadan who has done the make-up. With the make-up, half of the performance was done with.
Kabeer and Sali
The two characters are entirely different. As a performer, I was actually fortunate to get a character like Sali which is the antithesis of Kabeer. The difference was visible in the working style as well. You can't apply any method of acting that you used for 'Durga' in 'Lilli'. Unlike in Durga, I had to act for the camera in 'Lilli'.
How Sali happened?
I landed the role through an audition. I answered a casting call after I was done with 'Durga'. Once we were selected there was some workshop for us. However, Praosbh avoided rehearsals for certain sequences since he wanted to capture them naturally.
I'm working on 'Jim Boo Bhaa' starring Askar Ali. I play a typical policeman in the movie. Again, the character is very different from Kabeer and Sali.