Mohanlal – Keralites’ favourite star – is getting ready to amaze the audience yet again with a couple of films lined up for release. ‘Alone’ featuring a one-man performance and ‘Monster’ with a unique theme and treatment are all set to be released. The post-production works of Barroz, Lal’s first directorial venture, are also progressing.
As the cinema industry returns to normal after Covid times, the actor shares updates on his upcoming projects with the audience. Lal opens up about the interests of his children Maya and Pranav, criticisms against AMMA, and meeting his dear friend (actor) Sreenivasan after a long time, during the special interview with Manorama News.
‘The kiss given to Sreeni’
The chemistry that I share with Sreenivasan is natural. We have worked together in many cinemas. We talk to each other once in a while. I used to call up his wife and children to enquire about his health when he was sick. Suddenly when I met him, I became very emotional. That is what happened.
Sreenivasan reaching there itself is a great thing. I was meeting him after a long time. The Sreenivasan I saw there was quite unexpected. Many things went through my mind… the films we did… Then, I did not feel like doing anything else. I was sad and overwhelmed.
Your children are not keen to be in the limelight
Both my son and daughter are not too keen on doing things that grab attention. Still, they happen to be in the limelight. It takes time to get used to the hustle and bustle of cinema and to start liking it. Maya is also like that. We found that she writes poetry. When we gave her poetry to Penguin books, they liked it. And, her book became a success. Rosemary translated her poems into Malayalam. I cannot say if another of Maya’s collection of poems would be published. It is when their ventures find success that we feel proud. I am grateful to God. Both of them think independently. They have a possibility for it. In those days, I did not have it.
‘Pranav is writing a book’
At Pranav’s age, I have always wished to travel across India. If my life did not take a turn at one particular moment, I would have taken that path! I still have such an inclination in my mind. When I saw that he a similar interest, I cannot tell him to take another path. He has the freedom to do whatever he wants. I am happy that he is able to do several things that I have not been able to. He does cinema along with that. Perhaps, his travels may help create more possibilities for cinema. Let him get such films. Pranav is writing a book now. He is travelling in connection with that.
Will those expelled from AMMA be let in again?
Those looking from the outside do not know much about AMMA, the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists. They might have several criticisms against AMMA. We have been doing things that many associations in India have not been doing. We even discuss and intervene when some of our members have family problems. Most discussions are held with Idavela Babu. The relationship is transparent enough to discuss personal matters.
Possibilities of return of those who went out from the Association are always there. They have to give a fresh application. The association is not mine. Just that I hold the position of president of the association. It has certain laws and norms. I have no personal issues with them. Those who went out have certain set norms to be followed to be readmitted to the association. They can return that way. No one opposes it. Leading the association forward itself is a big deal. One would understand that only when one is within it. All are welcome.
An Internal Complaints Cell for AMMA
AMMA does not need an internal complaints cell, as we are not employers. We formed such a cell in the past because initially there were talks it was mandatory to have it. We need such a committee to meet and discuss when an issue arises. An association is not a place of work. AMMA association stands for the welfare of the artists. It does not require such a committee. But a production house must have it.
On 'Alone', 'Monster' and 'Emburaan' ...
Alone is a must-watch movie. Kamal Hassan has done solo movies, but others were represented as voices in that. In this movie, it is just me; that is why it is named ‘Alone’. Shaji Kailas has made this movie very differently. It is a story in the context of COVID. 'Monster' is an adventurous experiment, especially its story. Action scenes stand apart. That movie is also ready for release.
The next project I am associated with is part of 'Lucifer'. It cannot be called the second part of Lucifer as it is not being made as a sequel to the first. Murali Gopi terms it the ‘second installment’. It must be a movie way above Lucifer. The script for it has been locked. The shooting would be mostly in foreign locations.
I don’t think 'Randamoozham' would happen hereafter. At one stage, it slipped away. it was almost like happening then. Everybody celebrated it. It could have happened then. Later, everything toppled, right? Covid hit and the scenario changed.
Now, I did MT sir’s 'Olavum Theeravum'. That brings a lot of joy. I went and met Madhu sir. That was a movie that brought in a lot of changes in Malayalam cinema then; A film that came out of sets. Even now, we shot the film in black and white. Priyan (Director Priyadarshan) directed it and Santhosh Sivan did the cinematography using the lensing techniques of those days. It will be like watching an old film.
Ram’s shooting was stalled during COVID times. I will not be in India for the next 60 days.