Post Covid seems to have given a new lease of life to Unni Mukundan’s career. His family-centered films like 'Meppadiyan', 'Shafeekinte Santosham' and 'Malikappuram' have all done well at the box office. Unni Mukundan gets candid…
Despite 'Mallu Singh' being such a huge hit, did you feel like you didn’t get your due?
I was branded after the success of these films. When I had no muscles, they said he had no muscles and when I was back with a muscled body, they alleged I only had muscles and no acting chops. Each time it was different. But all that didn’t really disillusion me. I knew that I would get my due one day.
Even in those failed films, I gave my 100%. Maybe this success is a result of all that hard work. Today I have a set of producers, writers, and directors to back me up. My parents told me to look ahead with positivity. I just followed their instructions like a good son. This is also a result of their prayers.
Was it devotion that prompted you to do a film like 'Malikappuram'?
I am a staunch devotee. But that wasn’t the reason why I decided to do 'Malikappuram'. I felt it would be a theme that will find favour with the audience. There are so many stories in that film. And the audience can relate to those stories and experiences. I don’t need to do a film to uphold my faith. My devotion is in my mind. 'Malikappuram' isn’t a Hindu bhakti film. Besides Lord Ayyappa isn’t just someone who is worshipped by Hindus alone. This film says there will be a protector for those who have no one. I believe such people serve the role of God. Even in my life, I had many people like that.
Is it related to your real life?
I think children love the idea of going to Sabarimala. I used to enjoy that when I was a child. Otherwise, my life has no relation to this. It is of course a big achievement that this film has turned my life around. A lot of people consider me as part of their family now.
Do you regret doing certain films?
Never. I have always given those films my 100%. Many factors go into the success and failure of a film. It has never affected me. Or put me in deep sorrow. And I never took complete credit for the success of these films too. I just happened to be part of the film. I can perhaps say that now there is a big audience for my films too.
After the success of 'Malikappuram' will things be different for you? How are you planning forward?
I have a few films in mind based on comedy, family, and youth-related themes. In the last ten years, I have seen and experienced a lot of things. My aim would be to do films for the audience who have showered me with so much love. There is no point in doing a film otherwise. It should be for the audience or nothing.