Malayalam film actor Ambily Sunil is happy about the rave reviews she is receiving from her latest short film, Aroopi, directed by Aryakrishnan RK, which was released online through East Coast on July 30, 2020.
Aroopi, meaning formless, is the latest Malayalam short film that is making waves in the online platform.
Written and directed by Aryakrishnan RK, the protege of the late film maker, Lenin Rajendran, which narrates the saga of an AIDS afflicted prostitute and her apparent failed bonding with a man. The film, made under Arya Event Media Entertainment and Yuga Entertainment and Production House Studio banner is produced by Krishna Krish. The DoP is handled by Anandhu Sasidharan, editing by Don Saaki, Associate Direction by Rahul V Nair, music composition by SK Balachandran with the lyrics penned by the director herself. The sole song in this movie is rendered by Jai Swapnah.
The cast include Ambily Sunil, Bagio Geroge, Krishna Krish and Rahul V Nair. Rajesh Rama and Nikhila Soman were the dubbing artists, while the costumes were provided by AFW, Kollam. East Coast Audio and Visual Entertainments is doing the distribution of Aroopi.
In a free-wheeling chat with The Indian News, the protagonist of Aroopi, Ambily Sunil speaks about her latest movie and how she had set out her cinema sojourn and completed in excess of 60 movies including three Tamil films and more to the Editor, Jayashankar Menon. Excerpts:
TIN: Congratulations for the rave reviews you are getting in your latest short film, Aroopi for your mind boggling acting. Can you share the experience?
AS: One of my friends, the director of this movie, Aryakrishnan RK called me and spoke about the character in this film where I had to do the role of a prostitute. The film will have quite a bit of compromising scenes including lip lock. She said I need to take up this assignment, only if I am comfortable. Nevertheless, this character will have a great variety. I was longing to portray a powerful character like this, which has great scope for acting. I was thinking of accepting this offer. When I heard the script, I liked it. That’s was how I took up this role in Aroopi. The film has created a buzz and rave reviews are pouring in and I am quite happy about it. The kind of reach I got from the poster of Aroopi was unimaginable, where all other films I had acted had not elicited. Lot of people have watched the movie online. I am really happy when many people call me up and compliment me. The Director also called me up and congratulated me. Many other film directors called me up too and wished me. Even, film Director, Sathyan Anthikad called me up and was all praise for my performance in Aroopi. Many other Malayalam and Tamil directors including as Priyanandan called me up and lauded my acting in this movie.
TIN: Can you talk about your foray into the acting career?
AS: I began involving with arts even while I was at school, pursuing Class VII. My father was yesteryear theatre artist involved in amateur dramas. he wrote several Katha Prasangams, taught me and made me perform at the school competitions and I won several prizes. Once when I got the opportunity to act in one of the amateur plays and that was how I got into acting. The first drama I had enacted was when I was pursuing Plus 2, where I was the protagonist. I had to get involved into the theatre activities due to family circumstance. The mantle fell on me when I was just 16 years old and I had to discontinue my studies to pursue the theatre profession. Even I was not able to complete Plus 2. My parents were manual labourers. As I was the eldest in the family, I had to take up acting in dramas for the survival of the family. For the next two years, I did act in lot of plays. After getting married, I dissociated myself with the theatre activities for more than 16 years. My husband is a driver. There too, when we faced financial difficulties, I had tried for various jobs. My husband and in-laws did not approve of my passion towards acting in theatre and cinema. I joined a shop as a counter sales girl. Initially, the income was meager. Even while struggling to meet my ends, back of my mind, I had the burning desire to act in movies. Acting in play was ruled out and I was not sure how to pursue my passion. Thought I would initially try my hand in television serials. Nevertheless, I never had just the right kind of connections to chase my dream. The reason for me to enter the celluloid world was due to the fact that one day, when a film shooting was happening in our place, I straight away approached them. From there, I got a contact number from one of the crew members that turned my fate.
TIN: You were so talented that on your third movie itself, you could graduate from the level of a junior artist to protagonist. How it all happened?
AS: I did a couple of movies as a junior artist. On the third film itself I was blessed enough to act in front of camera along with actor Murali Gopy, in the Asif Ali starer Malayalam movie, Kaatu. It was in fact, blessings from God that I got the opportunity to take up a lead role in my third film itself, when the usual scenario is that scores of junior artists, who toil for a number of years to achieve that. Along with my burning desire to accomplish the dream of making it into film and the blessings from God, I never had to look back in my film career after that.
TIN: After getting that much needed break, what other Malayalam movies came your way?
AS: Within a month itself, I got an offer for yet another Malayalam movie, Velipaadinte Pusthakam. Although, I was offered a meaty role, nevertheless, when the cinema was released, I had only negligible presence. But by then, I knew the pressures of the celluloid world. I knew, all the scenes I had enacted need not be included in the film. Rightly so, when this movie was released, many of the scenes I had acted did not find place. I donned the role of Matilda, who is the mistress of Saleem Kumar. I had the good fortune to do my second big banner movie, from the house of Ashirwad.
My next movie was Deivame Kaithozham Kaakkumaaraakane, directed by the actor Saleem Kumar himself. I portrayed the character of actor Indrans’ daughter. Having impressed with the earlier movie I had acted with him, Saleem Kumar cast me in his movie. After that a slew of movie offers came my way. Although I got only small roles, nevertheless, that kept me busy all the time. As I was getting character roles, I had even accept the mother character in few films. Shafi’s Pazhaya Bomb Katha and Children, Spark, and few small budget movies like Siddique starer Ishihaqinte Ithihasam, where I got the meaty role of a beggar woman. I portrayed the character of comedian Nelson’s wife. That was a fantastic role, though, the movie did not do well at the box office. Those things make me sad, when I did some great roles, those movies could not gain commercial success. This movie was screened for two weeks, but did not gain the acceptance it deserved, so to say. Like that I have acted in lot of movies such as Old is Gold, where I donned the character of Dharmajan’s pair.
I also succeeded in acting in three Tamil cinemas, where these films are on various stage of production. Due to COVID-19 Lockdown, things are delayed. The last movie which was released before the pandemic broke out was Varkey, where I did the role of the wife of Saleem Kumar. The Lockdown was announced on the fourth day of the release of this movie, which I have done an excellent character. As I was acting in the movies back to back, be it small or big ones, that kept me so busy that making it to house became a rarity. I have acted in excess of 60 cinemas and 30 of them were released. Out of all these movies, I had the good fortune of acting in the movies of great film makers such as TV Chandran, where I was paired with actor Lal in the lead role and I consider it as the biggest luck.
TIN: How did you land up in TV Chandran’s movie….
AS: I have done quite a bit of short films as well. There was a short film competition going on. Among the dozen odd short films taking part in this competition, I received Best Actor award for in the Malayalam short film, Madalam. I have portrayed two characters of 25 and 50 years. Due to issues with body language, it was quite cumbersome for many of the actors to portray two different characters in two different age group. I was able to do both the characters pretty well. Having seen this, TV Chandran cast me as Lal’s wife in the film Pengalila in 2019. I consider this as the biggest achievement and God’s gift. There is also this film called Orma, where I did the role of a female carpenter. I liked the character very much and it was a fantastic character at that. I prefer doing dull characters than taking up glamorous roles. I love to do the characters like blacksmith, domestic health and more.
TIN: Can you share few unforgettable experiences in your film career?
AS: I have acted as the wife of actor Indrans and that was an unforgettable experience. The role I did in Asif Ali’s movie Mandharam too gave me great experience, though the role I did was not important. After that I did a character in a awareness campaign film, called One Second. I could do a great character in this movie as the spouse of Indrans. The experience I had in acting with Indrans was something incredible. At a time even rookies show off, this person was down to earth. He was common man among common men. He is an institution by himself the way he conducted himself, be of help to others at the location, the commitment he shows even after completing his scenes, he would stay back and help others. No wonder then, his simplicity, commitment, sincerity and perseverance had kept him in good stead and he has scaled more incredible heights away from the reach of others and still looking beyond. Accolades keep coming to him from across the world. I consider his simplicity and the sense of ownership are the primary factors for his success in his cinema journey. Indrans is the actor who has a great influence in me.