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“At this stage of my life I want to give time to my  daughter,”  Tamil-Malayalam-Hindi actress Revathi




Revathy has regaled us  with  her sterling performances  in  multiple languages for  40 years.  She  is  now  being seen in the  intriguing  psycho-horror  Malayalam feature   film Bhoothakalam  streaming on   SonyLIV.

She  is  happy with another  accomplished  performance. “Though categorized  as horror there’s  a lot more going on in there. There are so many layers. The emotional turmoil  and the turmoil  in the world outside my  character are not easy to come by for  actresses in our cinema.”

She admits  it is   becoming increasingly difficult to get roles that still inspire  her. “Oh  yes, very difficult.When the  director of Bhoothakalam (Rahul Sadasivan)came to  me with this   character  more than a year ago—he came to me  even before the  production  was  put together  and  I was practically his first  choice—I was completely taken up. It was only after he spoke to me that he  got the production in place.”

We veer  towards  discussing  the  renaissance happening  in  Malayalam cinema and how  much the OTT  explosion  helped that  renaissance.  “In-between somewhere  Malayalam  cinema lost its way when it became   hero-oriented and  male-centric.I think  Malayalam cinema has returned to its roots created by Adoor Gopalkrishnan and G  Aravindan.But   I don’t think the  format matters. It is  the content. It  can be anywhere. What really happened to restore Malayalam cinema  to its roots is  the new generation of directors who began making simple sincere  films. That really helped. S. Bharathan made one of his classics in  just 18 days. After  that it became  a norm  to make films in a limited  time  and budget which were not star-based.”

So is  Revathi  comfortable  doing Malayalam and Telugu film only?   “I did  one Malayalam film Molly Aunty Rocks in  2012  .Then I  did  Virus  in  2019 Now  Bhoothakalam. So it’s  three Malayalam films in  ten years which isn’t that much.In Tamil  I’ve done only one film Power Pandi in ten years, and two comedy films with Prabhu Deva  and Jyotika.”

She enjoys   doing comedy as  it  gives her  a  chance to escape her serious  image.  “ I enjoyed  doing comedy in Jackpot  and Gulaebaghavali   thoroughly. But these two were totally slapstick. In future  if  I do  comedy I’d like it to be  slightly more relevant,  like Meryl Streep’s Mama Mia .Way back in 1992 I had done  a  comedy with Priyadarshan called Muskurahat  which  I really enjoyed.”

Speaking about her role in the recent Netflix  anthology Navarasa Revathi  says, “Oh, that  was  a fabulous experience . It was  just three days’ work. But the homework had to be watertight. I had  so many discussion with  my director  Bejoy Nambiar.”

Going back ,we still remember Revathi   as Maggie in Salman Khan’s film  Love.While Salman is  still romancing heroines who are  of the age that Revathi was  when  she  did Love with him, she has   moved on to mother’s roles.

Revathi is okay with that. “Each actor handles the  career in  different ways. Whether we  like it or not  male actors  don’t age on screen.Women  do age.  There’s  just  a handful of roles for a few actresses.When  I meet other actresses my age they say the same thing.  No roles! Meryl  Streep   does one film in four years. She  too complains  about the lack of content  for women. By the way,  she too is tired of  her serious image and wants to do fun roles.”

Revathi  is content  with the  volume of work she is doing.  “At this  stage  of  my life I want to  give time to my  family , my daughter who is 9.When I am shooting  my parents   look after her. I am quite happy   with the volume of work, though I’d have like to get better-written  roles. But  I am happy with the work I am doing.”

What happened  to  the  remake  of  Mahesh Bhatt’s Arththat Revathi  was supposed  to direct?  “That project did not fall into place with the right actors. I’ve postponed it  for now. We are actually doing a take on the  subject , an  idea that remained unexplored in the original.I didn’t want  to  do a faithful remake.I wanted to take the  characters into a different  direction.By the way I  played Shabana’s role  in Balu Mahendra’s Marapudiyam ,  the Tamil  version of Arth.”

Coming  up next  is the  biopic on Sandeep Unnikrishnan where Revathi plays  the martyr’s mother. “It’s very tough to play a real-life character. . Here  the amazing thing was, the director  did not want  me to  meet  the real  character. But director Sashi Kiran Tikka knew exactly what he wanted  me to do. Major is my next release.I am also doing a 8-episode  series  with Netflix called Tooth Pari.And before you ask  I don’t play the title role.”

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