|HOME | MOVIES | BILLBOARD|
|June 13, 2001||
He sits cross-legged in his chair, exuding a relaxed arrogance.
Talking about himself, one realises rather quickly, is probably one of Mammootty's favourite pastimes.
Declarations like, "Mammootty, Mammootty and Mammootty. I like myself the best; there is nobody to like me except myself! I love myself the most!" in response to a query about his favourite actors notwithstanding.
"I'm here to star in my third Hindi film, Shafaq, opposite Raveena Tandon," he explains. "It has the usual filmi masala: music, beautiful women, dance, superb photography, exotic locations and a decent storyline. The role I play is excellently etched."
Here, at the moment, happens to be the fourth floor suite of Bombay's Hotel Leela. I am with four people in the room: two journalists, my acquaintance, thanks to whom I am here. And Shehzad Khan, son of the yesteryear villain, Ajit, who laughs heartily at all of Mammootty's jokes.
I am not particularly amused. Truth to tell, I am uneasy.
When my acquaintance called me earlier, asking, "Do you want to meet Mammooty?", I didn't pause to think.
"Of course." Easily said.
"How fast can you make it to the Leela?" he inquired.
"Ninety minutes is all I need." It would take me approximately 40 minutes to get there.
That left 50 minutes to catch up on one of the biggest stars in Malayalam cinema. Which was all I knew about Mammootty.
I pored over articles, interviews, reports and garnered as much info as I could from my seniors.
And I reached the hotel in 20 minutes flat.
But what if I didn't ask the right questions and missed a golden opportunity?
Meawhile, all five of us are hanging on to Mammootty's every word.
"This film (Shafaq) is a family thriller. My character becomes slightly psychotic in the film. But it's not a negative role. Every individual has a negative shade to their personality. He's not the villain or anything.
"He's a married man, a lawyer. It will very enjoyable mentally, physically and intellectually. My being a lawyer has nothing to do with my role."
With his last commercial Hindi offering, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Mammootty struck a chord with the Hindi-speaking audience. They, however, weren't too impressed with Dhartiputra, opposite Sujata Mehta, which bombed at the BO.
"The (Dhartiputra) experience was very interesting. The director and producers were very good to me, but the film was not. I don't know what went wrong. But Shafaq is very different."
So what prompted him to venture into mainstream Hindi cinema again especially under the baton of a debutante director?
"I really liked the story. These kind of films should do well at the box office. The new generation of film-makers and audiences ought to appreciate this film. The director, Bappaditya Ray, has a lot of potential. He's young, with a keen imagination and new ideas. It's very easy to interact with him. I've taken a very bold step in working on a film with a new director in a new kind of story.
"The film will prove that the new audiences appreciate a good story and good acting, not only heroines who thrust their hips. They will discover something new in the world of cinema."
"I have worked hard for 20 years. But every now and again, I get the urge to work in new films. That's why I agreed to do this one. My hard work has brought me to Bombay again. I will definitely look forward to doing more films in the national language."
Lunchtime. Kerala biryani was the main course. And I knew it was time to leave.
Mammootty's smile led me to the door. And I heave a sigh of relief.
ASTROLOGY | BROADBAND | CONTESTS | E-CARDS | ROMANCE | WOMEN | WEDDING
SHOPPING | BOOKS | MUSIC | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL| MESSENGER | FEEDBACK