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Monday, January 4, 2010

mamata mohandas in south scope

mamata mohandas in south scope vol 1


Photographs: Ramakanth T MaMta Mohandas aroused in south indian filM buffs a hunger that's not getting satiated anytiMe soon, especially after her songs aakaleshthe annaM pedatha in telugu and kaalai kaalai in taMil have becoMe everyday huMs. egyptian?

yep. she goes back there a long way. sunny vishwanath finds out More

so it's just a matter of time. But I'm still waiting for a super hit film in the South.

I think there's much more in Tamil that I can do.

Mamta talking straight for so long was turning out to be not so Mamta like. So we threw in a tricky question. Which is more preferable ­ a national award for singing or a national award for acting? She smiles and smiles and smiles some more. "Well, it's a difficult choice, but I'd say acting (if I can't have both.) I hope it'll be a national award for acting and a Grammy! Two things make her uncontrollable: riding a bike and being in love The second one first though. Mamta confessed that she's been more love prone than not all through her growing up years. Although she often came back from school convinced that she was in love, she never really had anybody who could be definitely called her boyfriend. "When it happens it will be great but right now it's not the time. I am not interested in anyone in the industry right now. Once I find him and settle down, I may just do more of singing than acting. But that doesn't mean it will be a few devotional songs every once in a while! (Roaring laughter) Can't imagine Mamta's spirit contained to just that, can you? See her when she's riding a bike, you'll know. "There will be a time after showbiz when I will use the money I am earning to buy some real fancy bikes," and not the usual ­ touring the right places, parties and yep, no devotional songs. Link ups and gossip have brought out her real strength Like any newcomer, she used to get terribly upset at the merest mention of a linkup, but now she's risen to a level where these things don't bother her all that much. We tried to push in (eyebrow raised teasingly) how she's been taking all this talk about she getting along quite well with Devi Sri Prasad. We expected the usual `we're just good friends.' A totally relaxed and unperturbed Mamta shares that she and he "bounce off each other the same level of energy. We have great chemistry and I love his sense of humour."

Her linkup with a much older Malayali co-star a few years ago was not so funny, for her at least. "It was crazy and I just couldn't handle the gossip. But that episode has made me stronger. I don't give a damn anymore."

Will the real Mamta please stand up...

She's religious, believes in Astrology (especially after somebody predicted she'll get into films when she was still in the eight standard) and had she not been the sort of passionate dreamer she is, she'd well have been an accountant! "Initially, I wanted to become a pilot and my parents almost planned a career in banking for me," she gasps in mock horror. We are glad too it didn't go that way, although she would have made for an accountant who surely aroused interest in figures.

"Extended vacations are oh so unnecessary and anybody not matching my energy frankly puts me off." So guess she's got more enemies than friends. "Yep I'm a Scorpio, but hey, I don't sting!"

Three things can never be hidden, they say ­ sun, moon and talent. Let's forget the first two and get on with the third if we're talking of Mamta Mohandas's four year old film career. And if we say that she may probably have come to India from the middle east only to find her calling, we may not be far off the mark.

She sings, acts, models and hold your breath ­ she rides 1000cc bikes with a gusto that could give John Abraham a multi storied complex! Why should hunks have all the fun, did you say, eh?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen Mamta Mohandas, the multi talented, multi lingual girl is on the go! And how! Here's her filmi charitra just in case you came in late: She debuted in 2005 in Malayalam Mayookham directed by Hariharan and went on to play Mammootty's sister in Bus Conductor. Adhbhutham, Lanka and Madhuchandrlekha followed.

Sivapattigaram marked her foray into Tamil films. Before long she sang her way into hearts of many a Tamil film buff with chartbuster Kaalai Kaalai. Soon, her Malayalam film Lanka was dubbed into Telugu as Pokiri Pilla and with her entry into Kannada films with Gooli, it was complete. That is, her status as songstress of the south! Her Raakhi Raakhi from Telugu film Raakhi and aakalesthe annam pedatha in Shankardada Zindabad only added to the seduction.

Containing all of Mamta Mohandas in a couple of thousand words was turning out to be sort of challenging. So we took the easier way out and yep, we let the pictures do the speaking. All we had to do was exploit her roots and the result is for you to see.

We say this - and we're sure you agree - mostly because Mamta is among those exclusive league of actors who breezed in with a sense of style right from her first film. Blame it on her upbringing in the Middle East that exposed her to cutting edge fashion or sky rocketing dreams; her affair with pizzazz took off rather early.

"Daddy mummy, daddy mummy," she catches on to the tune that has been an anthem with the young of late. When she realises she has an audience, she stops abruptly mid rhapsody with a sheepish grin.

"Sorry, I can't help it. This one's really special and in my home town, Kerala, it's done what none of my numbers could. Even the Filmfare award winners. I'm thrilled I've done this song, but let me tell you, it's only the beginning. And before that, her title track for King was a great hit. Although she had only one anthra, the song catapulted her to new heights as a playback singer. Call it the universe conspiring or whatever, her songs have always made her more popular than her co-singers. Add to this the magic she weaves on screen and the ramp and you've got a southern sensation who's on her way to divadom.

How does she manage all this multi-tasking, we wonder. "I must be multi-talented," she chuckles. "Sometimes it's really tough. I have to sing after a long day's shoot which invariably affects my voice, but I quite love the whole treading the extra mile bit of my life.

"Indira in Mayookham remains one of my favorites. Apart from this, I loved playing Lavanya in Chintakayla Ravi and Anupama in Passenger. But if a list of her most powerful roles were to be drawn, Lanka Lakshmi would undoubtedly top it. "You know, I almost live that character those days," she recalls. "I was pretty new to the industry and didn't quite know how to shed the character after pack up.

It started to mingle with my realities so deeply that I think I started losing it when the movie didn't get the sort of response we'd hoped for."

But the whole soul searching that resulted later was for good measure. It inspired her to take up her first Tamil film. And her career in Tamil cinema took off with a good start. The Kuselan experience was a bit of a dampener though. "It was a hopelessly wrong decision. The role that I did was totally different from what I'd heard during the script reading sessions. But I must say it was a huge learning experience."

Speaking of her recently released Tamil film Guru En Aalu with Madhavan, which is a remake of the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Yes Boss, she says, "I think that Juhi was brilliant in the original, but I think I have done justice to the character."

Her tryst with Tollywood also fell into a similar pattern. "King was a mistake and I took it up only because I had turned down the director a few times but he just wouldn't give up. Homam was another film which had a lot of changes when it came down to the shoot. My biggest takeaway from this project has been a more assertive attitude.

I now take up roles that absolutely compel me and not anything for the heck of it," she shares.

After two years of much experimentation all over the south, Mamta's come back movie, in Malayalam, Passenger is an interesting one. Starring Dileep and Srinivas, it's directed by Ranjith Shankar and turned out to be a big hit. "Whew! It's like coming back full circle," she grins. So that's that in south. What about Bollywood or Hollywood. Anybody calling yet? "Not really. But then I have been offered a couple of crossovers and when the right kind of project comes my way, I'm surely taking it. I know I've got potential


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