Vivekh is all set with his new film Palakkattu Madhavan where he plays the lead after a gap. He talks about his brief hiatus, former Indian President Abdul Kalam’s advice for him to get back to the business of cinema, his passion for the Green Globe movement and entering politics, in an exclusive with DC. Remembering the film Naan Thaan Bala, released last year, which had him in the lead, the veteran actor notes that it had a heavy theme and people didn’t like him essaying such a serious role. He opesn up, “That’s why I am taking the comic route once again in Palakkattu Madhavan (PM) which is a family drama laced with tons of humour.”
Praising his co-star Sonia Agarwal in this movie, he says, “We play a married couple. So far you would have seen Sonia in somewhat gloomy roles. In PM, she has proved her mettle in comedy. She did not make a fuss and was very sportive in the few intimate scenes we had.” On veteran Malayalam actress Sheela who returns after a gap in the movie, “She has given a great performance. Sheela ma’am has an innate sense of humour, and I feel she will hereafter be in demand for playing a mother.”
The actor explains why he is now going all-out to promote the film. “A comedian’s work ends with dubbing but now as the hero, I have insight into the plight of small films and how they suffer to get proper screens for release. I feel that I have a responsibility towards my film and to help my producer who has invested his trust in me.”Apart from imparting messages through his film comedy, Vivekh’s contribution to society in his personal life is well known. The actor raises his voice for various issues, including initiating ‘Green Kalam’ which is for saving the earth by planting lakhs of trees. “I got busy with planting saplings after I started the Green Globe initiative. Dr Abdul Kalam had directed me to plant one crore saplings.
I am striving to do that and have completed 27 lakh trees so far. I had to take a break from films for doing that. One day I got a call from him. He asked me how my business was going. Thinking he was talking about the trees I said, ‘Sir, I have planted 27 lakh saplings. He laughed heartily and said, ‘I asked you about your cinema business! Concentrate 70 percent on cinema and 30 percent to planting trees’. I took his advice and came back part-time to cinema.”
The ace humourist will be seen in a new avatar soon. “Yes, I am working on a script and planning to wield the megaphone for the first time. I am playing a dual dimensional character with negative shades,” he says. Although not averse to entering politics, Vivekh says that he cannot travel on two different horses at the same time. “I am friendly to all political parties. So, I am able to do my social work freely without any hassles. If I lean towards one particular party, people would not enjoy my comedy. Also, to enter politics, I should first leave cinema completely.” Vivekh feels that the National Awards should include one for comedy. “It is really sad that there’s no recognition at the national level for comedy. I have been raising my voice to include the category for comedians for the last 10 years.”...