Southern heroines get bolder in their choice of roles

Deccan Chronicle.  | BVS Prakash

Entertainment, Tollywood

Varalakshmi has been taking on more grey roles in upcoming Tollywood movies such as Krack and Naandhi

Kajal Aggarwal's still from 'Sita'

After essaying goody-two-shoe and bubbly-lover-girl roles, a few glam divas are slowing treading a ‘dark’ path these days first case in point being Samantha Akkineni.

After tasting huge success with her fun-centric role in Oh! Baby, the talented actress is all set to showcase her dark side in the second season of the web-series, Family Man.

Then there is our very own Ritu Varma, the pretty actress who rose to fame with Pellichoopulu. She played a con woman in her recent release Kanulu Kanulanu Dochayante. “Why should actresses play only certain roles?” asks a smiling Ritu Varma, who essayed the bold role of a girl who fakes love with men only to rob them. “In the case of my role in Kanulu Kanulanu Dochayante rather than seeing it as a grey or dark role, I was honestly hooked on to the well-etched character that director Desingh narrated. The crux of the story was how an intelligent pretty young woman could outsmart guys with multiple shades in it.”

Ritu’s character in the film, which turns from grey to dark, even took the audiences by surprise.

“We intentionally held back the storyline and promoted it as a regular romantic comedy to give the audiences a pleasant surprise,” explains Ritu, whose looks in the movie were kept simple, as the soft-spoken beautician in the first half of the movie, which slowly matched her character’s attitude and the gait that adds to her walk as her heartless side is unravelled. “I like to explore varied shades because the young audiences love to watch divas in roles that are close to reality. Personally, I like the challenge of new characters.”

Similarly, Samantha, who played soft-glam roles in Dhookudu and Aa Aa, is all set to unleash her dark side in her much-hyped Hindi debut, playing a terrorist in the Hindi web series.

We hear Samantha agreed to do her role in the gripping saga helmed by Raj Nidimoru with his friend Krishna D.K, not only for novelty that web series brought, but also because she felt her dark role has enough meat to justify her presence in the series.

From glamour to larger-than-life

Another southern belle who donned the role of a baddy is Tamil actress Varalakshmi Sarath Kumar. She took on a negative role with panache in the Telugu film Tenali Ramakrishna BA BL, breaching the male dominion in such roles.

Director G. Nageshwar Reddy, who roped her after watching Vishal’s Pandem Kodi 2, tells us, casting a woman in a villain’s role brings novelty to an action film besides breaking the monotony of seeing male villains on screen.

“Varalakshmi’s  fiery look in her eyes truly looked menacing in Tenali Ramakrishna BA BL. She is abundantly talented and has the appropriate physical appearance to carry off a larger-than-life role and make audiences believe that she could kill her opponent. She can pull off roles with dark shades with consummate ease,” he adds.

Meanwhile, Varalakshmi has been taking on more grey roles in upcoming Tollywood movies such as Krack and Naandhi, in which she will surely leave her mark.

Nivedha Thomas, another ‘girl-next-door’ who impressed audiences with her roles in Ninnu Kori and Brochevarevarura, is doing a bold role in Vakeel Saab, the remake of Pink. Reprising Tapsee’s role, in the story, she accepts in court that she had few affairs but files a case of rape against a rich brat who forced himself on her despite her saying ‘no.’.

Earlier, Tammanah, also known mostly for glam roles in films such as Rebel and Rachcha, played a bold role in Next Enti, in which she dumps her lover, and settles for a middle-aged divorcee. In the film, she is also seen having a drink or two like a new-age woman.

Even Kajal broke the trend to reinvent her image with her grey role in Sita in which she plays a ruthless, money-minded business tycoon who enjoys a live-in relationship with the film’s baddy, played by Sonu Sood, all so she can get her work done.

The film may have failed to live up to its makers’ expectations but even its producer, Anil Sunkara admits to us that Kajal did a good job in a challenging role with grey shades.

While it was always known that women could carry out pretty much anything with a flare, it is encouraging to see the film industry and the audiences accepting them in roles other than the stereotypical ones that supposedly brought in the footfalls into the theatres.