In the restaurant, Fahadh Faasil, sporting a new look, stands in the midst of cameras and hosts. It is the first day of his movie Carbon’s release and Fahadh looks happy. It is a busy day for him. As we sit for a quick chat, Fahadh opens up about his first release in 2018.
“I listened to the script of Carbon at the end of 2014. I liked it the moment I heard it. I wanted to do it,” our conversation begins. “But, then I wanted to take a break from cinema. When I returned, I was thinking about the scripts I had heard, and Carbon came first to my mind.” Thus, began his journey of Carbon.
In the movie, he plays the character Siby, who hails from Pala. He is in constant search for his lady luck and takes shortcuts. Ask Fahadh what attracted him to Carbon and Siby, he says, “It is the fact that Siby is in everyone. It is a reflection,” he says and explains, “For instance, you make friends with people who have reflections of yourself. Siby has that quality. We would feel that he is someone we know. He reminded me of many persons I know and me. That was the basic drive.”
Fahadh had once said that mannerisms that he gives to his characters come from his observations. “In Siby, there are many I know. He is an extreme person, who at one point, dreams of bank robbery. He is quite unpredictable, like a chameleon. His mannerisms keep changing. His relationship with each character is entirely different,” says Fahadh. “If you see the narrative, you would be able to relate to that. Siby has survival issues. I had been through that in my life. Everyone must have. So, the association is very simple.”
We are taken to a forest in the second half of Carbon. Stunning visuals of the forest completely changes the mood of the movie. Shooting inside the forest has been a strenuous task for the entire team, who had to spend many days deep inside. Fahadh says, “I love the forest. It is the place where you hear yourself better. Whenever I get a chance, I drive with my wife or friends. For Carbon, I had travelled with Venu ettan to the forests in Wayanad.”
In the movie, there is a scene where Fahadh’s and Manikandan Achari’s characters confront an elephant inside the woods. “That is an original footage, not a tamed animal,” says the actor, who believes that every movie allows self-exploration.
“There are films you do for money and relations. Most of the films that I do help me learn something,” he says. “Venu ettan told me the gist of Alchemist — the man who sets out on a journey to find a treasure and ultimately realises that it was hidden at the place where he began his journey — during the discussion phase of Carbon. Then I told him, ‘this dialogue should be there in the cinema’.
Because, it is everyone’s cycle. Carbon has a cycle which I identify with as a person. In the movie, Siby may have a climax, but as an individual, I am still in search,” he adds.
One thing that has made Fahadh everyone’s favourite is his realistic portrayal on screen. An actor who loves evolving with every movie, he says he looks at the story more than the character. “I don’t read the script. Whatever the person narrates to me, I should be able to tell the same to someone else. If I get that clarity, I am in. If I don’t get that, I take time to say yes,” he says. “I try to choose characters that don’t remind the audience of my previous roles. I make a conscious effort for that,” he adds.
Ask him about the changing audience, he says, “People go to a restaurant because good food is served there. So, it is upto the filmmaker, producer, or actor to get things and figure out what the audience takes in. Good films have always succeeded in Malayalam.” And he feels privileged to be in the Malayalam film industry. “When I talk to my friends outside Kerala, they say that Malayalis are ready for anything. You can experiment here. If I weren’t here, I might not have been able to do movies like Chaappa Kurishu, 22 FK or Maheshinte Prathikaram. That way, I am fortunate to be here,” adds the actor, who enjoys this current phase of life. He says he doesn’t miss anything from his life before becoming a celebrity. “I have the liberty to take off from my work and have a private life. I am not being arm-twisted to do anything,” he says.
Fahadh had debuted in Tamil with Velaikkaran. He has projects in the pipeline. “I have a balance shoot with Kumararaja (Super Deluxe), which I will be doing after Trance,” he signs off....