It is a normal way of evolution in tinsel town. You start off playing child roles or the younger version of leading stars and then if your own stars are lucky, you will soon find offers for playing the lead in a couple of years. Of course the ‘luck’ factor is of prime importance. Shalu Rahim who played the younger version of Dulquer Salmaan in Kammattipadam will now be graduating to a lead role through the films Jallianwala Bagh and Kali. He informs that he is also playing a part in the Tovino Thomas-starrer Maradona where he plays an antagonist. He will also be seen in a lead role in one of the stories of the anthology film Anuragam. Seems like his cup of films is overflowing.
Coming back to Jallianwala Bagh, it is natural to assume that the film would have some connection to the famous historical event but no, Shalu negates that.
“It is a college-based film that shows the life of college students in a hostel in Kochi.” That is all he is willing to reveal at the moment. Shalu has been lucky that unlike many other newcomers, he did not have to resort to the ‘countless auditions’ route, then wait with bated breath for a call, which may or may not come. He says, “Most of my films have come to me through word of mouth references. Even my debut in Kammattipadam was a role I got just because my look suited the character. I did not have to attend any auditions. The rest of my roles followed through direct calls.”
Shalu has also been double lucky that the films in which he has played or is playing character roles too have leading stars. Elaborating on his different projects, he says, “In Maradona, I have combination scenes with Tovino and it was a cool experience. In Anuragam, I play a silent character who wants to become a priest. Lijo Mol and Vijayaraghavan were very supportive of me during the shooting of the film. Talking about Kali, it is like the name suggests — a game and a thriller film. I play a low key character in this film.”
Incidentally, Shalu is also a DJ but wants to concentrate on films. He knows that competition is breathing down his neck but he plans to stick around and says, “It is hard to get an opening in Mollywood but without breaking too much sweat, I was able to do so. I don’t want to use the word tough when speaking about a career in films. All I can ensure from my part is that I play as many diverse roles as possible.” Pausing a minute, he ruminates, “Life is full of surprises and I don’t know where it is taking me but somewhere I am blessed is what I feel.”...