Lijo Jose Pellissery’s 2017 crime-thriller Angamaly Diaries came to the fore like a swirling wind and smashed all the stereotypes about crime films in Mollywood. The film also paved way for a new star. Antony Varghese better and famously recognised as Vincent Pepe introduced himself as a tough rodeo-looking guy and Malayalis welcomed him with open arms. After almost a year’s gap, he is again making buzz in tinseltown with the trailer release of his new film Swathanthryam Ardharathriyil. With thrilling music and monotone pictures, the teaser of the film is inviting.
In this Tinu Pappachan-directorial, Antony will be seen as a Kottayam native named Jacob who works in a private firm. According to the director, it is a thriller with some high-voltage action scenes and Antony’s character will have no resemblance to Vincent Pepe. The title of the film has much to stoke the curiosity of audience. This film talks about a bunch of prisoners and how certain happenings turn everything upside down overnight. “The film is all about a set of young men. There are lot of sequences to satisfy the fan of bone-chilling action in you,” says Antony.
Despite the success of Angamaly Diaries, Antony was not active in the industry. When asked about his absence, he says, “I cannot call it an absence.”
“ The gap was the result of the roles I was offered. I signed up for Swathanthryam Ardharathriyil because the script really got to me. So I wanted to work for a good script. Some offers I got were not satisfactory. I believe if you are not happy when doing something, you won’t get satisfaction. I am a new guy and I am not being choosy but I believe a strong script can bring out the best in an actor. So I was waiting for a good script.” He says he is a guy who loves simplicity and straightforward nature. “I’m from a very ordinary set-up. Maybe that’s why I don’t get carried away by glamour of any sort.”
He had also acted in a lead role along with Krishnan Balakrishnan in the recently released short film Mouse Trap, a suspense thriller based on the lives of two people. “The short film was released recently though it was done two years ago. Due to some technical difficulties, got delayed. It is directed by short filmmaker Dr Vincent Jose, whose work Life Sentence was selected to the Cannes Film Festival a few years ago,” says Antony.
In his second feature film, Antony had the luck to associate with his first film’s crew and he feels it really helped him to work well. “This film’s director Tinu Pappachan was the associate director to Lijo in Angamaly Diaries. So working with him was never a tough job; it was fun,” he added.
Besides Antony, Swathanthryam Ardharathriyil will also have Vinayakan and Chemban Vinod in lead roles. It is scripted by Dileep Kurian and jointly produced by Angamaly Diaries director-writer duo Lijo and Chemban Vinod along with director B. Unnikrishnan. “Working with them was really good. I am a very social guy, I believe in teamwork and the cast in this film was really friendly to me. It never felt like we were shooting a movie,” he says.
Opportunities are pouring in and he has signed two more movies. Swathanthryam Ardharathriyil will hit the screens by the end of this month.