With 34 movies, Muthumani has established herself as a character actor in Malayalam cinema. Theatre paved her way to films. A native of Ernakulam, Muthumani has been actively taking part in various cultural activities since childhood. She has won numerous prizes in mono-act and dance items in arts festivals at the district-level. Her life took a turn for the better when she started doing plays.
At the event ‘Coffee with Passionate Pro’ organised by the Neo Film School, Kochi, where she was invited as a guest, the actor talked about the journey so far and shared her experiences with film students. “Exposure to various art forms is my biggest asset and the fuel that keeps me going in cinema. The two things that made me love acting were dance and theatre, where I learned discipline and started enjoying the small freedoms of playing various roles,” she said. Her two notable roles in theatre are a Dalit girl named Vasundhara in Oru Dalit Yuvathiyude Kadana Katha and a Greek character Meda.
In the lively interactive session, she gave tips and advice to the young actors and directors. When asked if she was a born actor or method actor, where in actors strive for a realistic performance by utilising their emotional memories, Muthumani said: “Definitely not a method actor; as for born actor, I do not know yet.”
The most challenging roles in her career so far are the ones in Njan, Lukka Chuppi and Uncle. “In Njan, everything was different — the language, place and the period. It was a different role,” she said. “Acting is tough, but also rewarding, not just in terms of money; it’s the happiness of doing something that you truly love,” she added.
Muthumani is currently doing her research work on Film and Copyrights in Cochin University. She has completed her law degree and has worked in a firm. She spoke about the Copyrights Act and its provisions. “When a creative work is done, especially in music, people recreate and enjoy it for many years. So the director, composer and other individuals involved should receive an amount. The provisions in the Act say so but in most cases, that does not happen.” She explained to the students what one must remember while signing contracts.
She believes that the role of women in cinema is changing. “Even though the process is slow, there is a difference. Women are given stronger roles in movies. It’s visible not just in India but across the world, and in different fields. #MeToo is a serious issue, but there are a number of questions on credibility and the long silence. At this point, we should support and empower women without questions.”...