Mamta Mohandas who ventured into her acting career in Malayalam cinema through Hariharan`s movie Mayookham has been still active in the mainstream cinema for over 15 years. Mamta was successful to bag a seat of her own in the Malayalam film industry through a variety of roles after overcoming several obstacles. And now, Mamta is all set to make her debut as a producer in the music industry through RJ Ekalavyan's single "Lokame".
Mamta talks to Madhyamam about her concepts on films and the paths she has crossed.
Are you stepping in to helm the production field after your success in establishing as an actor and singer?
I have always wanted to step into the next level related to cinema. It was only now that it got possible to put my visions into reality. I had a big project in my mind. But the pandemic changed everything. I desire to create good content and the aim is to give an opportunity to the upcoming aspirants in the new generation.
Many political issues are mentioned in Eklavayan's 'Lokame', which is the first to be released in your production. Can such an impact be expected in the upcoming projects as well?
"Lokame" was something that happened very unexpectedly. It was my love for words that brought me into the project. It is produced with great quality and high expense. I know rap songs are not popular in Malayalam, but I believe that Malayalam will get a lot of attention through rap songs. Malayalam songs have never seemed to have the charm of Tamil. Tamil is a bit simpler.
I think the Malayalam language can be presented more beautifully through rap. The Malayalam language has the zeal for it. I am running the production company to express my thoughts. But it is not just to showcase my face. There might be my songs in it too. A special team has been set up to listen to stories and do preliminary work. There is also a technical team.
Keralites are enjoying the web series from all over the world. But such a thing does not happen here. What do you think must be the cause of this discrepancy?
We are setting our boundaries. Many series are produced in a way that is more expensive than Hollywood films. If the web series is brought with quality at a high cost, the Game of Thrones will happen among the Keralites as well. There is a realistic trend in cinema now. When it comes to the series, it should be able to reach the screen in a way that satisfies people's imagination.
If there is good content, big giants will come to take over our series. Look at the series "Money Heist" itself. It was first broadcast through a Spanish channel. Then Netflix came looking for them.
From Mayukham in 2005 to Lalbagh in 2020, what was your favourite character in Malayalam cinema during your 15 years? Do you feel like there is more for you to achieve in Malayalam Cinema?
Vidyalakshmi in " Katha Thudarunnu", Anuradha in "Arike", Priya in "My Boss" and Rithika Xavier in Forensics are some of my favourite characters. As the representation of women in the society increases, so does the importance of female characters in cinema. During the COVID period, the shooting of the film 'Unlock' was completed. 'Bilal' is about to be released.
Art never ceases, so I will continue to be in the cinema. It can sometimes be in the role of a director, or something else. It will be in the movie anyway. I didn't go looking for movies. I got everything from movies. It was the cinema that picked me up even during the big fall. It is not something that I wanted or asked for. I was diagnosed with cancer, so my biggest goal is to stay healthy.
I believe that everything will come to you if you shine as a person. The film is a competitive industry. While some are trying to diminish the brilliance of others, I'm trying to make the dim ones even brighter.
You seem to be a person similar to have Prithviraj's cinematic concept. Have Prithviraj's views ever influenced you?
I appreciate Prithviraj for his views and efforts. I also had a lot of dreams about cinema. In the past, it was not important for a female artist to make a name for herself. Prithviraj is a man who has faced criticisms. That is changing now. Prithvi is an example of how we can succeed if we stand by ourselves. Intelligent audiences are here. That is why I am in Malayalam. The enlightenment of the audience makes us more responsible. I also want the world to see Malayalam cinema. Look at other language movies. Even after the arrival of Fox Studios and spending crores, many films are illogical. I didn't mean that all movies are like that, but when you watch some movies, I have wondered how such irrational movies are still happening in 2020 as well. Even though Hollywood has unbelievable stories, they have managed to make us believe them through their incredible making technique. I'm confident that I will be able to show how to make a film if the big costs and the big producers all come together.
You are a person who has fought cancer and made a big comeback personally. What do you you have to tell to the people who have stayed home during the pandemic?
It seems that everyone now realizes that the crisis can happen to anyone. I have also experienced long breaks when I was diagnosed with cancer. But it can be said that the comeback was a little stronger. Bad times can come to anyone. It happened with me as well. When you face a fall, it becomes a habit. I have no such thing as fear now. I wasn't afraid when the pandemic happened. I have seen something bigger than that.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the time at home with exercise and painting. During the COVID period, I had travelled from Kochi to Los Angeles. It did not seem so terrible in America after what we have read and heard about the situation there. I was in the United States at the time of the election. It felt good when the democrats won the election. After all, this is a historic year. I hope everyone can maintain the lessons they have learnt from this pandemic.
(This interview published in www.madhyamam.com was translated by Fathima Shareef )