Actor Vineeth learns Kathakali
Actor Vineeth has often played the roles of Kathakali artistes and dancers in many of the films he was part of, like Parinayam, Mizhikal Sakshi and Kamaladalam. Such dance and music based films which were once lapped up eagerly by Malayalis took a backseat later on. However, Vinod Mankara’s upcoming film ‘Kambhoji’ will be one such, a musical with Vineeth and Lakshmi Gopalaswamy in the lead roles.
The film traces the life of a Kathakali artiste and ‘asan’ played by Vineeth, and while the actor just took a week’s training for his earlier films, he is undergoing rigorous training in Kathakali under Kalamandalam Narayanan for this one. “Of course, I won’t be able to attain the perfection of a real Kathakali artiste but since I am a dancer, I can adapt to the techniques and hope to present a neat performance. It has been an amazing experience so far to train under the young and talented Kalamandalam Narayanan, with lots of other respected artistes helping us,” says Vineeth.
So what made him take up the film? “I have done such films before, but what attracted me to this project is the intensity of the script. It is a musical based on highly classical exquisite ragas. But when you project classical art forms on screen, it has to be substantiated by a very strong story element. Otherwise it won’t appeal to the common man. Even well-choreographed dance pieces will have no impact if the storyline is weak. The way the director has conceived the storyline is stunning. His interpretation of shots is also praiseworthy,” he says.
‘Kambhoji’ will also mark Vineeth’s first film as an official choreographer. “I have always given my inputs to whatever dance sequences I have been part of in my films, including Bhul Bhulayya in Priyadarshan’s film. But my name couldn’t be mentioned as I was not a member of the choreographer’s union. This time, I got the membership card and so that will be a first for me. It’s a beautiful song sequence; the technique is that Kathakali but will see a combination of Mohiniyattam and Bharatanatyam as well.”
While he is not allowed to reveal more details of the story, he mentions that the film will see Lakshmi as an antharajanam, a musically inclined dancer. “We have never shared screen space in a film before and it is a very unique opportunity for both of us as dancers. The film is being shot in beautiful untouched landscapes of Ottapalam, in traditional manas and illams, complemented by the Valluvanadan slang,” he says.
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