South Indian actor Dulquer Salmaan keeps it simple when it comes to matters of the heart.
“I definitely believe that you have one person who’s meant for you in your life. But I don’t believe in that fairy tale romance kind of manner where it’s happily-ever-after endings. Marriage is also about two families coming together,” said Salmaan in an interview with Gulf News tabloid!.
He was in Dubai on February 7 for a special screening of his relationship drama ‘Varane Avashyamund’, out now in UAE cinemas.
He plays a regular dude in this film that explores the dynamics of love in young and old couples alike.
Salmaan, the son of iconic Malayalam actor Mammootty, has also produced this film.
Asked if his father ever helps him steer his career forward, Salmaan denied that he depends on his family to shape his acting career.
“Nobody knows what is right or wrong. I don’t think any of my family wants to meddle because I rather want it to be my own mistake. Even if it’s a bad film, the choice has to be yours. All you can do is work with convictions,” said Salmaan.
Tell us about your new film ‘Varane Avashyamund’?
It’s a feel-good film with likeable characters. It touches upon the lives of couples who are not young per se. And when I heard the idea for the first time it was so intriguing that I wanted to produce the film. I felt it’s a fresh take on the matter and it isn’t usually touched upon in films. I was not supposed to act in the film, but the more I heard about it, the more the film called out to me. I don’t want to reveal much about my role, but I play a bit of a hustler in this one and he has interesting dynamics with his own family. The way he interacts with them is interesting. My character isn’t going through any quarter-life crisis or identity crisis in his life and he’s very sorted in his life and thoughts.
How will this film resonate with audiences who are looking for love in dating apps and aren’t always looking to commit themselves to marriage?
Our Malayali audience should connect with this film because they like our traditions of meeting people through arranged meetings. Now, it’s not as strict as before. Everyone is open to meeting people for marriage whether it’s your mom who found the girl for you or not. A good relationship boils down to how you connect with each other and about your future together. I don’t think our film will stand out or be out of place in today’s times. It has a whole new dynamic. Nobody is putting the pressure on Kalyani [Priyadarshan, the lead actress] to find a groom for herself. She’s the one seeking a partner on her own terms. This film reveals how life brings certain people together and how timing matters.
What’s your take on love and do you believe in soul mates?
There are so many aspects to why a relationship works. In my life, my wife brings so much more value to my life and the way she gets along with my folks and what role my in-laws play in my life are all factors that play into a relationship. It’s a combination of so many things. When two people are living in a small, confined space and irrespective of whether you fall in love, it’s not easy for two people to find compatibility and companionship. There will be days which are tough for a couple when they have differing opinions. But it’s so easy to give up when something goes wrong, but I wouldn’t give up on a relationship based on that. Unless there’s no physical or emotional trauma or abuse, I wouldn’t give up on a relationship. This whole argument that I have fallen out of love, I find that too easy to believe.
Clearly you have seen ‘Marriage Story’ on Netflix, a film that’s a grim portrait of love.
I started watching it, but I haven’t finished it. I feel like you have to be in the right mood to enjoy that film. Usually after a day’s work of filming, I am in the mood to watch something fun.
This movie brings together actors who ruled the 1990s such as Shobana, Suresh Gopi and Urvashi. What was it like collaborating with them?
Honestly, we were like fan boys. When I was young, I used to see them at various film-related events. But I don’t think any one of us ever imagined that we would grow up and work with each other. It’s a blessing. Kalyani and I were tiptoeing around them a little bit, but they were so easy-going and fun. We wanted to make a film with all of them. It was good to observe how they work and how it’s easy for them to play with their characters. We had such great conversations about the world of film in between our takes. With actress Lalita, I want to do a full-length film where she plays my mom. Shobana is spontaneous and effortless. She’s so graceful and has such clarity in every scene she does. Suresh Gopi had such a ball with the character he’s playing. He maintains a poker face during the humorous scenes and that’s an art in itself. Urvashi ma’am and her scenes are classic and funny.
What kind of a producer are you?
I don’t like meddling in my director’s work. I am involved in my pre-shoot and post-shoot process alone. As an actor, I find it difficult to be involved in the casting choices because I realise it’s unfair to actors to pitch somebody specific. I leave it up to the director because it can mess with their creativity. I don’t want to do that. Unless an actor he chose has no dates to allot, then we make an informed call. But declaring that I must cast this person for a particular role is so unfair to the actors.
You have worked with Anoop Sathyan’s father Sathyan Anthikad in the past too. Is that how you got acquainted with Anoop?
I have worked with Anoop even before I worked with his dad for his film. He was one of the assistant directors on ‘Vikramadithyan’ . I was quite keen to work with him and I told him to run his idea for his first film by me. I wasn’t thinking of producing, but as an actor. He’s a great filmmaker who has won many awards for his documentaries and shorts. He has his father’s flavour in films and a cinematic language that’s interesting. He’s witty, playful and has an emotional core in his films, just like his father.
Don’t miss it!
‘Varane Avashyamund’ is out now in UAE cinemas.