Debutant director Fellini TP brings Tovino Thomas back to screen with his film Theevandi. This political satire follows the life of a chain-smoker, Bineesh, played by Thomas. Samyuktha Menon is paired opposite him as Devi, a bold and independent woman.
This is Menon’s debut film, though it film came her way while she was working on her first film Lilly, scheduled for release at the end of this month.
Menon said that Lily’s editor recommended her to Fellini. And, after Fellini forwarded his script to her she was on board.
“Devi works in a village office,” said Menon. “Her father is a politician and she is engaged to Bineesh. The story is told from the chain-smoker’s perspective.”
One song sequence required her to slap Thomas.
“We could have cheated the scene, but Tovino did not want that and I had to slap him,” she said.
She refers to her director as cool and brilliant.
“It was easy working with him. He never demonstrated how to play the characters but induced the mood and emotions of his characters through his narration. Fellini never loses his cool and knows how to deal with situations. Many things can go wrong during a shoot, with Fellini there is a plan B always,” Menon said.
She learnt many things from her co-star Thomas. “He is a fantastic human being and comfortable to work with. He behaves the same with everyone on the sets. He is not a star reporting for his scenes but one who mingles with the crew,” she said.
An accidental actor, Menon is now loving her career.
She was nervous watching herself on the screen at the first day’s show of Theevandi.
“But listening to the applause got me excited. I am loving the feedback to Devi,” she added.
Her next release Lilly, directed by Prasobh Vijayan, is a survival thriller. She plays the title role of a young pregnant woman who has been abducted by three men.
“It was the director and producer of Lilly who exposed me to films outside Malayalam cinema including international films and I was awe-struck. I decided to continue with acting,” the actress said.
Menon is now working on her third film — Oru Yamandan Premakadha — opposite Dulquer Salmaan.
The supporting cast of Theevandi includes Suraj Venjaromoodu, Surabhi Lakshmi, Shammi Tilakan and Saiju Kurup.
The film, produced by August Cinema, releases in the UAE on September 13.