Every woman has this dream: a road trip with her girl gang, leaving their worries and families behind.
What happens when Prabhavati takes her mother-in-law along with her two friends on a three-day road trip?
Magalir Mattum (Ladies Only), as the title indicates, is the story of these four women. This is Bramma’s sophomore directorial after the National Award-winning debut film Kuttram Kadithal.
Jyotika who returned after a sabbatical in 2015 with 36 Vayadhinile plays the lead role of Prabhavati, a documentary filmmaker. Supporting her are veteran actresses Saranya Ponvannan, Oorvasi and Bhanupriya.
“This story about a daughter-in-law taking her mother-in-law and her two friends on an outing was something new and untouched,” said Jyotika impressed with Bramma’s bound script.
“What surprised me more was that a story like this came from a man.”
Magalir Mattum was inspired from Bramma’s mother’s life.
Bramma’s required Jyotika to fulfil two requirements — to lose weight and to learn to ride a Bullet motorcycle.
Initially, Jyotika learnt to ride a bike under Surya’s (husband and actor) guidance and later, a professional biker Sheeba trained her.
“My daughter Diya was proud when I picked her up from school on the motor bike,” recalled Jyotika.
She remembers being a bit nervous working with the senior actresses. On her first day with them while filming a scene on a boat-ride, Jyotika forgot her lines.
“My mind went blank. They calmed me down and came up with suggestions during takes.”
Jyotika believes in playing characters that depict women as powerful and independent. Prabhavati is one such woman and she enjoyed slipping into her skin.
Surya is her support. He produced her last film 36 Vayidhinile, and now Magalir Mattum.
“Our production 2D Entertainment is clear about encouraging such scripts,” emphasised the Mozhi star.
“Actresses after 27 and 28 are relegated to playing insignificant characters. We should have strong roles written for actresses and portray them like regular girls and working women. Filmmakers cling on to the idea that the audience will not watch a married actress playing the lead. That has to go. It’s very unfair,” rued Jyotika.
The actress believes that it is also the responsibility of lead actors to choose their work carefully and ensure that their female counterparts are treated with dignity. “If you show a lead actor hitting a woman or cheating on a girl, the young generation think it’s alright. We must be careful of what we show the future generation,” added this mother of two.
Referring to women directors, Jyotika felt that the industry had failed them.
“Not many people come forward to produce films written by them,” she said.
Appreciating actor Madhavan for his faith in Sudha Kongara’s Iruddhi Suttru, which was a blockbuster, Jyotika hoped the situation for women will improve for the better in future.
The actress has completed her next film Nachiyar under Bala’s direction and will be working next with director Maniratnam.
Magalir Mattum, she assures, is a feel good entertainer that is told with humour. The supporting cast of Magalir Mattum also includes men — Nasser and Livingstone playing interesting roles.
Ghibran has scored music. S. Manikandan is the cinematographer.