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Kaattu: Meet Left Right Left director’s new unibrow heroine Manasa Radhakrishnan

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Manasa Radhakrishnan is a popular face among social media users with over 2 million followers on her verified Facebook page.

Left Right Left director Arun Kumar Aravind, who earlier worked as an editor for filmmaker Priyadarshan’s movies, is all set to come with his fifth Malayalam movie, Kaattu.

After revealing Murali Gopy’s character Chellappan, the makers have now introduced the film’s uni-brow heroine. The latest poster unveiled by the team features Manasa Radhakrishnan, who will be seen as Ummukkulusu in Kaattu.

In a video, Manasa has opened up on her character Ummukkulsu, a chirpy and energetic Muslim girl who lived in the late 1970’s. “When I heard of the role, I thought it would be difficult to be the character as her attitude and mannerisms are different to what I am in real life. But it became easier after director Arun explained about her to me during the shooting,” Manasa said.

Director Arun has recently said that he was introduced to Manasa by Murali on the sets of Tiyaan. “I wanted to cast a bubbly and beautiful girl for the role and we were looking for a fresh face. I met her on the sets of Tiyaan. Manasa is not really a new face as she was seen in small roles in few other movies. But Ummukkulsu can be considered as her debut since she appears in a full-fledged role,” he is heard saying in a video posted on the Facebook page of Kaattu.

Late filmmaker Padmarajan’s son Anandapadmanabhan has penned the script of Kaattu which also stars Asif Ali in a main role.

Who is Manasa?

Manasa made her acting debut as a child artiste with the 2008 movie Kannuneerinum Madhuram. Later, she appeared in over five movies, but couldn’t make a mark for herself due to small roles in low budget projects. She also appears in a significant role in the movie starring Prithviraj Sukumaran and Indrajith Sukumaran in main roles. The Jiyen Krishnakumar directorial has been scheduled to hit the theatres on July 7.

Interestingly, Manasa is a popular face among social media users with over 2 million followers on her verified Facebook page.

Manasa Radhakrishnan as Ummukkulsu in #Kaattu

Posted by Asif Ali on Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Watch: Manasa talks about her character in Kaattu:

Manasa speaks about Ummukkulsu

Manasa Radhakrishnan speaks about her role – Ummukkulsu from Arun Kumar Aravind's #Kaattu #ActorReveal02

Posted by Kaattu on Wednesday, July 5, 2017

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Dileep row: 14 actresses say no to joining ‘unfair’ AMMA

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Thiruvanathapuram,  As many as 14 actresses on Sunday said they will not join the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) as it lacks any fairness, a week after the members of the association revoked the suspension of actor Dileep, accused of kidnapping an actress.

The 14 active members of the recently-formed Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) took the decision even as superstar Mohanlal, who heads AMMA, said on Saturday that there was no vested interest in taking back Dileep.

Also, two Kannada film bodies — the Kannada Film Industry and the Film Industry for Rights & Equality — on Sunday wrote to AMMA expressing their displeasure in the manner in which Dileep’s suspension was revoked.

In a Facebook post, the actresses, including Amala Akkineni, Archana Padmini, Divyaprabha, Sajitha Madathil and Jolly Chirayath, wrote: “It has been a year since the WCC was formed by women from various facets of the Malayalam film industry and we decided to become members as we knew the issues of women will be addressed by WCC.

“We decided not to take membership in AMMA because when there is no pay parity between males and females in the industry, all have to pay an entry membership fee of Rs 1 lakh which is not justified.

“It has become difficult to believe the organisation given their stand towards the victim in the actress kidnap case… besides it’s tough to go forward with any sort of meaningful discussion on women issues.”

The actresses said that after realising that there is nothing positive in the horizon, “as no meaningful discussion can take place because it’s caught between certain groups, fans associations and it fails to have a humane approach towards issues concerning women, we are unable to take membership in AMMA”.

The WCC has been vocal about the issue since last Sunday when the annual general body meeting of AMMA decided to revoke the suspension of Dileep ordered last year, saying it did not follow the guidelines of AMMA.

Earlier, Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambisan and Geetu Mohandas, all of whom are leading lights in the Malayalam film industry, resigned from AMMA.

This was followed by actresses Revathy, Padmapriya, and A. Parvathy writing to AMMA General Secretary Edavela Babu, demanding an emergency executive meeting of AMMA on July 13 or 14.

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Dileep row refuses to die down, protest outside Mohanlal’s house

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Kochi, The row over Dileep’s re-induction into the Malayalam film artistes’ body AMMA refused to die down even after he said he would not return till being cleared in the case of abducting and sexually assaulting an actress, with Youth Congress activists on Friday taking out a protest march to the home of the association’s chief, superstar Mohanlal, near here.

Shouting slogans against Mohanlal, the protesters demanded that an actor of his stature should not resort to any sort of measure that will affect womanhood by siding with people who are accused and he should not have taken the decision to revoke Dileep’s suspension.

Mohanlal was not present in the house at the time, and some of the protesters, who tried to barge into the compound, were stopped from creating any damage.

Meanwhile in the state capital, on hearing about the Youth Congress protest march, angry activists of the Mohanlal Fans Association took out a march and said if anyone dares to attack their dear superstar, they will not sit idle.

“He is only the (AMMA) President and the decision is taken by the Committee and the Annual General Body Meeting… why is he alone being targeted. If this is not stopped, we will also be forced to act,” warned a fan.

Mohanlal, who took over as President of Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) last Sunday, and the new team in their first decision revoked Dileep’s suspension which was ordered by the association’s Executive Committee last year, saying it was done against the by-laws of AMMA.

The decision led to a huge public outcry against Mohanlal and subsequently four leading actress resigned from AMMA while three other actresses wrote to the AMMA General Secretary to call an emergency committee meeting on July 13 or 14 to discuss this issue.

Several state ministers and leaders from both the Congress and the BJP slammed the decision of AMMA and it was against this backdrop that Dileep wrote to the AMMA General Secretary on Thursday, saying he did not want to return until he is exonerated.

In a related development, the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist’s State Secretariat meeting gave a clean chit to party MP and veteran comedy artiste Innocent and other actor-turned legislators – state legislator Mukesh and K.B. Ganesh Kumar, whose party is a friendly ally of the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government, by deciding not to seek any explanation from them on this issue.

While Innocent was the outgoing AMMA President after an 18-year term, the other two are Vice Presidents of the body and were facing flak from several quarters that they were using their political influence to give Dileep an easy return to AMMA.

Vijayan, who is yet to make any statement on this issue, shooed away the media on Friday when they came to ask his comment on the Dileep row.

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I’m a reluctant actor: Akarsh Khurana

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Akarsh Khurana dons many hats. He has worked as a casting director, producer and lyricist. He has written for films like “Krrish”, “Kites” and “Humshakals”. He is also a director who is nervous about his upcoming directorial “Karwaan”, starring Irrfan Khan and Dulquer Salmaan. He handles his myriad roles effectively but he places acting “lowest” in his list.

“I am quite a reluctant actor. That would probably be the lowest (preference) in my list. I have enjoyed writing for films and directing as well. So, I guess I prefer being backstage and behind the camera over being on stage and in front of the camera,” Akarsh told IANS on the phone from Mumbai.

It’s not about creative control though.

“I am very happy to be at the receiving end (to be directed). It is not a control or creative thing. I just don’t love acting as much as I love directing. I like to work with actors,” he said.

“I loved working with all the actors, but going by the maximum amount of work that I have done, working with Sumeet Vyas was wonderful. Sumeet is one of the reasons why I did ‘Tripling’ (a digital show). I have also done theatre and films with him. It’s been fantastic working with him,” he added.

Lately, Akarsh has been playing the role of a father in films and it shows.

“I am not a full-time actor. I look for projects that I know are going to be enjoyable because of the people I am working with. For instance, in ‘Befikre’ I got to work with Mr. Aditya Chopra and shoot in Paris.

“I also did a film called ‘David’. I played a father in that. He was a gangster, a cruel man who had a heart. In ‘Befikre’, my character was a clumsy father. He was there for some comic relief.”

He is again playing a father in the series titled “Yeh Meri Family”.

“This one is perhaps the most real one. There is a strict side, indulgent side and angry side to the character,” he said.

Set in the 1990s, the story of the show is told from the point of view of his on-screen son.

“It’s from a child’s point of view. So, it’s about growing up, meeting a girl in school, coping with siblings. It is very sweetly told and will make most people nostalgic,” he said.

“It has a feel-good factor. It tells the story of a slightly more innocent time of our lives — before gadgets took over.”

He is paired opposite Mona Singh in “Yeh Meri Family”.

“It was great working with her. There was no attitude problem. She was very friendly and eager to collaborate with people rather than just doing her own thing,” he said.

Akarsh is excited about July and August. While “Yeh Meri Family” will premiere on TVF Play app on July 12, “Karwaan” will hit the big screens in August.

“These two months are important for me. I am very nervous about ‘Karwaan’. The trailer is out. I hope people will love the film.”

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