Receiving Applause at IFFK Gave Me Hope: Bhavana

The actress opens up about her upcoming film Ntikkakkakkoru Premandaarnnu and the support she received at the International Film Festival of Kerala
BhavanaFilm Companion Interview

Actress Bhavana is making her comeback in Malayalam cinema after five years with Adhil M Asharaf’s Ntikkakkakkoru Premondarnn. Bhavana was one of the guests at the opening ceremony of the 26th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) last year. And much to her surprise, the audience welcomed her with roaring applause. “If something bad happened in your life, you need not hide away. That concept has changed. And the response at IFFK gave me that hope,” says Bhavana.

She experienced a mix of happiness, sadness and hope as the audience welcomed her. She says it was like people accepting and telling her, ‘You fight, we are with you.’ “If something like this happened in USA or UK, one wouldn’t be surprised because they have a system where people have been speaking about these things for a long time. But experiencing such support here was quite overwhelming,” says Bhavana.

Sharaf U Dheen and Bhavana in Ntikkakkakkoru Premondarnn trailer
Sharaf U Dheen and Bhavana in Ntikkakkakkoru Premondarnn trailer

Her upcoming Ntikkakkakkoru Premondarnn, which co-stars Sharaf U Dheen, chronicles the lives of two childhood sweethearts and how their lives cross paths years later. The film’s poster reads, “Bhavana and Sharaf U Dheen in Ntikkakkakkoru Premondarnn. She opines that the change in including the actress's name alongside the actor’s in the poster is both organic and a result of several actresses voicing their concerns. Bhavana says, “When we look at Shah Rukh Khan’s films, the title of the actress appears first. It doesn’t mean something huge has changed. It is a sign of respect that Shah Rukh Khan gives. Similarly, in every Red Chillies film, the heroine’s name will appear first. It is a nice gesture. For this film, both Sharaf U Dheen and I have equal importance. If the heroine is not there, the film will not work; and vice versa. That is also the reason the poster has both our names.”

Just like the film posters, Bhavana observes that she has also evolved over the years. It’s been 20 years since Bhavana entered the Malayalam film industry with her debut Nammal (2002). Two decades later, the actress recalls, “At 15, I was clueless about how huge the film industry is. What excited me the most while signing films was the fact that I didn’t have to go to school. I wasn’t serious about this profession. I used to play dumb charades and antakshari with the crew members back in the day. But now, I understand that this is my job and my career. The expectations in my life, professional experiences and the people I met — everything changed my life just like how all our lives change over time.”

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