Malayalam News

“KPAC Lalitha was the Best Narrator in Malayalam Cinema,” Filmmakers Anoop Sathyan & Rojin Thomas Share Memories of the Late Actor

The funeral of veteran actor KPAC Lalitha, who died on Tuesday, will be held at her residence in Thrissur on Wednesday at 5 pm with state honours. As several fans and celebrities pay their tributes to the actor, speaking to Silverscreen India, filmmakers Anoop Sathyan and Rojin Thomas share their memories working with her in the recent past. 


Anoop directed the 2020 Malayalam film Varane Avashyamund starring Dulquer Salmaan, Suresh Gopi, Shobana and Kalyani Priyadarshan. In the film, Lalitha played the pivotal role of Akashavani, a serial actor and former radio jockey. Akashavani was the caretaker of Bibish (Dulquer) and his younger brother. 

Speaking to Silverscreen India, Anoop recalls, “For Varane Avashyamund, I thought Lalitha aunty would be a great fit for two roles and I wanted her to play any one of them. At the time, she was busy but somehow she managed to take out some time to work in my film. She had been a permanent cast member in my father’s (Sathyan Anthikad) films for over three decades. So, she is more like family to me.”

Anoop also tells us that Lalitha’s talent for narration is unique and very believable. “If she is in a film, she can narrate a backstory so convincingly that we don’t even have to shoot a flashback sequence. The best example is her narration of Nagavalli’s backstory in the cult film Manichitrathazhu (1993).” 

He further recalls that on the sets, he did not have to give many cues to Lalitha about the character Lalitha, only giving certain references like his father would do in the films they had collaborated on.

“She was a star who felt like family. During my childhood, I did not spend time on my father’s sets. But she used to come home and visit my family. One memory of her that I’d cherish forever is after completing the shoot for Varane Avashyamund, Lalitha aunty attended an event in Kerala, with my father. Speaking about her experience working in the film, she revealed the title for the first time. She also mentioned that working with me was similar to working with my father. So, that was a huge compliment.” 

Lalitha was last seen in the critically-acclaimed Malayalam comedy-drama #Home (2021). Filmmaker Rojin Thomas says that it was a blessing to have worked with the late actor. 

“I had a great experience collaborating with her for #Home. I think exactly one year ago, I was shooting with her. During that time, she was unwell and there were Covid-19 restrictions. When we approached her, we were not sure if she would be willing to work in such a situation. But, she was very happy to listen to the story and was excited to be a part of the film,” adds Rojin. 

Rojin notes that Lalitha is a ‘born actor.’ He says, “For instance, we would have given only a two-minute briefing for a scene or a character. But her acting, would make us feel like she had comprehended the situation or character, for over two months.”


The filmmaker also says that for Malayalees, when it came to narration or any scene with immersive storytelling, Lalitha was the only actor who would cross their minds. He adds that for #Home, he had wanted to cast Lalitha, right during the process of writing. 

“The climax demanded the narration of a backstory and I am glad that Lalitha amma was able to do it. As she was physically unwell at that time, she found great joy to be on the sets. Especially, she loved the make-up for the Annamma character essayed by her. It motivated her when she looked elegant. She appreciated the make-up artist for that,” he says, adding that he was unsure if she had a chance to watch the film, as her health deteriorated in the following months.