Actress Anumol will play artist TK Padmini in upcoming biopic, Padmini. Directed by Malayalam playwright and screenplay writer Susmesh Chandroth, the film will focus on the early life and works of the artist, known for her distinctive style. Though Padmini ushered in a new sensibility in the sixties, and is acknowledged as a strong feminine presence in the history of painting in Kerala. This film is Susmesh’s way of paying tribute to the artist, who died during childbirth.
Anumol, in an interview with Deccan Chronicle, spoke about how she landed the role. “I knew him as a writer. So while he talked to me about TK Padmini on one phone, I was looking her up on my other phone and I was so much in awe. She has made such bold paintings in those times, and coming from that place!” she said.
The actress did feel some apprehension about playing a role based on a real person. But when she found out that both of them hailed from the same place, her fears were put to rest. “It has to be the place we come from. She is from Edappal, which is near my hometown. So the way I walk and my body language would all be similar,” she said.
To prepare for her role, Anumol sought artist T Kaladharan’s help. A five-day workshop by Kaladharan was held recently in a bid to recreate Padmini’s paintings and tutor Anumol on the same. “Films about artists should not come badly unstuck when it comes to the central plot — recreating their paintings. Hence, we took the trouble to provide authentic training to Anumol, under Kaladharan maash, so as to get her to enact the painting scenes effectively,” said Chandroth.
The film was shot in three schedules spanning eight months. The cast of the film includes new faces such as Sanju Sivaram, Ayillyan son of renowned artist C.N Karunakaran, who will be playing his father on screen. Young actress Amudha will play the role of Padmini at a younger stage in the film. The music is composed by Carnatic vocalist Sreevalsan J Menon. According to the Hindu, the film is currently in the post-production stage and is intended to be screened at film festivals around the world
Anumol debuted in Tamil cinema with Kannukkulle in 2010. Her other Tamil films include Raamar (2010), Sooran (2014), Thilagar, and Oru Naal Iravil in 2015. She forayed into Malayalam cinema with P Balachqandran’s Ivan Megharoopan (2010), a biopic based on the poet P Kunhiraman Nair. The actress won accolades for her role in the film and went on to act in Njaan (2014) and Amoeba (2015).