Manju Warrier, The People’s Heroine!
Bhanu, she has a lot of shades, she puts up a face of temper and fierceness, she tries to work as hard as a man for her family, she has no softness, she can easily pick up a sickle in her hand against anyone who is trying to harm her but beyond all this there is a layer of sensitivity in her, she can be soft, she can get her eyes wet, she can dream to be with a man. This is the character sketch of Bhanumathi written by A.K Lohithadas for the film Kanmadam. And who was going to essay it on screen, none other than Manju Warrier. The lady changed a lot perspectives on how a movie actress should be. Let it be Kanmadam or Kannezhuthi Pottumthottu or even the latest How Old Are You, Manju Warrier makes sure that the audience cannot think of a replacement for the actress.
Many actresses, including Sridevi, made comebacks in movies after marriage and few years of break. Some managed to get one or two hits and some failed miserably. No one had a full fledged career in the second innings like Manju Warrier is having now. She made her appearance on silver screen after 15 years and she was welcomed with boundless love and was treated like a queen. The audience are the major reason behind Manju Warrier’s success. They count her in as one of them. Normally the hero seems like a guy next door and the heroine an angelic girl, but Manju never appeared like a far-fetched heroine. She is always easily relatable. Today even after being titled as ‘Lady Superstar’, Manju Warrier seems to be a normal person who we meet in our day-to-day lives.
When we look at the Manju Warrier Performances, they are strong, they contribute a lot to the film and there are some particular moments that we keep in mind like the introduction scene in Aaram Thamburan with Mohanlal. The charm she had throughout Summer In Bethlahem and the calm in Kaliyattam are all memorable. Even the scene in How Old Are You where Nirupama is meeting the President, the way she faints is also memorable. The tiny expressions and the naughtiness in them were the most girlish part in the actress. She could be a tom-boy like in Summer In Bethlahem or absolutely feminine like in Pranayavarnangal. Her beautiful wide eyes added intensity the roles. Her way of dialogue delivery is always appreciated. The lady basically makes a character complete while playing it. Manju Warrier do not just play the character, she becomes the character and also she gives a little bit of herself to the character. She faced criticism of seeming a bit artificial in the recent films, but Saira Banu was the answer to critics. Also her performances are brilliantly supportive to the co-stars’ performances, she will do her best but will never overshadow the actor working with her, let it be Mohanlal or Suresh Gopi or any other senior or junior actors. The lady has received quiet a few awards including a special mention at the National Awards for her mind blowing performance in Kannezhuthi Pottumthottu.
Manju Warrier is an actress who has created magic on screen, she is not the conventional heroine but she completely took the advantage of being different from others. Her capabilities were understood by many amazing directors who transformed her into some of the most meaningful women characters. She made it a statement that a woman’s beauty is in her self belief and in an industry where women are supposed to look pretty, she made it look fine to wear a lungi and shirt and appear on screen. Manju Warrier is certainly a face changer in Malayalam cinema. Now we get films that has strong women characters every year because Manju Warrier is doing them and she has a great star value. She is also a socially responsible person and there are a lot of admirers to her deeds for social causes. Manju Warrier, the name can bring audience to the theatres and we would like to call her The People’s Heroine more than Lady Superstar.
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Hardcore Film Lover and Ardent Movie Goer, Aspiring Film Maker.