Amala Paul Shares Exhilaration and Gratitude for the Role in ‘Aadujeevitham’


When Amala Paul was initially approached for the role in the ambitious project ‘Aadujeevitham,’ she anticipated a modest engagement. Instead, she was rewarded with an opulent feast of an experience, complete with a delectable dessert — a comprehensive involvement with some of the industry’s most reputed stalwarts. The actor’s voice brims with exhilaration as she recounts being part of a team that includes legends like AR Rahman, Resul Pookutty, A Sreekar Prasad, and filmmaker Blessy. Her excitement is palpable and justified, considering the film’s literary source—a revered Malayalam novel by Benyamin—and the casting of Prithviraj Sukumaran in the pivotal role. The audience’s excitement mirrors that of the film’s team, especially with the release date set for March 28.

‘Aadujeevitham’ began its cinematic journey back in 2018, but like many creative endeavors, it faced setbacks due to the pandemic. Far from being disheartened, Amala views the delay as advantageous, allowing the film to grow in ambition and anticipation, eventually blossoming into one of Malayalam cinema’s most eagerly awaited titles. The narrative and the filmmaking itself have matured over time, Amala observes. She expresses profound gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of such a transformative project.

Parallel to her professional path was a personal quest for spiritual enlightenment. Amala was traversing the Himalayas, delving into yoga and meditation when ‘Aadujeevitham’ came her way. She recalls the profound impact that reading the novel, during a flight from Delhi to Kochi, had on her. The protagonist Najeeb’s harrowing tale struck a chord, resonating powerfully with her own introspective journey. By the time director Blessy extended the invitation for her to essay the role of Sainu, she was already deeply drawn to the film’s narrative.

Portraying Sainu proved to be a transformative experience unlike any other for Amala. Unlike the book, which primarily focuses on the character of Najeeb Muhammad, a migrant worker from Kerala trapped as a goatherd in a merciless desert, the film adaptation affords Sainu greater narrative space. Preparing for what she dubs one of her most ‘feminine’ roles involved embracing the novelty of portraying her first Muslim character and incorporating distinct body language and mannerisms. It was also her initiation into the technique of sync sound, which, at the time, was a burgeoning innovation in Malayalam cinema.

Amala heaps praise on director Blessy for his guidance, which helped her internalize the role with an intimate understanding of Sainu’s background and life story. The character of Sainu—a resilient, ambitious woman who assumes the responsibilities of her household after her husband Najeeb leaves—is detailed with care and admiration by Amala. Sainu’s grit becomes a lens into the lives of countless women who uphold their homes against odds, a theme that resonates throughout the film and lend it an authentic emotional gravity.

Particularly noteworthy to Amala is Blessy’s sensitive portrayal of love in his films. Unconstrained by the usual boundaries of age or circumstance, the love depicted is one that transcends adversity—enduring and guiding Najeeb through his ordeal. The transcendence of love is a thread that ties the fates of the soulmates, Najeeb and Sainu, together even in the midst of strife.

In an uncanny turn of life imitating art, Amala finds herself pregnant while the film is up for promotion—a parallel to her character Sainu’s circumstances in the film. Fondly, she reminisces about padding her belly to depict pregnancy during filming, and now experiences it in reality as she awaits the birth of her child.

With ‘Aadujeevitham’ of yesteryears set to grace cinema screens, Amala also reflects on her subsequent work in the Malayalam film industry, with titles like ‘Cadaver,’ ‘Teacher,’ and ‘Christopher’ enriching her portfolio. She draws an inspiring parallel between the film and its protagonist’s life—which, unbeknownst to him at his lowest ebb, would one day unfold into a grand cinematic tale, touching countless lives. The interweaving of fiction and reality, hope and resilience, crafts ‘Aadujeevitham’ into a narrative tapestry poised to resonate with audiences far and wide, as Amala Paul undoubtedly hopes it will.

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