Jyotika, who is spending quality time in a beach town with her family, takes some time off to tell us what her upcoming film Udanpirappe means to her. She doesn’t mince words as she begins. “Women are not being portrayed the way they are supposed to be in movies. At the end of a film, they should feel respected and dignified when they walk out of the theatre or after they finish watching a film on OTT. They should be able to relate to it. It is a virtue that every movie that is being made should have. I felt that when I listened to Udanpirappe’s script from Era Saravanan,” Jo tells us. In the film that will premiere on Amazon Prime, she plays the character of Mathangi, from an affluent family in a rural backdrop. Her looks have been well-received and raised eyebrows of Jo fans and movie buffs. “The story is strongly rooted. To prepare for the role, I took inspiration from my husband Suriya’s family. They come from a village beyond Coimbatore (Kasigoundanpudur). I have seen how my mother-in-law, and other women in the family have been exemplary in leading the way and holding the fort together. Mathangi in Udanpirappe will be one among them. It is a new kind of film I have been a part of. You will realise that I have fewer dialogues and more emotions, which excites me. There is a lot of depth to those emotions” she adds.
(A still from the film)
The film, which is her 50th, has an ensemble cast of Sasikumar, Samuthirakani and Soori in prominent roles. Jyotika says that it has been an experience to cherish. “Sasikumar among all of us had the upper hand as he is a sensible actor and a director. I have always been a fan of Samuthirakani and director Era Saravanan has written something beautiful. They all helped me out as this is a first-of-its-kind for me. Things have been organic and have fallen in place for Udanpirappe that will hit the bull’s eye,” she smiles. Over the years, Jyotika has broken several stereotypes and has created her own league which is also fondly called Jyotika-centric films in Kollywood circles. We tell her that and she smiles, “They call it Jyotika-centric probably I guess I play the older roles. Jokes apart, it is not something I have planned. I have just been playing characters that will keep women on a high pedestal. People follow cinema and stars, so a good message is necessary. So, why not do it?” she concludes.