More Weight Loss Solutions

Exclusive! Tovino Thomas breaks down Thallumaala’s Waseem: I had to approach him as three different character – Ottplay

Aug 27th, 2022

Only Khalid Rahman, Muhsin Parari and I know what Waseem endured after his wedding was cancelled, Tovino Thomas tells us, mirroring the same intensity as the character he had essayed in the trios superhit Thallumaala, as he explains the backstory of the youngster. The movie is special for the actor as he got to prove several points to his detractors with the film and his performance. That he could do so with a proper commercial entertainer with scope of acting add to the Minnal Murali actor, who has been sailing from strength to strength with his movies since last years Kala.

In an exclusive interview with OTTplay, the actor breaks down his role as Waseem from the Khalid Rahman directorial, scripted by Muhsin Parari and Ashraf Hamza, that saw him essay three different phases of his character each standing out in their own way.

Thallumaala is the kind of the film that relies heavily on the directors vision. What was your initial reaction on being narrated its screenplay?

Yes, its a film for which I had to trust its director and writers. Muhsin was supposed to helm the film first when he approached me in 2017. It was his dream project, but he took time to execute it. (Director) Khalid Rahman and (co-scriptwriter) Ashraf Hamza joined him in this journey to aid that dream and the project finally got greenlit in 2020. When Muhsin discussed this film with me, he used to say that they would extract things I didnt even know I could do. I straightway had said I couldnt dance or sing; but they were confident. They wanted to show my swag and attitude.

Could you explain some of those changes that you had tried out with each phase of Waseem in the movie?

So, initially, they told me to approach Waseem as three different characters in the three phases of his life. In the first phase, I have tried to portray as seamless as possible by showing subtle reactions that conveyed everything that the makers wanted me to with that character. Every scene has its cause and effect. So, I had to keep in mind Waseems state of mind in those scenes as well as what the audience were supposed to get from it, and based on these I decide the performance meter.

Even in Dear Friend, my character goes through three phases. In the climax portions, I only brought in minor changes to the initial cheerful friend that you see in the first half. My character didnt scream or create chaos, and yet the audience feels hatred for him. Thats all thats required.

In fact, Thallumaalas composer Vishnu Vijay, who was also the composer for Guppy, had years ago told me that he noticed how I performed the scene where my character gets stabbed. He goes through multiple emotions pain, the search who the person is and then agony after finding out who stabbed him. So, he told me that I have now mastered the kind of performance that I did with my eyes and eyebrows. If you notice in Thallumaala, I have tightened my jaw in the third phase as opposed to the previous two time periods. Its because by then, he has aged and also, he has become hardened. You could feel his anger in the jawline and also through how my temple reclines and ears move forward.

Apart from the obvious changes in the facial get-up, all three phases of Waseem also look physically different.

I played Waseem from the age of 22 onwards, while I was 33 years old. Usually, I have a bit of grey on my beard and I am not really bothered about my looks. But to play the youngest portions of Waseem, apart from getting leaner, I paid attention to my sleep, diet and workout. Apart from blackening my lips in the last portion of the film, I didnt use make-up at all for Thallumaala.

I usually dont use make-up at all. In fact, I try to get tanned for a character, like how I did for Minnal Murali. At times, I try to make-down for a role, but otherwise I actually put in the effort to look the part be it by gaining or losing weight or growing out my hair and beard. In Naradan, there are two extremes to my character that don't register at first because its a subtle and gradual transformation in the film.

Which phase of Waseem did you enjoy the most?

As an actor, I was most excited about the second phase, because thats where most of the story happens. After returning from Dubai and getting hit, he holds that disappointment of not being able to hit back. He has a different equation with his father as well as Beepathu. The only people he is still the same with are his friends. Thats how we all are with our friends; I share the same equation with my friends that I had even before I became an actor. It takes an effort to underplay a character too.

I am not saying that I did all of this myself; Muhsin Parari guided me in each step. Only Muhsin, Khalid and I know what Waseem endured after his wedding was cancelled. He went through depression and thats why he even cut off his friends. He wanted a comeback and thats what the college function gave him. Before that point, he was someone who despised that fame that he had got. The arrival in that third phase was him hiding all of that behind a shield and making that comeback.

So, this was a commercial film that had a huge scope of acting. For each scene, Muhsin and I had discussions. Getting the Malabar slang right was another challenge that I took upon because there were people who said that I could only do Thrissur slang. So, I wanted to prove people wrong by doing so in a commercially successful film that had enough scope of performance. I think everyone who was part of Thallumaala had that aim in mind. And all that credit goes to Khalid Rahman, Muhsin Parari and Ashraf Hamza; they didnt want to compromise on quality while making a commercial film.

Technically too, the film is a trendsetter.

The editing of the film too is top notch. But I would also give part of the credit for that to Muhsin because the films didnt become non-linear inside the editing room; it was like that from the script itself. The screenplay even had the cuts mentioned. Its not something that could have been achieved on paper, so the entire team was in sync including editor Nishadh Yousuf, composer Vishnu Vijay and cinematographer Jimshi Khalid. Everyone had the same mindset including the actors. None of us had a problem with getting hit, the pain would subside but the movie would last forever.

Essentially, if you take out the fights, it wouldn't be wrong to say that Thallumaala is a coming-of-age romantic drama.

I heard a lot of people say that Thallumaala didnt have a story. But it has and thats the reason the movie became enjoyable. In fact, it has more depth than what we have shown onscreen and thats something I believe that the audience can guess and understand. If you say that it didn't have any emotions, how can you explain that kind of reaction that the climax sequence got in theatres that I had visited. For instance, Waseem and his friends get bashed by Reji and his gang at the parking lot. Despite us showing the story in a non-linear way, people cheered for every hit that Lukman, Swati, Adhri, Dan and I gave back in the final 20 minutes. The reason the audience thought the climax was great was because they were emotionally invested. They wanted Waseem and his friends to get their revenge and thats what resulted in that celebration in theatres. A lot of people said that this movie will be criticised when it releases on OTT, but I believe it will be watched even more and people would understand it even better in the second watch.

Another sequence that was hailed was the one in the car, where finally the floodgates open and a fight ensues.

Reji and him meeting at the jewellery is when the thrills begin to peak and when they arrive at the function, you could feel that all hell will break loose soon. This had to be shown through our performances. After the brawl at the underground parking lot, it was Waseem who decided not to hit back and he was also the one who asked his friends not to engage. Even while we were doing the sequences, we had to work a lot. In the car when his friends were fighting, as far as he was concerned, his trust was broken. He knows that the brawl has only been put on hold for his wedding and in his mind, he has to sort that out first. So, when Siyad, who had snatched his mundu in the theatre in the past, came forward to spray foam, he didnt have to hit him but he did so because of the scuffle in the car. All these moments connected emotionally because there is a story.

Read more:
Exclusive! Tovino Thomas breaks down Thallumaala's Waseem: I had to approach him as three different character - Ottplay

Related Posts

Contact One Of Our Consultants Today

Your Full Name
Your Email
Your Phone Number
Select your age (30+ only)
Confirm over 30 years old  Yes
Confirm that you are a US Citizen  Yes
This is a Serious Inquiry  Yes
Select A Program
Select Your US State
captcha Please Enter Code:

Comments are closed.
Weight Loss Solutions