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11-06-2009, 10:45 AM #1
Santosh Sivan turns actor, to play Raja Ravi Varma in film
Even as the fate of Ketan Mehta's "Rang Rasiya", based on the life of Raja Ravi Varma, remains uncertain, cinematographer-director Santosh Sivan has gone ahead and signed a Malayalam film, which will be dubbed into Hindi and English, and in which Santosh will play the role of the legendary artist.
The Malayalam film entitled "Magara Manju" (Winter Mist) starts shooting next week in Kochi. It is to be directed by the arthouse director Lenin Rajendran.
Santosh was at first hesitant to enter into a new arena at a time when his hands are full with cinematography and direction projects.
"But the director Lenin Rajendran convinced me I was right for the part. I've grown up on the art of Raja Ravi Varma. When I was a kid my grandmother illustrated her stories with Raja Ravi Varma's paintings. I think I've acquired my visual aesthetics from this man," says Santosh as he prepares to face the camera with the new southern sensation Karthika.
Santosh said: "Karthika is the daughter of the veteran Tamil actress Radha. I sort of liked the way we look together. But the main attraction for turning to acting is Raja Ravi Varma himself. I empathize very closely with his art. I also paint a bit. And I've photographed the film by M.F. Husain and his son Owais."
The film will be shot in Kerala and Goa.
Incidentally, the only other occasion when Santosh Sivan has acted for the camera was in Aditya Bhattacharya's "Raakh".
"And after my shot, Pankaj Kapoor couldn't stop laughing," laughs Santosh.
11-06-2009, 11:58 AM #2