The new Malayalam movie Malik, released on Amazon Prime Video, has been well received by the audience. Those who have seen the film are disappointed by the great theatrical experience lost due to Covid-19. The making of the film gets much appreciation. Actors Fahad Fazil and Nimisha Sajayan have once again shown their talents in Malik. Sanal Aman, a 35-year-old man, plays the role of 17-year-old Freddie.
Sanal Aman is an actor from Kannur, Kerala. He graduated from Kollam SN College, Thrissur School of Drama, University of Hyderabad and Delhi National School of Drama. In 2015, Sanal auditioned for the lead role in the movie Unto the Dusk, directed by Sajin Babu. Unto the Dusk was screened at various film festivals, including IFFK, and was well received. Sanal played the lead role in Jiju Antony’s multilingual movie ‘Eli Eli Lama Sabakthani’. Later, he got the opportunity to act in films like ‘Rosappookkalam’ and ‘Don’t Wipe Your Tears with My Piano’.
Sanal, a rising star in Malayalam cinema, opens up to News18 about Malik, “It is a film I have been waiting for a long time. I am happy to be a part of a great team. The director, cinematographer, screenwriter and actors are all great. The happiness doubles when seeing people’s reactions. I was 34 when Maheshettan, the director, told me the story. I was doubtful whether I would be able to act as a 17-year-old. The confidence given by Maheshettan helped me. Now, from the audience reaction, it is clear that people could accept Freddie through me.”
On Working with Fahadh Faasil
“Fahadika is a much-loved actor for me. I was really excited when I found out that I am going to act with Fahadika. There was no informal acquaintance or ice-breaking session before the movie. We went straight to the scenes. But just being a character Fahadika made me more comfortable. There were also combination scenes with a very senior actor Jalaja Chechi. Even though there were no dialogues for me, it was a long scene.
“I was also able to spend a lot of time with Indrans chettan, another senior actor. He told me about his experiences and the methods he applies for acting, how he grew up in the industry,” he said.
To Malik via Lover
“Maheshettan watched my play, Lover, which was directed and acted in by me in 2016. Actress Santhi Balachandran was my co-actor. Maheshettan directly approached and congratulated me. Then there was no contact between us. In 2019, he contacted me for this project. When I approached him in Ernakulam, he narrated the movie. Then he said that I have to do Freddie. When I heard that, I even asked Maheshettan that would it be better to cast a younger person. From his words, I understood that he had so much faith in me then I looked no further.”
Support from the director
“It was only with the support of Maheshettan that I was able to do this role. It was his own decision. Many from his team might have wondered how someone like me could look like a 17-year-old. A month later, when I transformed physically for the role, I experienced a change in them too. They were ready to accept me in Freddie’s role. The support that Maheshettan gives is so great.”
Missing big screen
“It’s so sad not to be able to watch the movie on the big screen. First of all, this is a movie made for the big screen. Secondly, the big screen has always been my dream. The release was postponed several times. It was expected to be released in theatres. I was sad to learn that it was not so. But there are great advantages for OTT releases too – it can be released in many countries together and people can watch it quietly at home. It makes the film reach more people. It is expected that Malik will have a theatrical release when the theatres reopen.”
“After Malik I have done an anthology project. I got the opportunity to direct two films in it. It is an anthology of six Kannada films and one Malayalam film. Prakash Raj is the hero in the Kannada film. The anthology will be released on any of the OTT platforms in a month or two. There have been many calls from the industry since Malik’s release. They have put forward some opportunities. I hope that something great is going to happen soon,” he said.