Richa Gangopadhyay speaks to IG on working as Yamini in Selvaraghavan's 'Mayakkam Enna', which has fetched her much critical acclaim and appreciation as a debut actress in Tamil. Read on...
Do you share any similarities with Yamini in real life?
Initially playing Yamini was challenging for I realized her dynamic, multi-layered and somewhat unconventional personality. But once I got into the skin of the character and started understanding what she was about, I clicked instantly and started living and breathing Yamini. Well, otherwise I am also, like Yamini, fiercely independent, feminine yet strong-willed, faithful and strong in relationships. I think Yamini has a balance of a lively and playful side and mature and intense side, which are all my own personality traits! Needless to say, Yamini has definitely inspired me and is probably one of the few characters I will always share a deep connection with.
Do you agree that post ME most guys think of Yamini as a 'dream girlfriend or wife'?
Absolutely! Behind every man is an 'iron lady'. Which guy wouldn't be thrilled to have someone as nurturing, supportive and strong who will stick with them through thick and thin as his woman? The kind of undying sacrifice she has done for her husband who is in the most unstable mental state is not a quality one can take for granted nowadays. And despite being strong and intense, she's also charming, pleasant and fun! She's of course every guy's dream wife!
Why do you think people admire Yamini?
I think Yamini was admired for her tenacity and strength despite all the hurdles she faced and anguish she bore in the most averse situations. Unfortunately, today, people in relationships / marriages would rather run away from problems than fight to overcome them. I think people have tremendous respect for Yamini- the girl who single-handedly supported herself and her husband who had hit rock-bottom. Females of any generation will be able to relate with Yamini, especially those who know what life with an alcoholic spouse / parent / or sibling is like. And I'm sure the male audiences will melt seeing what devotion a wife can have!
What do you say to people who bring up the question of domestic violence?
The film strongly condemns it. But more importantly it highlights the point that it's not so much domestic violence as alcoholic rage. That kind of violent behavior is typical of alcoholics. Be it hitting Yamini, or the boy at the wedding, these acts of violence are typical alcoholic behavior. More importantly such people during their inebriated states also believe that their actions are justified and wonder why the people around them are reacting so adversely to it. Yamini knows this and what her husband is really like as opposed to the man he becomes when he is drunk. She realizes it's the bottle and not him who acts this way. It is for this reason that she stays with him. Some people seem to have misinterpreted that.
'Mayakkam Enna' is a unique venture in Tamil cinema which has pleased critics and audience. Selvaraghavan ended the film in a positive note to bring about hope among audience. It's all about standing back up again in a jiffy when you fall down in life...