Let me clarify that this is not a typical open letter; which is usually intended as a critic of politicians, film stars, sportspersons and other celebrities. This is more like a letter from a fan to one of his favourite celebrities. By now, it should not be a secret that I am a huge fan of Malayalam actress Aishwarya Lekshmi. So, Aishwarya, this letter is for you; here it goes:
Where to start? First of all, I don’t know you as a person. Obviously, you also wouldn’t know me at all; in fact, I am sure you wouldn’t even know I exist!! Nevertheless, as I mentioned, I am an ardent admirer of yours and have been since I watched “Jagame Thanthiram” 2 years ago. Frankly speaking, this is definitely not one of my favourite movies; for quite a few reasons – I am not going to discuss them here. However, your character “Attila” was quite remarkable and not an easy one to play. Not only because you had to play the part of a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee in UK; but also because of the instrumental role you had to play in the Resistance movement and your complex relationship with the male protagonist “Suruli” played by Dhanush. You pulled it off with aplomb; a very intense performance on the whole. I have to say that your chemistry with Dhanush was stunning; but for me the best part was in the scene at the hospital, where you not only boldly admitted to your role in the attack on Suruli; but also called him out for his duplicity and treachery, that too in front of his mother. Your acting, as well as that of Dhanush and James Cosmo and the music by Santhosh Narayanan; were the plus points of an otherwise ordinary film – sincere apologies for my typically brutally honest opinions.
Next we come to Ponniyin Selvan 1. It was thanks to you that I developed a fascination for “Poonguzhali”; though you didn’t have a major role to play, your performance charmed one and all. In the song “Alai Kadal”, the moment you emerge from the water gave me goosebumps. But the best part was probably your dialogue with “Vandhiyathevan”; especially your brandishing a knife at him after he tries to flirt with you. Then we come to “Gatta Kusthi”; my favourite movie of yours so far. In fact, I came to know about the movie only from one of your fan pages/groups on Facebook!! 😀 Let me be bold and say that your character “Keerthi” is not only a model of women empowerment; but also the kind of person I would aspire to spend the rest of my life with 😉 . The scene where Keerthi singlehandedly fights off a bunch of armed goons is something that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life; especially the intensity of her expression. Equally powerful is the scene soon after where she calls her husband “Veera” (played by the producer, Vishnu Vishal) out for his sexist attitude and leaves. Your chemistry with Vishnu Vishal was really cute and I couldn’t stop laughing during the scene in which Keerthi washes her fake long hair in the bathroom; her expressions only adding to the hilarity.
I was eagerly looking forward to PS2 and the movie definitely didn’t disappoint me, but the fact that you got less than twenty minutes was a sore point. Nevertheless, you expressed yourself admirably every time the camera turned to you and the dialogue between “Poonguzhali” and her lover “Sendhan Amudhan” was cute and humorous at the same time. Very recently I saw “Archana 31 Not Out”, the only Malayalam movie I’ve seen of yours so far – apologies, being a Tamilian; I don’t know Malayalam and need English subtitles in order to watch these movies; but YES, you Malayalis are EXCELLENT in making films!! Coming back to this movie, I was rooting for your character throughout, as she rides the rollercoaster of life; whether it be handling a class full of trouble-making students, facing an uncertain future due to ongoing layoffs or having marriage proposals turned down due to a myriad variety of reasons. There were a number of memorable moments, as far as “Archana” was concerned: dealing with a particular father who has a “key” issue with his daughter (excuse the pun 😛 ), shouting at the class just before being laid off and using a cricketing term for every marriage proposal. However, the best scene for me undoubtedly was Archana’s speech at the climax. Again, a typically intense and powerful performance on the whole; mixed with a bit of dry humour. I was not very impressed with the story on the whole (apologies again for my brutal frankness!!); but your acting more than made up for it.
Apart from your movies, I’ve also watched quite a few of your interviews; your English is excellent and your Hindi is good too- not weak as you claim. You are candid, speak from the heart and articulate your thoughts very well. Every time I watch one of your interviews I learn something new. Aishwarya, giving up a career in medicine (which involved going against your parents’ wishes) in order to become an actress involves a lot of courage on your part; I am glad the risk you took has ultimately paid off. Also, regarding marriage; it was brave of you to speak your mind, given how judgmental this society is. Though I don’t exactly agree with your views; you have made some very valid points – such as dowry, the insane amount of gold spent by parents and all the legal drama when it comes to divorce; being a divorcee myself. I also love your humility and the fact that you let the directors have their own way; as well as your frank acceptance of the privilege you have as an actor. Finally, your motto of “being happy and making others happy” is something we need to follow in our lives – so, Aishwarya, wish you loads of happiness, love and success and keep rocking and inspiring!!