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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Priyamani Opens Up on ZEE5’s Suspense-Thriller Ateet

Priyamani is an award-winning multi-lingual actor whose presence in South-Indian cinema has been celebratory.

She, as an artist has explored various roles and impressed us with her craft, be it a woman who suffers a brutal crime in Paruthiveeran or a spooky/dual role in Chaarulatha.

Recently, she forayed onto the digital space with The Family Man which has been received well and her performance in that also commands a solid screen presence.

Once again, she finds herself on the dark side of cinema in ZEE5’s Ateet.

The film is based on Colonel Vishwakarma (Sanjay Suri), his wife Janhvi (Priyamani) and their young daughter Sanah, who seem to be a normal, happy family.

However, Vishwakarma has yet to come to terms with his wife’s past.

Things soon take a drastic turn when Janhvi’s husband, Ateet (Rajeev Khandelwal), who was presumed dead in a war nine years ago, reappears.

Speaking about the film, Priyamani tells Filme Shilmy:

“It’s quite new for me to do this for the Hindi-speaking audience. The way they dealt with the (supernatural aspects) in a very ‘English’ way because it slowly and gradually pulls you in.

Kudos to the director because the moment he explained it to me, I kept asking him if the genre will be a typical ‘in-your-face’, but he said no. There’s not much gore.

Also, Ateet was meant for a theatrical release but due to the pandemic it was a good idea for the makers and ZEE5 to release it on the digital platform. It’s all thanks to them”

Given that this is her second OTT venture, what does she like the most about the platform? She tells us:

“The good thing about ZEE5, there’s a lot of original content, which are not bound by one language. There are multi-lingual works which can be enjoyed.”

She further notes: “I can say, that we missed the ‘theatrical’ experience of Ateet, but it’s a good thing it released digitally because one can watch it at the comfort of their own homes.

The situation would’ve been different if the pandemic hadn’t hit. Probably, the whole scenario would’ve been different. I believe that the digital space is the next big thing in India.”

Across an illustrious career spanning over two decades, Priyamani is the recipient of National Film Award for Best Actress and three Filmfare Awards in different-language films.

Since she has a versatile filmography, she informs Filme Shilmy about what piques her attention in projects:

“My mantra is very simple. As long as the story/character is convincing, I do it. When the director narrates to you, there’s always a gut-feeling, an instinct.

Of course, whether a film does well or not, that’s secondary. You can’t specifically blame an actor for it because there could be many things which happen on an edit table.

Usually, what you’re told and the final product can be completely different. Sometimes, your gut plays a big role in deciding to do a venture.

Whether a film does well or not, is not in my control. But if my role gets talked about, I am happy with that.

My belief is no matter how successful you become, you must never forget your roots. Eventually, talent and luck play an important part.”

With an exciting line-up of movies, we can expect to see her next in the biographical sports-drama Maidaan, starring Ajay Devgn.

She updates us on the status of that film:

“As of now, my portion of Maidaan has completed. We finished it much before the lockdown happened.

They still have some work pending, I think the climax still needs completing. So maybe, I guess, by November/December they will resume work.”

Ateet is now available to stream on ZEE5.

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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