Sai Pallavi: ‘Malar Miss’ and More

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It can be argued that ‘Malar miss’ from Premam (2015) got the love she did because she was all the testosterone-fueled male fantasies put together: the lecturer whom we mistake for a student (imagine!), who doesn’t automatically side with female students or have a problem with light ragging, who packs us out of her class if we are late, yet doesn’t get us in trouble with the principal for a far worse crime, who choreographs our dance performances, engages us in text conversations in the ungodly hours, whom we fall in love with and who falls in love with us too…I can go on. However, it can also be argued that Sai Pallavi essayed that role to perfection. You only have to watch Shruti Haasan play the same rol…actually, with all due respect to Shruti Haasan, don’t do that.

Sai Pallavi has been doing some interesting work post-Premam too – with varying degrees of success. For one thing, she has shunned pairing up with big actors for the sake of doing it. She has done movies that demanded something from her part. But, for me, the thing that stands out about her movies is the songs. Even when she is sharing the screen space with actors like Nivin Pauly, DulQuer Salman, Nani, Dhanush etc., she manages to own the songs. Take the humongous Rowdy Baby for example. When was the last time Dhanush, of all actors, was eclipsed like that in a song? (Perhaps never.) And it is not like there has to be dancing for her to have that advantage. Take Kali (2016) songs. DulQuer is barely there when Sai Pallavi is there.

Now apparently she has done a film with Fahadh Faasil. If the trailer, which was out yesterday,  is any indication, there is lot more to look forward to than songs. And Sai Pallavi might have come a long way since playing the ethereal ‘Malar miss’.

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