Gokulan, Sudhi Kopa and Luqman Avaran came in front of the camera with a burst of laughter. Lukhman and Gokulan crack jokes on the movie set one after the other. Sudhi Kopa was filled with incessant laughter. This cast of new Malayalam cinema is happy today. A handful of good pictures in hand. They have entered Malayalam minds through their small but attention-grabbing roles and are ahead of maintaining a warm friendship…
Sudhi Kopa, a native of Kochi, was the first among the group to enter the cinema. Sagar Elias made his debut as a goon in Jackie. Notable roles in Joseph and Ilavizhapoonchira. Luqman rose to the title of a hero through Saudi Vellaka, starting with Tallumala, Unda, Naradan. This Changaramkulamkaran’s years of film ambitions are starting to see success.
Gokulan, a native of Ernakulam Kakkanad, also played excellent roles in Unda and Thallumala. Punyalan Agarbatis’ ‘Gibruta’ is the actor who took the Malayalis in his hands.
Sudhi Kopa: My father Sivasankarapillai was an employee of TCC in Ernakulam. He had his own ballet troupe. But cinema was my passion. Acting is not something that happens by chance. A lot of people asked for the opportunity. It hasn’t felt like a hardship yet. He was ready to wait for any length of time to see the director. Where to go.
Lukhman and Gokulan are confirming that. Both of them have many stories to tell about their adventures in the film…
Luqman: In 2012, after hearing that Harshad was directing the film ‘Dayom Panthandum’, I took a train from my house in Changaramkulam, Malappuram to Kozhikode. Muhsin Parari wrote the dialogue in it. When I spoke to them, they put a condition: ‘A character in the film has a car. If you come with your own car, you can play that character.’ At that time, he only owned a Passion Plus bike. Even driving is not that good. However, he went to the country and rented a car. It was driven and learned in two weeks and released to the location. That’s how Muhsin and Arshadika get to know each other.
Gokulan: Mine is the story of joining M.Phil just to act in a play. He studied drama under Manoj Kumar and Vinod Kumar, who were associates of Lohitadas. They have a theater group called Celebrations based in Kalamassery. After graduation from Bharatmata College, Kakkanad, he took up journalism from Press Academy. Then Business Economics PG at Cusat. There he joined M.Phil in Economics to act in drama. Cinema was not even in my mind then. Because cinema was beyond reach then.
All three are supporters of the fact that friendships have paved the way for opportunities in cinema. But you can’t stay in the acting field just because of friendship.
Luqman: It is not necessary to get a chance in the film just because of friendship. But, friendship is one of the reasons for making the movie. Usually the friendship in our life also happens in the movie. Here too the friendship is the same as seen together in college and at work. More love arises with those we can talk to.
Gokulan: After seeing the play, director Kiran called him and gave him an opportunity in Kudumbashree Travels. Later, when he started looking for opportunities in films, Sudhi met Kopa and Lukhman. It was very beneficial. Sudhichettan is seen while acting in Amen. His care, inspiration and guidance will never be forgotten.
How we use the opportunities we get through friendships is our cleverness. You can’t act in a movie just because of friendship. Luqman and Khalid Rehman’s friendship is also beneficial. But the point is how we act in the best way in the film. Only then will there be success. If I don’t excel, it doesn’t matter who helps me.
Hearing this, Sudhi Kopa shook her head…
Sudhi Kopa: Friendship has benefited the film but it doesn’t matter if we don’t do what we have to do cleanly. If I act well, Gokul or Lukhman will direct me to that film if an opportunity comes. Acting, directing or any other technical work is the same. In 2006-07, new changes started coming in Malayalam cinema. The audition for each film starts at that time. We all started getting a chance when even small characters started to be selected through auditions.
How is the Onam celebration?
Luqman: This time on Onam, Zakaria is shooting for a film. The location is between Kozhikode and Thrissur. Last acted in Thallumala and Saudi Vellakka. The family consists of Wappa Avaran, Umma Halima and us five children. I am the second one. Wife Jumaima is currently doing M.Com.
Sudhi Kopa: For us West Kochi people, anything is a celebration. Festivals, festivals, Holi and New Year will be celebrated without missing a beat. So is Onam. We have at least one birthday party every Sunday. Or wedding anniversary. Even Buddha Pournami is celebrated here. My name ‘Kopa’ itself was formed by adding ‘Ko’ of Kochi and ‘Pa’ of Pallurutti. Many called out and joined the name.
Gokulan: Onam is very interesting in childhood. Everyone used to gather that day during Onam. Aunt, grandfather and cousins will come home. Or we will go there. Hasn’t that changed today? No one seems far away today. However, we do not get the joy of gathering today. Onam is the joy that the whole country celebrates. Father Sathyan was a court employee. We are five children, four boys and one girl. His wife Dhanya and five-month-old Rith are at home.
Are there movie people at home?
All three replied with bursts of laughter. The family is still not ready to see us as filmmakers. It’s a personal shame that it doesn’t get any respect.
Lukhman: It can be said that he is playing the lead role in Saudi Vellakka and Alangam films which are getting ready for release. But if you go home, you will not get any hero consideration. Umma will send it to the ration table when she gets there. If you come home late, Umma will threaten to pour water on the rice.
The three parted with unstoppable laughter. To the rush of movies…