In Malayalam movies, we have seen some cross-gender acting with actresses playing male characters — Manju Warrier in Daya, Annie in Ammayane Sathyam and Meera Jasmine in Rasathandram. Now, another actress has joined the league and looks unrecognisable with her makeover that has amazed many movie-goers.
A closer look at the face might give a hint on who the actress is. It is none other than Swetha Menon (also spelled Shweta Menon or Shwetha Menon), who disguises as a male wearing an old man's bearded prosthetics and costumes in latest Malayalam movie Naval Enna Jewel, set in the Arab land.
Swetha took almost three hours to put the makeup and same time for its removal to get into the skin of the challenging character. The shooting with this transformation went on for 10 hours for seven days during the summer season in Oman.
Naval Enna Jewel, the directorial venture of Renji Lal Damodaran, deals with Arabi Kalyanam, a system in which minors get married to older men. The film goes through the life of Asma and her daughter Naval Al Ameer.
Asma (Swetha), who hails from the interiors of Malabar area in Kerala, is married to a 70-year old Iranian as his fifth wife, but soon becomes a widow and the mother of a girl child. The movie narrates the struggles faced by the duo in the patriarchal society that forces Asma to dress up like a man to protect her kid. The movie also stars Reem Kadem, Adil Hussain, Anu Sithara and Sudheer Karamana in main roles.
Actress Swetha's makeover as a male character has been revealed with the video song Ee Vazhiyil Pathivayi released online a few days ago. The nearly five-minute video has gone viral with over 1.9 lakh views. At the time of reporting, it was the seventh trending video on YouTube India.