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Pictures: Jayaram turns a chenda player in Swapaanam

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Thiruvananthapuram: Popular Malayalam film actor Jayaram, a skilled percussionist in real life, will be seen beating the drums on the silver screen also. Known for his natural acting and comedy-tinged roles, Jayaram, who has also acted in several Tamil films, is doing the role of a 'chenda' player in the upcoming film by eminent director Shaji N Karun.

'Chenda' is a wooden percussion instrument used in temple rituals and festivals as well as classical and folk art forms like Kathakali and Theyyam in Kerala. The film Swapaanam, shooting of which is progressing at a village in Palakkad, explores the inner struggles and agonies of a skilled 'chenda' player and how the exceptional creativity of the artist makes him an alien in his own family and village.

Jayaram has been the natural choice for the role because of his interest and talent in percussion, said Shaji. "The actor himself is an excellent percussionist. His talent in playing the instrument is the main reason which made me to choose him for this role. I did not think of casting any other actor when I concesptualised the character," Shaji told PTI.

Jayaram, who used to find time to perform 'chenda' at temple festivals despite his busy shooting schedules, has already appeared playing the instrument in some of the films but this is for the first time that he is doing a full-length character of a percussionist. He has also enthralled 'chenda' enthusiasts by playing at public venues, partnering with maestros like Mattannoor Shankaran Kutty. (PTI)

Continue to read more in slide show.

Jayaram Turns Chenda Player

"In his 25-year long career, Jayaram has essayed a large number of family-oriented hero roles. But, the role in Swapanam will surely break all these conventional images about him. I think, this role will be considered as the best in his acting career," K Harikrishnan, scriptwriter of the movie, told PTI.

Jayaram Is Seen With 150 Percussionists

Besides Jayaram, around 150 percussionists from across Kerala are also appearing in the movie, he said. "Our society will accept and appreciate the talents of artists but to a certain limit. We will not entertain them if they go beyond those prefixed boundaries. That is the reason why some exceptionally talented artists become alienated in our society."

Jayaram Is Alienated Artiste In Swapanam

"Our protagonist in Swapanam is also such an alienated artist who celebrated his art and life in an anarchical way," the award-winning scriptwriter said.


The movie journeys through various phases of the life of a man including love, insanity and death. Kadambari, an US-settled Odissi dancer, is the heroine in the movie.


Popular actors Siddique and Vineeth appear in significant roles in the film, which is scheduled to be released during the Onam season in September.

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