An industry survey conducted to identify the current top five heroines in the Malayalam film industry tends to stay incomplete. There seem to be no clear and consistent answers. "It's a vicious cycle — woman-oriented films, where actresses have scope to perform and create an identity for themselves, are hardly made these days. And if at all they are made, not many actresses can actually carry off these roles.
The problem is that the ones who are talented end up quitting the field post marriage, even before they can establish themselves," says an industry insider. The reasons for this lack of heroines could be plenty, says a Kochi-based ad filmmaker, who does not wish to be named. "If not marriage, actresses from the industry tend to migrate to other industries. And some of them manage to taste success there too.
Actresses like Asin, Nayanthara, Amala Paul and Nithya Menen have made it big in other film industries. And moving out is not a crime either, because other industries offer them everything that Malayalam cinema cannot — money, fame and acceptance," he says. The next set of actresses, such as Bhama and Bhavana, too are working on gaining a firm foothold in other film industries.