Fauziyya Hassan is one of the few prominent actresses with the longest acting career in Dhivehi films. As a kid, I was enchanted by her grace in the TV movie, Fidaa, directed by Hussain Shihab, one of the film-making pioneers. He inspired me then and keeps inspiring me now. We have these long, fruitful conversations that we lose track of time whenever we meet.

As for Fauziyya in Fidaa, which depicted a selfless sacrifice her character makes, her performance in the song, Haalathu Adhu Mi Vanee, still puts me in memory lane, by the way, this may sound far-fetched and may even receive harsh criticism, but deep inside my heart, I consider her Judi Dench of Dhivehi films.

To begin with, here’s a cool trivia about Fauziyya. She appears in almost all of my collaborations with director Abdul Fatthaah.

Her first performance in a material I have written was in Hureemey Inthizaarugai, which was released in 2005. Though she has an extended cameo in it, she gives a notable performance.

The following year she was cast in the popular TV series Hinithunvelaashey Kalaa, which consisted of 52 episodes directed by Fatthaah. She played Dhaleyka, a depressed woman, one of the early serials that started dealing with this serious medical illness, who comes to terms with her mental state. She salvages herself and her relationship with her alienated daughter, played by Mariyam Afeefa.

Fauziyya handled the psychological role of Dhaleyka plausibly. Her portrayal of her depressed state to recovery was spellbinding. She still gives me chills in one of the earliest episodes where she desperately tries to beautify herself by applying lipstick on her lips. Suddenly, she snaps, becomes mental, and manically starts applying the lipstick all over her face and then her reflection in the mirror. Her performance was consistent from start to finish throughout the series.

She was then cast in the Fatthaah-produced National Award-winning melodrama Vaa Loabi Engeynama as a sympathetic mother of Yoosuf Shafeeu. In a memorable scene, she tries to put some sense into his discouraged son by motivating him to forgive his ex-wife. The latter raised a child of his without his knowledge, and Fauziyya reflects on her own bitter experience of raising him. The scene demanded her to deliver an important monologue. In one shot, she managed to submerge the audience into her past, allowing us to feel the difficulty she endured raising him all by herself. When she was offered the role, I knew it was in safe hands. Her performance garnered her a nomination in the Best Supporting Actor (Female) category at the 5th National Film Awards.

In 2007, she showed her funny side in the comedy miniseries Aharenge Lha Daddy in which her husband was a womanizer. The viewers praised the whole series, and again, Fatthah directed it.

Ten years later, and for the past few years being entirely away from filmdom, she is back with a bang in the upcoming film, Hahdhu, directed by Fatthaah. She is one of the brightest highlights of the film. She plays a proud mother whose life spirals into humiliation and aloofness when her daughter breaks the strongest bond they share, her trust.

In one scene of the song in the film, Fatthaah did a single shot of her, especially to make me smile from ear to ear. In that shot alone, she showed all her years of acting experience. I was like, OMG, and my smile nearly unhinged my temporomandibular joint from my skull.

Hahdhu will be premiered on 06 September 2017, and tickets are now available from Olympus.


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