For they are Fantastico!

Here is another list on the Fantastico entertainer movies from the last century which had to be shared. The titles are not arranged in any particular order.

Vadakkunokkiyantram (1989), Aanaval Mothiram (1991), Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala (1998)
Director: Sreenivasan (1, 3), G. S. Vijayan (2)
Cast: Sreenivasan, Innocent (1, 3), Mamukkoya (1, 3), Nedumudi Venu (1, 3)
Sreenivasan plays three of the most memorable characters in these movies, Thalathil Dineshan who is always doubtful about his wife, James Pallithara who wrongly thinks that he has a fatal disease and the confused Vijayan who is an irresponsible husband. He plays these three roles to perfection, and I will always remember these three lead roles from him. Aanaval Mothiram was remade in Hindi as Gambler and in Tamil as Ragalaipuram. Sangita’s role in Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala is the one role for which she is most remembered. Vadakkunokkiyantram is considered as a comedy classic. Watching these three movies on a day will be perfect!

Devasuram (1993)
Director: I. V. Sasi
Cast: Mohanlal, Revathi, Innocent, Napolean
There are many movies taken in this particular style including its own sequel called Ravanaprabhu, but nothing matches Devasuram. Inspired by a real-life person, the movie has Mohanlal playing the protagonist with negative shades. All the other movies which followed this kind of pattern including the very successful Aaraam Thampuran and Narasimham are not match to this one. The character is “Mangalassery Neelakantan” is forever, no matter who all new protagonists come up with a similar situation – the legacy is something which cannot be inherited no matter how many similar movies are made or how many sequels are made in this model.

Chamayam (1993)
Director: Bharathan
Cast: Manoj K. Jayan, Sithara, Murali, Ranjitha
Telling the story of a fisherman who is also a stage actor during their free-time, the movie gets to the next level as he decides to take another man as the new hero, but there is the need to teach him how to perform – but he realizes that there is a lot of potential in the newly found actor. With some amazing performances from Manoj K. Jayan and Murali on and off the stage, and supported by some beautiful songs which are among the best, Chamayam works incredibly well. This is also the one role for which Sithara is remembered in the Malayalam movie industry more than any other. The movie works on two levels, the life of people and the life as part of drama on the stage.

Oru CBI Diary Kurippu (1998) and Jagratha (1989)
Director: K. Madhu
Cast: Mammootty, Jagathy Sreekumar, Mukesh, Sukumaran
These are the first two movies in the series of CBI investigative thrillers having Mammootty as the intelligent CBI officer Sethurama Iyer. Even though two other movies released in this century in the form of Sethurama Iyer CBI and Nerariyan CBI, these two are undoubtedly of higher quality, and undoubtedly the best among them all. There are not many entertainers which could manage to entertain without songs, and these two happened to be different in that case too. I have enjoyed these movies a lot, and I hope for more intelligent works to come up in the series, and I wish for it to go through the path of the first two movies rather than those which followed.

Kireedam (1989) and Chenkol (1993)
Director: Sibi Malayil
Cast: Mohanlal, Thilakan, Mohan Raj, Cochin Haneefa
Kireedam was a movie which was different, because it was rather realistic with its major life-changing incident. Most of the times, a person who would be in the shoes of the protagonist Sethumadhavan will go through a different kind of exaggerated action-filled life, but not in this case. It was remade in Hindi as Gardish, in Kannada as Modada Mareyalli and with the same name in Tamil. I was surprised to read that the ending of the movie was changed from that realistic tragedy to a happier one in the Tamil version. The ending of the two movies, Kireedam and Chenkol were among the best things about the movie, which is why you will need to watch the original as well as its sequel.

Kottayam Kunjachan (1990)
Director: T. S. Suresh Babu
Cast: Mammootty, Ranjini, Innocent, Babu Antony
Mammootty who plays Kottayam Kunjachan completely steals this one. He has performed in this kind of roles and with this particular slang in other movies, but nothing like his work in this comedy movie. There are lots of funny moments in this movie, and the most memorable ones are the pennu kaanal scene and the driving school inauguration scene. The movie also develops interesting sub-plots as it progresses. This can be considered as one of the best comedy flicks of Mammootty all-time. There is also a nice list of supporting cast here including Innocent and Sukumaran, plus the main villain who is Babu Antony. This makes one funny and memorable character here.

Moonnam Mura (1988) and Douthyam (1989)
Director: K. Madhu (1) and P. Anil (2)
Cast: Mohan Lal, Suresh Gopi, Babu Antony, Vijayaraghavan.
Douthyam was one of those movies which became a lot like our own Rambo around here. Mohanlal plays Captain Roy Jacob Thomas who has to return to the most dangerous of action to save his own colleagues who were captured terrorists deep inside a forest. Moonnam Mura has Mohanlal again as Ali Imran, a former police officer who has to return to action to save a group of people kept captive by terrorists. I have had a similar effect with both of these movies, and it is not only Mohanlal who is there in both of these engaging thrillers, as Suresh Gopi, Babu Antony and Vijayaraghavan are also the common factors. The 1988 movie even had a Telugu remake by the name Magaadu.

***And you know that there are more!

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

TeNy