Second Day of December

The second day of December has one actor’s birthday on the list. December 2 is the birthday of Lal, who is known by many roles in Malayalam cinema, including being a movie director, actor, script writer, producer, and also a film distributor. His son now known by the name Lal Jr. is also a director, with his most popular movie being Honey Bee with Asif Ali and Bhavana in the lead – it was a full fun movie, the thriller with a difference, Hi I’m Tony is also from him. Coming back to Lal, he is a man who has proven his skills in almost everything related to cinema.

Lal is a known to begin as a mimicry artist in Kalabhavan and teamed up with his friend Siddique to form the highly successful Siddique-Lal duo which came up with the very successful flicks like Ramji Rao Speaking (1989), In Harihar Nagar (1990), Godfather (1991), Vietnam Colony (1992) and Kabooliwala (1993). The first movie mentioned here was remade in Hindi by Priyadarshan as Hera Pheri, the second one as Dhol and the third as Hulchul. The two are expected to join again after a gap of twenty years with the movie King Liar with Dileep and Madonna Sebastian of Premam fame.

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Kaliyattam (1997): It is about his work as an actor that caught our attention later even as he did sucessfully direct the sequel to In Harihar Nagar2 Harihar Nagar (2009) and In Ghost House Inn (2010). The one performance of him which most of us should remember before the rest of his works should be in Kaliyattam, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Othello with a Theyyam background, a movie which won Suresh Gopi the National Award for Best Actor. He played the role of Paniyan which is equivalent to Iago in the original drama. You will remember him from the movie, no doubt.

Punjabi House and Kanmadam (1998): In the movie which was remade by Priyadarshan in Bollywood as Chup Chup Ke, he played the notable role of the strong Punjabi brother, Sikkandar Singh. The movie was a huge hit and even though I had seen him, I first noticed him as the actor in that movie. In our friends’ circle, he was like the symbol of a strong Punjabi man. In Kanmadam, he supported Mohanlal’s character very well, and Ormacheppu was another movie to go with them. It was another good year for him as his performances were very much noticed by all kinds of audience.

Thenkasipattanam (2000) and Kalyanaraman (2002): The former was another fun movie which went on to become a huge hit, with Lal sharing the honours with Suresh Gopi, and Dileep also joining in. I can still remember the big love for the movie which was there during the time when it was running in the theatres. Kalyanaraman was no different with him playing the big brother of the main lead and it is another memorable role from him. Pulival Kalyanam and Chathikkatha Chanthu were more of the comedy movies which had his presence.

Black (2004), Thalappavu (2008) and Salt N’ Pepper (2011): The first movie mentioned here had him in the role of a memorable villain. There was something special about him there, as almost everyone felt! Then there is the movie which can be considered as the great one – Thalappavu. He got the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor with the performance in the movie which was based on a real incident – it was an emotionally touching performance. Salt N’ Pepper was a movie with food at the centre of everything, and it was a much appreciated movie and role for him.

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Shutter and Ozhimuri (2012): Shutter is a movie which needs not much of an introduction; it was also remade into Marathi and Tamil. Joy Mathew’s directorial debut had its special charm and the movie disappeared and returned to the theatres as it was gaining positive opinions. Then there was Ozhimuri in the same year which was the big movie. It didn’t do well at the box-office, and it left the theatre so early – I couldn’t watch that for the same reason. Lal got a special jury award at the National Awards for this one. It is a movie which I hope to catch on television one day. Until then, I will love his performance in the period drama Iyobinte Pusthakam more than many others.

Happy birthday to Lal!

***The images used in this blog post are from the Facebook Page of the movie, Iyobinte Pusthakam.

TeNy

Gone in Three or Four Days

This post is exactly on what the title seems to talk about. There are these movies which were removed from the theatres too early. Except for London Bridge which had an extended run due to star power even if not too much, the rest had almost no stay at the local theatres. This is based on the theatres near my place, and if it had a better run at your area, you can take them off your own list. Some movies deserved better fate, and these might be a few of them. It doesn’t matter what we watched and what we liked, because movies don’t deserve to be removed in less than week. Well, those which might come close to be deserving to be removed, run for months and collect one hundred crores or more!

Ozhimuri (2012) :: An actor who has been frequently seen in supporting roles, Madhupal might be the most talented director of our times, as he has only directed two critically acclaimed movies, Thalappavu and this one – the former was amazingly good, and I wanted to watch this one for the same reason. But when I went to the theatre after the weekend, it was gone! Seriously nowhere to be found and gone in three days? A movie which had so much of critical acclaim and all these awards replaced by something like Raaz 3 without the 3D? We also missed Lal’s best performance due to the same.

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Arike (2012) :: When it is a movie directed by the veteran Shyamaprasad and having Dileep as the major actor, you expect this movie to stay, but unfortunately it didn’t. The movie was replaced too quickly, and it had to make people ask that question – if this can happen to movies with artists of such fame, what can happen to other good movies without such big names? Well, this is a question on which people can ponder about, but the answer is a long way from where the Malayalam movie industry or any movie world in India is standing right now.

Karmayogi (2012) :: This movie is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet – do we need more reasons to know why it needed to stay in the theatres? Gone in three days and giving us no opportunity to see another Shakespeare adaptation, the one thing which I have to say is that, if this is a Shakesperean adaptation, it needed to stay, at least for us literature students to watch. If it had stayed, we could have convinced the rest of the people in the department to watch it, but the trend is rather to remove the movie because of the name “Shakespeare” – it is rather shameful.

Makaramanju (2011) :: An year later, I would never even know if Akasathinte Niram (2012) ever came to the theatres. But Makaramanju which dealt with the life of the famous painter Raja Ravi Varma’s life had also gone without staying there for long enough. I am not sure if it actually released here at the same time as the release date, but Karthika Nair’s Malayalam debut didn’t go that well, even though I am still looking forward to watching this one and Akasathinte Niram one day.

London Bridge (2014) :: This one was somewhat saved and seemed to end up with average business in the end, only due to that level at which Prithviraj Sukumaran was staying at that time – with his movies Celluloid, Ayalum Njanum Thammil, Mumbai Police and Memories – there was that belief that the new and stronger Prithviraj can’t go wrong. I loved the movie, but it seems that the general audience didn’t do that much. But it deserved to be watched, and could have done even better at the box-office. My review on the same is here: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/london-bridge/

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Reason for coming up with this post: Lukka Chuppi (2015) :: The reason for writing this post itself is the Jayasurya-Murali Gopy starrer Lukka Chuppi which disappeared from the theatre when I went to watch it. I had decided not to watch it on the first day first show and went for Nirnaayakam instead because the themes seemed to be related to drinking and lost love. But it turned out to be a missed opportunity for me – may be we need to watch and support these lesser known movies earlier. Also add Appavum Veenjum to the list.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of Ozhimuri and London Bridge.

TeNy