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.


Actors and Birthdays

I have not cared much about birthdays, and as I am not specifically inclined towards any actor or actress except for liking a few people, I have never found the need to post on the birthdays of celebrities. Birthdays were never really the days which interested me, as they have always been the dates which started counting towards the end of our lives. But I was randomly going through a number of Malayalam movie industry related pages and found that it was Dileep’s birthday yesterday. Then I thought that I would just provide something for the day, a list of the most popular movies which he has acted in, and those which I have liked more than the others.

Well, Dileep has always been the favourite of the crowds. He did have three smooth movies this year with Life of Josutty, Love 24×7 and Chandrettan Evideya, all three of them deserving better reception at the box-office than they got, because Dileep was very good in them and they were of fine quality as well as working for people from all walks of life and generations. But the movies below are the ones for which I remember him for; the same is the case with a lot of Malayalis. The true fact is that even before he became the leading star, he had started becoming a favourite with his comedies.


1. CID Moosa: There are movies which have many memorable comedy scenes from Dileep, but CID Moosa is a movie which is full of them. The story of the jobless youth who wanted to be a police officer, but ended up being a private detective is one of those movies which is full fun. The memorable moments include the protagonist trying to learn Hindi from cinema posters, situations related to his pet dog and the adventures of the private detective himself. The support is amazingly grand here with a long list of awesome comedy actors who bring awesomeness, but Dileep is once again the man to look out for.

2. My Boss and Darling Darling: The former has Dileep paired with Mamta Mohandas who plays his boss, and this movie was the funniest movie of the year, and the best comedy entertainer from Jeethu Joseph, the maker of Drishyam and Memories. The latter is a movie from a much earlier stage, as Dileep played a funny character with negative shades which came as a surprise to many – he plays a man who tries to marry the girl whom his best friend is supposed to marry; what follows is the comedy which remains classic; most memorable one is the “pennu kaanal” scene, which might be the best ever in Malayalam cinema after the same in Sandhesam.

3. Meesa Madhavan: Establishing Dileep as the big star in the industry, Meesa Madhavan provided Dileep as well as the viewers with the magic of comedy as well as feel-good, as it also brought Indrajith Sukumaran as the grand villain. The process had started with Kuberan, but that was not of such grand scope as Meesa Madhavan which was heroic with him playing the role of the good thief. With movies like Two Countries and King Liar coming up, what the viewers expect would be something that reminds them of this glory. Beginning from Father Abel’s Kalabhavanat Cochin, Dileep has come a long way, and this movie was the right deviation.

4. Punjabi House and Kalyanaraman: The speciality of these movies is that they were combined efforts, and they had Dileep in a team play. While the former had Cochin Haneefa, Harisree Asokan and Indrans doing the big support, the latter got Innocent, Salim Kumar and the other serious actors contributing to the comedy. The former was remade by Priyadarshan in Hindi as Chup Chup Ke with Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor, but could never be the same, and it is more of a credit to Dileep and his team rather than anyone else. Both movies were huge hits of the times!

5. Marykkundoru Kunjaadu: I haven’t forgotten Romeoo, Pandippada, Thilakkam, Chanthupottu and Ee Parakkum Thalika, but I would finish the list with Marykkundoru Kunjaadu because it came at a time when we were looking for such nice comedy from Dileep and it was missing before that. With a sequel already announced, this movie had great fun in store, with Biju Menon nicely contributing and supporting Dileep in such a way that we just loved each and every moment of their presence. The title translated as “Mary had a little lamb”, this movie became what Kaaryasthan had partially become.

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***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of the movies Love 24×7 and Life of Josutty.