A Blog on Cinema

Precision Casting


(Reader Sebastian left the following comment. We think this is an important point that deserves furthur discussion – Ed)

Casting is not an easy task. It requires great precision and craft. An apt casting is as important as the script since a loose script can be compensated a bit by a perfect casting (only a little bit) while a taut script can b spoiled by senseless casting. For instance ‘Indian rupee’ is a movie of excellnt screenplay.. Renjith showed his talent & boldness by casting Thilakan & Tiny Tom to the roles of Achutha Menon & C.H respectively. Can you imagine Suraj in the role of C.H?. How horrible it would be!.. Probably he would have been the 1st option, if the movie was done by another director especially someone like Saji Surendran.

We have seen some magical feats with casting which made us think that the actor was born only to perform that partcular character….
Which is the most effective, apt & brilliant casting in the history of malayalam cinema? Can you guess?…That’s nothing other than featuring N.N.Pillai in the role of Ajooran in Godfather..

There are several examples for casting precision..

  1. Achan kunju in Lorry
  2. Shobhana in Manichitratazhu
  3. Salim Ghoush in Thazhvaram
  4. Babu Antony in Poovinu Putiya poonthennal
  5. Nassar in Gazal
  6. Prathap Pothan in Thakara.
  7. Saleema in Aranyakam
  8. Rasheed in Oridathoru Fayalavan
  9. Manoj K jayan in Sargam

None of these (except Shobhana) had been established in malayalam cinema when they were choosen to these films. And they were engaged to do these characters by some master craftmen who knew the art of casting..

(I never forget the great roles played by M&M, Thilakan, Jagathi, Bharat Gopi, Nedumudi etc. But the above characters deserve special mention..).


  1. Nice topic! Here are few other precision-cast examples:

    Nedumudi Venu Oru minnaminunginte nurungu vettam
    Geetha Panchagni
    Revathi Kakkothikavile appooppan thaadikal

    Somehow I am not able to think of M&M and other so-called superstars in ‘precision-cast’ roles. Probably because of their well-set image. Also, may be they have acted in so many precision-cast roles…

  2. Few others I can think of are Suparna as Vaishali, Innocent as Mathai Chettan in Ramji Rao, Ambarish as Swathi Thirunal, Manju Warrier in Sallapam, Madhavi in Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha,

  3. Nedumudi Venu in Thakara
    Captain Raju in Aug1
    Baburaj in Salt&Pep
    Thilakan in Perunthachan & Spadikam

  4. Dear Sebastian please add Captain Raju in the role of Aringodar in oru vadakkan veeragadha, Narendra Prasad as G.P. in Thalasthanam, Nepolean as Mundakkal Sekharan in Devasuram and here special mention goes to Captain Raju for making Aringodar’s role unforgettable.

  5. Another one example is Oduvil Unnikrishnan in Devasuram. Small but very good role, which i feel perfectly cast…

  6. MM, it was Anant Nag (Not Ambarish) who acted in Swathi Thirunal biopic. I think Ranjini as a fresh face for Sugandhavalli, the dusky devadasi dancer from Tamilnadu, was also aptly cast.

    Also, the munikumaran in Vaishali, Sanjay Mitra, was a perfect choice. That role could not have been done by any established Malayalam star.

  7. Kishore, yes, it was Anant Nag. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Is there any role where people like Sukumaran, Soman, Madhu (no Chemmeen please) , Sai Kumar or Jayan were a precision cast?

    • Sukumaran’s role as Sivasubrahmania Hariramachandran in “Kurukkante Kalyanam” was good. That was Sathyan Anthikad’s first film.

  8. What comes to my mind is Sukumaran’s role as an arrogant, opportunistic Circle Inspector in in Oru CBI Dairy kurippu and Soman in Lelam.

  9. @MM
    Madhu in Simhavalan Menon & Swapnam. Saikumar in Ramjirao and Jayan in almost all movies (bcoz there is no substitute for him).

    Watch this upcoming stars and appreciate their effort.

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