November 9, 2005
Mohanlal is one actor who has made money in movies as well as lost it. His Pranavam Arts produced successful movies like His Highness Abdullah, Bharatam, and Kamaladalam. He also lost money making Vanaprashtham, even though it won him a National award. But that has not dampened his investing mentality. He has now setup an institute that offers courses in dubbing, and newsreading and apparently it is the first of its kind in India
Voice modulation, voice control, voice pitch control and various other voice techniques have been included in the course syllabus.
Similar courses in newsreading and television presentation are also being offered. The courses have been designed by dubbing artiste Bhagyalekshmi and Mohanlal himself.
Dubbing artiste Bhagyalekshmi is a veteran in the field and has lent her voice for over 2500 movies. Her melliflous voice has added to the charm of actresses from Ambika to Geethu Mohandas.[Mohanlal pitches in for dubbing artistes; opens voice designing school]
November 7, 2005
It’s sequel season in Malayalam. Every movie which was a decent hit in the past is being examined to see if a sequel could be made. When there is paucity for original ideas, sequel is an easy way out for a writer. And moreover there is name recognition – couple of generations are familiar with Sethurama Iyer’s name. On the downside – the high expectations of the viewer if the first part was a huge success. This trend is huge in malayalam only, other major movie industries(Hindi,Tamil, Telugu etc.) are not into the sequel rush. In Hindi there is Dhoom 2 in production.
Coming back to Malayalam, The CBI franchise is the most succesful in this game of exploiting past successes and managing huge expectations.That team might get into guiness book soon for repeating same director, hero and script writer(K.Madhu,Mammootty and S.N.Swamy) in most number of movies. The first movie of this series was released in 1988 and three more followed. And there is Dasan and Vijayan Series – all time favourite characters of malyalees. The first movie of that series – Nadodikkattu – was released in 1987, followed up by Pattana pravesham and Akkare Akkare Akkare. Another notable movie which had a sequel was Devasuram. It’s sequel was Ravanaprabhu.
There a few other sequels in various stages of production. Kilukilukkam is the sequel of Kilukkam with Jayasurya and Kavya Madhavan being lead pairs and Mohanlal doing a guest appearence. Bharathchandran IPS – just released and was a huge hit and brought back Suresh Gopi’s from near certain retirement. Kashmeeram – This 1994 movie will get a sequel, just in time to take advantage of Suresh Gopi’s newly revived career. Most interesting of the forth coming sequels is IV Sasi’s Taradas Vs. Inspector Balaram, in which Mammootty plays double role – playing two characters of two different movies. Taradas from Athirathram and Inspector Balaram ( from movies Avanazhi and Inspector Balaram). Now, will Mohanlal be far behind ? It’s worth looking forward for this movie – Narasimham and Aaram Thampuran doing Thandavam
November 4, 2005
Rivalry between these two are famous in Malayalam movie world, yet Mohanlal and Mammootty claim that they are best friends. A peek at their record gives an interesting look at their parallel careers.
Both had their career started in 1980
Both acted together for first time in 1981 – Oothikaachiya Ponnu.
Mohanlal was the villain in the movie.
Come 1982, in the movie Padayottam Mammootty acted as Mohanlal’s father, and his role had negative shades where as Mohanlal had a positive role.
These two have acted together in nearly 50 movies.
At one point of time these two along with IV Sasi and Seema had launched an independent banner – Casino.
In 1989 Mohanlal bagged National Award jury’s special award for his role in Kireedam.
Same year Mammootty got his National Award for Best Actor for his performance in Mathilukal and Oru Vadakkan Veera Gatha.
Later in 1991 Mohanlal got his Best actor National award for his role in Bharatham.
Mammootty got his second Best Actor’s National award in 1994 for his roles in Vidheyan and Ponthan Mada.
Mohanlal got his second award in 1999 for Vanaprastham
Mammootty got his Padma Shri award in 1998
Mohanlal was not far behind – he was honoured with Padmashri in 2001
Mammooty got his third National award in 2000 for his role in and as Dr.Ambedkar.
No points for guessing Mohanlal’s next award.
November 3, 2005
Imagine a scene in a movie where Mohanlal is surrounded by a bunch of thugs. He looks each one of them as they take out weapons of single destruction like cycle chain and Malappuram knife. Mohanlal, tightens his mundu, twirls his moustache and takes a packet of tea bags and mouths an advertisment line to the audience.
After making classy movies, this is the new direction Malayalam movies are taking. The reason – mounting production costs.
Superstar Mammootty’s blockbuster “Nerariyan CBI”, released during the Onam season and running houseful at all theatres, has onscreen promotionals for a tea company, a jewellery shop and a biscuit company.
“The trend is certainly going to bring in money. We do not feel there is anything wrong at all in doing this,” leading producer Sureshkumar told IANS.
His next film, which features superstar Mohanlal, will have a few promos too.[Malayalam cinema begins hawking products on screen]
James Bond movies are known for hawking products, like the Aston Martin, BMW, whatever brand watch he wears etc. Then James Bond movies are cartoon films, meant to sell merchandise. But Malayalam cinema, which prides itself on making realistic movies going this route will definitely put off the viewer.
November 2, 2005
Santosh Sivan is releasing his first Malayalam film, Ananthabhadram starring Prithviraj, Kavya Madhavan, Riya Sen, Manoj K Jayan and Kalabhavan Mani. This movie, based on a novel by Sunil Parameshwaran is rich in folk stories and mystical elements.
But this story is actually set in real times. A young man (Prithviraj) from San Francisco comes to his ancestral village for the first time in his life with his mother’s ashes. He wants to light a lamp at the sacred grove, which his mother (Revathy) used to frequently light as a young girl. He slowly realises that all the stories his mother had told him were true; people of the village still believe in many things he didn’t. They believe in trans-migration. I have realised that those Indians who are settled abroad are more culturally bound to India than us who live here. They want something to cling on to. There is some element of disbelief in all these things, though we have added an element of believability to the script. The film is basically about trans-migration, the good and evil.[Santosh Sivan on Anandabhadram]
Santosh also directed the movies Asoka and Terrorist and both were rich in visuals. One of the songs in the movie, Pinakkamano, has been based on Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings and those images look brilliant (1, 2). But Asoka for all the grandeur was a poorly made movie. Terrorist was much better, but still did not have a great narration to suit the visuals. So it remains to be seen if Santosh’s talent for story telling has matched his brilliance behind the camera.
Related Links: Visuals from the movie