Saturday, May 21, 2005

Happy Birthday Laletta!

Mohanlal celebrates his birthday today and Sify has a list of films that were important milestones in his career. Here, in no particular order, are a few more of my favorites starring Lalettan...

Kilukkam - Another teaming with Priyadarshan resulted in this comedy classic. Lal played another loveable character of a tourist guide who is forced to take in Revathi, who is looking for her biological father. He magnanimously took a secondary role in the second half, which is a hilarious battle of wits between Thilakan and Revathi.

Dasaratham - Lal plays a single man who wants a child while Rekha, for financial reasons, agrees to be the surrogate mother. The mature theme was handled with sensitivity and the movie was an emotional roller-coaster with a poignant climax.

Narasimham - The blockbuster that cemented Lal's status as superstar and confirmed his larger-than-life image. Lal plays a dada who tries to redeem himself in the eyes of his father. Mone Dinesha was his hugely popular catchphrase and Mammootty had a cameo as a lawyer.

Sadhayam - Mohanlal's lack of an image trap was obvious in this stark film that opened with him on death row and went on to show the reasons behind his murder of a young girl. A heartrending film with a brilliant performance by him.

No. 20 Madras Mail - A film more notable for its pairing of Mohanlal and Mammootty, the two superstars of Malayalam cinema, it still was an interesting whodunnit that moved at a fast pace. Mohanlal made acting drunk look so easy!

Aaram Thamburaan - The fights between a chauvinistic Mohanlal and a feisty Manju Warrier were the highlight of this crowd-pleaser where Lal played the longlost thamburaan of a distinguished estate.

Moonaam Mura - To me, this was the movie that indicated Lal's versatility as the romantic, comic hero played a commando without missing a beat. His mission here was to rescue a busload of kidnapped passengers, which included a minister. No songs and a taut script made this a great action film.

Pavithram - Lal played the affectionate brother to perfection in this film that portrayed brother-sister affection without the usual maudlin sentiments and artificial emotions. His underplayed performance in the climax is guaranteed to bring a lump to your throat.

Hearty birthday wishes to one of India's finest and most versatile actors...


At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy B'day Laletta; You are one of the best!
BB, nice list of favorites..I am not so fond of Narasimham(thought it was just so-so) and I am yet to watchPavithram..

My Lal absolute favorites:
His Highness Abdullah
Mukundettan Sumithra Vilikkunu
Namakku Parkaan Munthiri thoppugal
Thoovana Thumbikal

At 11:28 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

vijays, havent seen 'guru', 'namakku paarkaan...', 'thazhvaaram' and 'thoovana thumbikal' from your list. wish malayalam dvds were available as easily as dvds in other languages.

and while on lal, there was a rumour a while back that he would star in the malayalam remake of 'munnabhai mbbs'. with his comic flair and the string of movies with him as dada, i think he would be the best fit for the role among the ones who've played the role so far. wish the rumour comes true...

At 12:26 AM, Blogger Sreekesh Menon said...

i just like all his movies!

At 5:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB, Namaku.. and Thoovana thumbikal was helmed by the uber-talented Padmarajan(late) and Guru by Rajiv Anchal..The grossly under-rated Guru is an absolute masterpiece IMHO. Surely one of the all-time great Mallu movies..Ilayaraja's musical score for the film is nothing but sheer magic!..Just listen to the songs at MusicIndia...The vhs tapes of all 3 films are available at Coconut Hill (Sunnyvale)

At 7:00 AM, Blogger Munimma said...

My favorites also include Bharatham, Thalavattam, Abhayam Thedi, Aaram Thampuraan, sanmasullavarukku samadhanam. Also, I think there was one with Geetha and (was she in?) prison that I liked. Narasimham was good in spite of being a pot boiler. vanaprastham is on my netflix list. Is Kilukkam the one where they live in the bus?
Rajasilpi (With Banup) was good too. Isn't that the one where he learnt to dance?

At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Muni,'Panchagni' was the film with Geetha..Lalu played a classical dancer in 'Kamaladalam'.

At 11:32 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

munimma, kilukkam had Lal playing a tourist guide. Revathi initially acts like a mad girl before revealing why she came there. if u havent seen this one, make it #1 on your to-see list. i think 'varavelpu' was the 1 where they lived in the bus.


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