Once again, thank you Jay for the reminder. Today is Jose Prakash’s birthday ( would have been, if you are the “grammareligious” kind ), and even one year since his passing, his body of work ensures that he is still around, talking, sneering, bellowing, hollering but mostly sending a chill up your spine with the different ways that he conjured up Hate onscreen. As I caught the news of Pran Sikand being chosen for the Dadsaheb Phalke Award the other day, it didn’t fail to cross my mind on he similar aura both held onscreen in two different corners of the great cinema planet of our country, the highest recognition of the land reaching them almost with an apology, and the consummate gentlemen both were, off-screen. Continue reading
Cross-dressing onscreen in Indian cinema isn’t anything new, in fact it has been one of the reliable tools of generating guffaws in an onscreen narrative when the going is tepid or lack-lustre. Same has been the case with Malayalam cinema too, and more so owing to strong, polarised, testosterone-dripping “maleness” that have come to be associated with the onscreen leading personas since the past six decades – ever since we got the “bi-polar successions” of Sathyan – Prem Nazir, Mohanlal – Mammootty and hopefully it would end with the last. Continue reading
1980-ഇല് ജയന് വിട പറഞ്ഞപ്പോള് ഇനി സിനിമ കാണണോ എന്ന് ആലോചിച്ച ഭൂരിപക്ഷം മലയാളികള് ഒരാളാണ് ഈയുള്ളവന് . അടുത്ത വര്ഷം ഐ വി ശശി ഒരു വന് ബജറ്റ് ചിത്രം ഇറക്കി – തുഷാരം. കണ്ടവര് കശ്മീരിലെ ഭംഗികളെ പറ്റി പറഞ്ഞ കൂട്ടത്തില് നായകനെ പറ്റിയും പറഞ്ഞു – ഒരു രതീഷ് . പൂച്ചക്കണ്ണന് . അച്ഛനോട് ഒരു പാട് കെഞ്ചെണ്ടി വന്നില്ല കൊണ്ട് പോകാന്. Continue reading
MG Soman had always been that, right from his very first movie Gayatri (1973), written by Malayattoor Ramakrishnan for PN Menon. His irreverence remained only for the characters that he brought alive onscreen, in real life he displayed those exceptional qualities that one would come to expect of an officer of the Indian Airforce – self-confident, assertive yet with a surprising sense of empathy and a taste for simple living. Born 28th October, 1941, the only son of Mannadiparambil Govinda Panicker and Bhavani Amma from Thiruvalla, Soman always had a liking for theatre even from his college days. I remember reading about him writing and staging a play called Mantharikal Garjjikkunnu even before he left to join the Indian Airforce right after his pre-University studies. He was hugely popular in the services for his brilliant one act plays and short skits, in close to a decade he served in the Services, a story that has delightful parallels with the service days of another of our popular onscreen thespians, GK Pillai. Having left Air Force in 1970, back home, he actively plunged into the vibrant theatre culture of the times, associating with amateur and professional productions,chief amongst the former being the Kollam Amateur group, giving his best to every single role that came his way. Continue reading
According to news reports in Malayala Manorama and The Hindu, KPAC Lalitha has been selected for the 2012 Thoppil Bhasi Award, as announced by the Thoppil Bhasi Foundation, and the award carries a cash prize of Rs.33,333 and a commemorative plaque. This award would be something very special with regards to KPAC Lalitha personally and professionally, for all those who have been following her performances on stage and onscreen from her KPAC days.
Thoppil Bhasi, the legendary playwright, master of screenplay and film director, was her mentor, and a father figure to her. In fact she says it very clearly in a chapter dedicated to him in her autobiography “Katha Thudarum” that there are four names that she pays obeisance to in her morning prayers, even BEFORE she invokes her favorite gods – her parents, her husband and Thoppil Bhasi. I guess that should give a fair idea of the place the master craftsman’s place in her life. Continue reading
Iruttinte Athmavu ( The Soul of Darkness ) has to be probably the first mainstream Malayalam film which highlighted the travails of the unsound mind on the silver screen through its main protagonist, Velayudhan, brought to life by Prem Nazir. At a time when candyfloss romances and insanely skewed and delightful CID capers were ruling the marquee, P Bhaskaran’s attempt in bringing this “social malaise’’ was a daring effort, similar to what he attempted with Ramu Kariat in Neelakkuyil (1954), bringing untouchability to the fore. I say social malaise from a broad perspective, as, even in this age of advanced medicine, our basic mindset of an unsound mind is still a “life, doomed”, to be lived in chains. Continue reading
According to a report in Malayala Manorama, the Ragamalika – JAYAN Award for the year 2012, instituted by the Jayan Samskarika Vedi in memory of the late Jayan, actor, who passed away on 16 November 1980 has been awarded to Poojapura Ravi, one of Malayalam cinema’s most senior actors around today. Continue reading
Surendranath Thilakan aka Thilakan has been in my mind for quite some time, especially since the tragic motor accident that his car was involved in, last year.It seemed that life had planned quite a number of eventful surprises for him in real life, that he could maybe reflect on, imbibe in, distill its essence, swiftly turn around and serve it to us, a hundred manifold, onscreen.
When Thilakan appeared onscreen for the first time in Periyar (1973), it was for a project directed by PJ Antony ( his only outing as a director and who was also his mentor in theatre), Thilakan had by then been a seasoned theatre professional, with close to two decades under his belt, a master of nuances and if needed, exaggeration. To debut in a related medium of expression, with two decades of experience in its fundamentals is no mean feat. Maybe that must be the reason why, try hard if you must, one cannot find a role amongst his close to 280 movies that he has been a part of, that could have been better. You could try again, but I could guarantee you that you would come up without an answer. That seems to be unique, if Imay add- a feat that comes natural to a meager handful in Indian cinema ! OK, make that international cinema. Continue reading