The Sridevi – Kamal Haasan combination in Malayalam Cinema

Kamal Haasan and Sreedevi in Pattabhishekam (1982)

Though the Kamal Haasan – Sridevi duo was a sure-shot combination that set the Tamil Box-office on fire, the results weren’t the same when it came to Kerala. Being a  formula that had ensured the success in  the neighboring state, it was a business proposition  begging to be replicated all over South to wring out the maximum out from the marquees and Malayalam was no exception. Continue reading

Shyam | My 10 Favourites

Shyam aka Samuel Joseph was like a breath of fresh air when he stepped in to take the baton of Music Composer in Malayalam. Not that there was a dearth of talent, but it was high time someone with a different ‘sound’ made his/her mark in Malayalam Cinema. And who else but Shyam, who was the pet of MSV and the favorite violinist of Salilda,  we owe a big note of thanks to him for bringing the Western thematic concepts into popular mainstream Malayalam cinema. Though he dabbled in independent projects and attended as a session violinist in the Tamil film industry ( his first Tamil film was Etrikal Jagrathai in 1968) , his first independent project in Malayalam was Manyashree Vishwamathran (1974), Madhu’s fourth film as Director, and was recommended to him by none other than Sheela. This note is just a frank appreciation of his immense talent and the dexterity with which he composed his songs that had his signature in almost every tune, at times even reminding you of Salilda’s magic. Continue reading

S Pavamani | The visionary who gifted MT, Sathyan Anthikkad and KS Chithra to Malayalam Cinema

1934 – 31 August, 2010

S Pavamani - Film ProducerS Pavamani, who passed away on 31 August, 2010 joins the ranks of an illustrious visionary greats from the old school of Malayalam Cinema, who will invariably turn footnotes if they are lucky. He belonged to that rare breed of producers who had an uncanny capability of finding productions or talents that would make them with the right balance of art and money. Though, for most of the times, he was willing to forgo the money part, and went with his convictions.

Else, how we would ever get greats like MT, Sathyan Anthikad and for that matter, our nightingale, KS Chithra become a part of the Malayalam film industry. He started as a distributor in the early 60′s, with getting the Ashok Kumar starrer Jeevan Sathi ( 1957), directed by RS Tara to Kerala, which was the precursor of things to come.I guess Pavamani was the one who made the Malayalis familiar with the then running superhits from up North, even going as far as Calcutta and getting Ray’s films down to Kerala. It is said that he was a great friend of Satayajit Ray, which explains how Debi (1960), Mahanagar(1963) and Charulata (1964) enjoyed their screen time, way down south in Kerala, a place which curiously had absolutely no idea how Bengali sounded like, and I’m sure at great personal risk in the commercial sense ! Continue reading

IV Sasi’s Ina (1982), AT Ummer borrows from Ilaiyaraja.

AT Ummer was the most busy music director of the late 70′s. I guess he was under so much pressure to sustain the success of his teaming -up with Bichu Thirumala, and most of the times buckling under Producers who had a ready made Hindi or Tamil tune that had to be repackaged for their project.

It isn’t any different when it comes to IV Sasi’s Ina ( 1982),  which had 3 of its songs borrowed from other languages. Continue reading