That was tongue-in-cheek, but there is also an element of truth in it. I also know I would be stepping on a lot of toes, sentiments and left-feet here, but can’t help this. The capability to dance, in the Malayalam film industry has been more of an interesting subject, because, if you close your eyes and think about it, there has been only one actor who could dance in the ‘popular’ sense of the word in films. Rahman. Dancing for a Malayalam film began and ended with Rahman for two generations in Malayalam cinema. It took a while for Vineet to come in, who was the only one who I feel made the grade when it came to Classical or the more popular “western” dance moves and shine in both.
But watching Maane madhurakarimbey, you realise there is a gay abandon as he rolls, rocks, tries his best with the choreographed moves and for a while even does a bit of pole dancing !
And through the 4 odd minutes, Poornima Jayaram seems to be smiling and giggling to herself ( and not so coy as the leading lady ought to be) which almost makes you wonder, was it watching Mammootty’s attempts to dance? And speaking about Rahman, once he proved he could shake a leg, I really believe the entire producers pack must have heaved a huge sigh of relief, more on the lines, “Thank you Jesus, Thank you God, atlast we have a boy who can dance onscreen. And that is exactly what we are gonna do by God. Make him dance in every single of his movies.” In the 80’s, you couldnot escape a Rahman-Rohini ( the hit dancing pair) without having to sit through a ‘disco’ Malayalam number.
Coming back to Mammooty’s Hippy-Hippy-Shake, I wish he retained that mischievous, devil-may-care gay abandon in his later years, instead of locking it away and throw away the key. Things would have been delightfully different then. If only.
Here is Maaney madhurakarimbey, with lyrics by Poovachel Khader and music by Ilayiaraja.
Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the capering, frolicking, hustling, jumping, prancing, shimming, grooving Mammootty of 1983 !
Also, here is the “Club Dance” from Pokkiri Raja, circa 2010 for some perspective 😛