Surendranath Thilakan, who makes every act an emotional discovery, onscreen.

S Thilakan | Actor

Pix Credit : The Hindu

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.

As Shobi Shammi Thilakan ( thanks Vinod ! ) ( Actor/Dubbing Artist and Son ) famously remarked recently, the ones  who lost out on movies that did not cast Thilakan in their movies were his young and upcoming co-stars who missed out on their valuable lessons by this “living university” of emoting, onscreen. The absolute truth, if you ask me. As with any other actor of his calibre, it would be futile sifting through his body of work that stretches 4 decades to pick out a handful to make a “convenient best-of list” which I absolutely have no intention of scrounging ! I thought I would rather approach the legendary actor’s body of work from a different perspective. I thought about the roles ( or the most prominent ones ) through 4 decades and decided to highlight the ones that are based on the popular rasas, inspiring emotions that varied from a sustained state of disgust, empathy, mirth, wonder and everything between then in subtle layers.

Srungaram.

Thilakan and Manju Warrier in Kannezhuthi Pottum Thottu

In the short screen time  between Bhadra’s ( Manju Warrier ) seduction, laying of  the honey trap and the execution of her plan to gory perfection in Kannezhuthi Pottumthottu, we get to watch a facet of the legend that has not been in the spotlight in his meaningful body of work – that of the seduced and bumbling, aging squire whom the seductress has wrapped around her finger. There are two faces of Ettuveettil Natesan – that of the conniving-though-aged-and-handicapped ruthless feudal lord, and the bumbling, sold-out-in-love septuagenarian who is desperately trying to convince his diseased, overwrought  body and a cunning mind on its last laps that his virility  and libido haven’t got destroyed in the process. In that famous ( ! ) scene where Bhadra  keeps writing phrases of Praananaathan  enikku Nalkiya ( Irayimman Thampi‘s famous ode to smoldering sensuality ) on the medicinal-oil soaked  bare back of her prey while the latter, besides himself with the minor explosions that seem to have set his loins on fire, would do back-flips if he could, as he tries to wrap his rekindled physical self around the sensuous pleasure. I am sure I would have turned away in disgust had that been any other actor in his place, but Thilakan brings a sense of, shall I say, perverse respectability as he wallows in his sexual helplessness.

Starts from 1:09

Hasyam

Thilakan in Nadodikattu (1987)Thilakan as Ananthan Nambiar in Nadodikkattu was a masterstroke in casting, even with respect to Sathyan Anthikkad‘s previous films, or for that matter, the ‘established’ norms of characters for actors in Malayalam cinema. Thilakan was the last one you expected playing the chicken-hearted wuss who is also the mastermind of a smuggling racket. Ananthan Nambiar managed to split you at the seams without even a single gesture or intonation that suggested a comedy interlude or a light-hearted moment. He appeared dead-serious till the end, delivering his lines with dead-pan seriousness that even bordered on aggression, to the point of even speaking in falsetto in the sequel. And that was what cracked you up endlessly. Just like the invective “Kuthey!” was immortalised by Dharmendra in Hindi films, Anathan Nambiar gave us the classic “CID, Escape!”. To me, this dead-pan, contained aggression has been a hallmark of the way Thilakan handles humor onscreen, be it in any of his classic roles – others that come to mind along with this are Panchavadi Paaalam (1984), Sanmanussallavarkku Samaadhaanam ( 1986), Kilukkam (1991) and Mookkilla Raajyathu (1991).

Raudram.

Thilakan in Hrithubhedom Suppressed, boiling rage fueled by arrogance ( of mostly power ) had been a hallmark of Thilakan’s some of the best roles that reflected Raudram. It wasn’t linear. In most cases, his rage-infected personality was like a festering wound, at times like a pestilence that refused to go away. There are a lot of images that come to your mind – Mathukkutty in Irakal (1985), the despicable uncle in Nakhskshathagal (1986), Poomukha padiyil ninneyum kaathu (1986), Kurup in Amritam Gamaya (1987), and to a certain extent, Kochuvava of Kaattukuthira (1990). In fact, Kochuvaava from Kattukuthira must have been the only instance where Thilakan drips sarcasm in every single instance and event associated with his life – surely a unique one in the history of Malayalam cinema. But my favorite has always been the Valiya mama in  Hrithubhedom (1987 ) – as a character who exudes senseless arrogance throughout his life. He never smiles, and he coats every piece of conversation he has with everyone in his life with varying degrees of rage, or its milder version of sarcasm. Like any other seasoned actor, even though the roles across the years share basic qualities, he manages to give his own interpretation of the character onscreen, while staying inside the framework that the director has envisaged, and then proceeds to blow you away.

I love Thilakan enraged, onscreen. Like in real life, he has an extremely powerful way of pulling you inside that ‘emotional field’, and make you lose your moorings. Fury pulls on a deadly, attractive cloak onscreen – you could also call it Thilakan.

Karunyam

Thilakan in Unnikaley Oru Katha Parayam

The empathy that his characters have conveyed onscreen in their generic roles all have the indelible stamp of his magical syntax that is known only to him. Take the examples of three of his ‘Reverend’ roles – from the rock-music crazy version in Idanaazhiyil oru Kalocha (1987), the pompous-yet-compassionate one in Unnikaley Oru kadha parayaam (1987) and the ‘pro-active’ community leader Reverend in Mrugaya (1989) , though the essential behavioral traits are the same, Thilakan gives each one of them a remarkably distinct life of their own. You will never watch one and think, well, haven’t I seen them all ! Compassion and fortitude in tragedy gains an extra dimension when he performs on screen. Who can forget the joi-de-vivre and a sense of serenity that the blind, aged musician who lives alone at the top of the hill in Kamal’s Ghazal (1993) ? Or for that matter, the parish priest in Unnikaley Oru Katha Parayaam ? In IV Sasi’s Mrugaya (1989), the priest is downright practical and street-smart { Remember his interpretation of the tenet in Matthew 5 :39, on the Slap, Cheek and Tolerance ? :) } Have heard in an interview with TK Rajeev Kumar on how Srividya was weeping away from the crew, after they had canned the shots for Pavithram, as she found the ‘behavior’ onscreen  of Thilakan as the empathetic and considerate husband, specially in that montage of shots, so powerful, that it surpassed reality and she was so overwhelmed by the emotions it stirred in her. Maybe the screenplays and the characters that came his way were created with him in mind, but how he would interpret them onscreen would have been a delight once the ‘process’ was completed, as he breathed life into those words.

Bibhatsam.

Thilakan the step-dad in Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal (1986)

Thilakan the step-dad in Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal (1986)

I do not think even P Padmarajan could have fathomed the extremities to which Thilakan, as Antony Pailokkaaran  would drag his character , plumbing the depths of carnal perversity, with equal amounts of cowardice and aggression thrown in. As Soni Somarajan so rightly described in his post,

For me, Thilakan as the step-father in Nammuku Paarkan Munthirithoppukal, was a role that inspired hate. He was pure scum incarnate, a persona clad in a hitched-up lungi, a testosterone-driven bare-chested beast covered in coils of black hair accentuating the lecherous energy associated with that role. He bristled on screen, a walking instance of psychic intent, his darting eyes and controlled aggression partially revealing an intent of no good.

It was a combination of aversion, disgust and hate that you felt for Antony Pailokkaaran onscreen, and he seared that into you. Even now, we remember Namukku Parkkan Munthirithoppukal (1986) for its cinematic, lyrical intensity as well as its festering malevolence, thanks to Thilakan. There is also a brilliant ‘conversion’ he brings to Achuthan Nair of Kireedom (1989) in its sequel, Chenkol(1993). As the father who has now been reduced to being the pimp for his daughter’s solicitors, Thilakan, in one masterstroke brings two remarkable extremities in the natural progression of a failed and broken patriarch, making the ascent and the descent memorable. Could we imagine anyone else in his place ? I don’t think I could.

Bhayanakam.

Thilakan in Sphadikom

There is a shade of Chacko Master in every teacher of that generation that I have met, including my loving Grandpa, himself a Math teacher, and named Chacko too :) Chacko Master in Spadikam displayed sustained fury in every scene and there wasn’t any repression associated with Chacko Master. He expressed his rage at every step of the way in his life, making himself   the source of terror, rather than a subject to it. It is interesting to note the ‘learning curve ‘ of Chacko Master, the entity who induced abject terror ending up fearing the very traits that made him what he was and chastened,  takes the final step into eternity, negating all perception of what he was, in a blessed moment ( however filmy it was :) ).

Viram.

Thilakan in Manichithrathaazhu

Thilakan’s characters onscreen never committed heroic feats  in the ‘established’ sense of the word, that we have been conditioned to experience, onscreen. Rather, it was a slow buildup of defiance, support and moral high ground that always helped reclaim the ‘hero’s’  self-respect in the end. Even in those rare cases where it worked against and he met his nemesis at the hero’s hands, Thilakan always took a slightly different path to convey the goodness of the morally upright or the do-gooder. Be it  Brahmadattan Namboothiripad from Manichitrathaazhu, Aliyar in Kauravar, the investigating officer in Vachanam, Balaraman in Godfather, Dr Nambiar in Sadayam, the paths are diverse, but the undercurrent is the same, however misguided it is – hope you get the drift.

Adbhutam.

Thilakan in Sandesham

Raghavan Nair of Sandesham (1991) occupies a unique place in, shall I say, the history of  Malayalam cinema. I am yet to come across a father who lives through a major part of  the movie in perpetual wonder and amazement at the directions in which  the lives and careers of his ‘politically-aware’ ( for the lack of a subtler term ) sons seem to be taking, poised for promising careers through leadership in their own political ideologies. He is amazed at the way life has moved on in Kerala in the years he laid it all online for his family in a hot and muggy career in South Indian Railways. He looks in wondrous fascination with dollops of naivete at the way relationships have taken more ‘me-centric’ paths than ‘us-centric’ ones. And at the end of it all, he is amazed as to why he didn’t realise the bitter truths early enough so that he could act on it. Which ever way you take it,  Raghavan Nair forms the pivot around which the black comedy progresses, hurtling towards a very eventful culmination that drives home the simple truths of tolerance and introspection.

Santam.

Thilakan in Varavelpu

These could be more of an off-shoot/derivative category of the roles that reflected a heart set  between rock and a hard place :). At times mostly leading sub-plots, these roles were always an unobtrusive but significant part in the ‘organic structure’ of the story, and were always guided by righteous intent. The Labour Relations Officer in Varavelpu, the sagely Vaidyar in Sargam, the Blind musician in Ghazal are what I see when I think of his ‘tranquility’ onscreen. But the most memorable would have to be of Kallu Varkey in KG George‘s Kolangal, the village drunkard who literally ‘sails’ through different degrees of intoxication throughout the movie, nailing the mannerisms and the ‘increments of inebriation’ brilliantly.

Jump to 13: 10

Valsalyam.

Thilakan in Kireedom

This short wouldn’t do even two cents of justice to the sea of  emotions that he invoked within us across ages with his portrayals of parental love, as the interpretations are far too many. Thilakan had an almost surreal capability in ‘living’ the roles as a parent, across age-groups ( a unique capability, if you ask me ), and had the command and finesse to elicit a matching performance from his onscreen ‘sons and daughters’, which made the end – result, a memorable experience. It is interesting to note that his noted national and state recognitions as an actor has been for roles of this nature – be it Thaniyavarthanam (1987),  Perumthachan (1990) {though I feel there is another dimension to this role that I have mentioned below }, Gamanam (1994), Santhanagopalam (1994), Ekantham (2007), Indian Rupee (2011)  and of course the popular favorites – Veendu Chila Veettu Karyangal ( 1999), Kireedom (1989) and  Maalayogam (1990)  to name a few. From elevating a local cuss word into a paternal expression of fondness and endearment {remember “Themmadi” in Kireedom (1989)}, his nuances, body language and brilliant modulations ( even after two decades, doesn’t the phrase “നിന്‍റെ അച്ഛനാടാ പറയുന്നത് ,  കത്തി താഴെ ഇടെടാ” manage to drive a stake through your heart ? ) – Thilakan took you to a special universe inside you, when it came to roles of paternal love. The degrees and differences as portrayed by the defiant and helpless father Varkey in Maalayaogam (1990) to aged, weary and helpless father in Dhanam (1991), to two of his finest portrayals in his career, that of the estranged husband and pining father Cherian in Gamanam (1994) and Krishnakurup in  Santhanagopalam (1994), to his latest Achyutha Menon in Indian Rupee (2011) – his character studies could fill a book. Suffice to say that, Vatsalyam was his most celebrated emotion onscreen, for the average moviegoer like me.

Bhakti.

Thilakan in Perunthachan(1991) As with other, you might have a million easy reasons to disagree on this too :), but to me, Thilakan as Perumthachan (1989) came across as a  deeply spiritual mortal, who was revered to the point of divinity ( the multi-layered intepretations of the Creator being very relevant here), an ageless romantic and also a loving father – but his ‘almost-divine’ facet of the characterisation is what always stays with me. Though his failings as a mortal in the end brings the viewer into a vexing dilemma of reconsidering our individual perspectives on the Master Carpenter from Kerala’s worthy past, it is his divinity as a ‘creator’ that always rides over everything else, for me. You might disagree, but then again, its just me.:)

So, there. Echoing Achyutha Menon from Indian Rupee (2011), Thilakan’s roles, to me, have always been that intoxicant that fires up the once-emotionally responsive faculties in ‘my attic’, now in dark, deep slumber. There will never be one like him, ever.

Do write in with your thoughts.

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33 thoughts on “Surendranath Thilakan, who makes every act an emotional discovery, onscreen.

  1. Thilakan is and will be the master craftsmen of malayalam cinema who lived and breathed cinema.I never thought he acted.He just lived the roles to perfection,something which allows us to love the movies in which he was cast.Watching his movies is like eating a perfectly made tasty meal which we love to devour and relish each and every morsel and still crave for more after it is over.He was a great,natural actor with a true love of the arts and i think his magic was so good because he never did films for commercial or friendship reasons.He did movies bcoz that was his passion and sadly in todays times,there are hardly any passionate people left in any field.Your writeup is truly a classic tribute to the legend bcoz he had such variety of emotions which you have so perfectly captured.His cruelty in cheriyachande kroorkatha,his innocence in sandesham,his frailty in that grandon dying movie.When you see his movies,we generally tend to immediately associate with our father or grandfather bcoz he used to do so much justice.I really pity the morons of (AMMA ) who made him fight in the end and did not give him the respect and appreciation he deserved.

    • Hi Roy,
      Words suddenly feel inadequate when it comes to describing Thilakan, the actor. I believe what you said about him doing movies because that was his passion is truly the fundamental principle on which he built his magic kingdom of creative expressions. It is usch a simple, yet powerful aspect that needs a whole load of daring and conviction, both of which found no shortage, when it came to the thespian.Lets keep celebrating the movies that he gave us, and through them moments on celluloid that have inadvertently become reference passages on the nuances of realistic acting. As with the morons, it takes all kinds to make this world. :) Thanks again, cinematters

  2. Article is brilliant…lot of homework, good writing, good compiling…but where were all these articles when Thilakan was fighting it out?? Irony, people do it when he is no more and call it Tribute!…is that all? He was a fighter and a loner too!

    • Gita,this article was written and published before Thilakan passed away.
      Even otherwise,isn’t it natural to remember,appreciate and admire a person more,when he is missed?

    • Hi Gita,
      Thank you for passing through and writing in. I did not quite get what you really meant by “where were all these articles when Thilakan was fighting it out?? Irony, people do it when he is no more and call it Tribute!” OldMalayalamCinema is a PERSONAL blog which do not represent any vested interests in Malayalam films or otherwise, nor does it claim to take moral high ground on the events that are happening in the Malayalam film industry. The sole objective of this blog is to put on record the performers, their performances in Malayalam films that might have otherwise been relegated to musty, inaccessible archives in the print media.That is solely the long and short of it. And as Jayachechi has mentioned, this was published BEFORE his demise and was in fact a continuation of the note by Soni Somarajan on Antony Pailokkaaran of Namukku Paarkkan Munthiri Thoppukal which you can read here.And, yes, every single post here is a tribute – to the performers and their performances.And it would still be the objective, going forward.On the same lines, you could find extensive posts of that nature under the Profiles section. I am still at a loss as to HOW a personal blog of this nature would have had any effective contribution in an event of which I have no first-hand knowledge nor involvement to speak about. Thanks once again and hope to see more of you in these parts.Regards…cinematters

  3. Brilliant write-up and a glowing tribute.

    The statement “… those who lost out on movies that did not cast Thilakan in their movies were his young and upcoming co-stars…” was made by Shammi Thilakan and not Shoby Thilakan in a TV talk show when both of them were present along with their father (Videoclip below). This may not be important but just wanted to set a factual error right in this otherwise brilliantly researched and comprehensive article.

    • Thank you Madhav, though the intention at the time of writing it was just a look at Thilakan’s popular roles through the perspective of the Navrasas.It somehow sadly “evolved” to be one, going by the, shall I say, “bad” timing. Hope to see more of you in these parts. Regards, cinematters.

    • No one forgot it Sibi. It mention right there under Hasya, “To me, this dead-pan, contained aggression has been a hallmark of the way Thilakan handles humor onscreen, be it in any of his classic roles – others that come to mind along with this are Panchavadi Paaalam (1984), Sanmanussallavarkku Samaadhaanam ( 1986), Kilukkam (1991) and Mookkilla Raajyathu (1991).” Who can ever forget Ishaq Tharakan? :)..cinematters

  4. Thank you Cinematters for this wonderful, in-depth and highly insightful write-up on the living university, Sri.Thilakan. One can just be mesmerised by his sheer powerful presence in absolutely any role that he has donned in his illustrious screen-life. Indeed we have been very forturnate to have lived in the same year as the living legend.

    • Thank you Sairam, for your kind words. You are very generous :) As you rightly said, it is indeed our good fortune that we got to have shared the years with the living legend. Makes one mighty proud when you think of it again.Regards..cinematters

  5. The living legendary trios of Malayalam Cinema- Thilakan,Nedumudi,and Jagathy,in spite of being world class actors,have lost out on the race to make national headlines,mainly because they were always relegated to supporting roles and hardly got a chance to be crowned the ‘Best actor’.
    Thanks Cine Matters for an in depth treatise on Thilakan,one of the best studies I have ever read on him.
    My personal favourites are his ‘comedy’ roles,because it is something we least expect from a ‘heavy’ role specialist like Thilakan.I would even say that he redefined comedy to suit his personality and bearing.
    I wish you would translate this study to Malayalam and publish it in one of the popular magazines.
    It deserves more readers than that of the cyber world.

    • Thank you Chechi, for passing through and writing in. Glad you liked what you read :) The effort was to look at it from our traditional rasas for a performing medium that was more technical and rigid than his favorite one – theatre.As you mentioned, his take on comedy was as dedicated and serious as with any other roles, and I guess that was made it all the more delightful.Popular magazines? Gulp. :) .Regards..cm

  6. First time seeing many of the clips here. Thanks, Cinematters, for gathering together and presenting the many facets of this great actor of our times in this superb article. Most directors must have felt confident that any character would be safe in Thilakan’s hand. And deservedly so.
    Thanks also to Gopalji for sharing his moment with the actor.

    • All you had to do was look Susie :) Those clips had always been lying around waiting for fanatics like us to pounce on it :)And as you rightly pointed out, there was an extremely high level of confidence on his capabilities when it came to casting. And I have mentioned this earlier too, one cannot think of an role of Thilakan onscreen which any of his peers could have done better. Thanks..cinematters

  7. i hate the actor THILAKAN morethan the individual THILAKAN. i have plenty of reasons behind my hate towards thilakan.. it was he who ruined SOFIA, it was he who remained silent when BALAN master was labelled as MAD and kept under house arrest.. it was he who ruined the life of THOMAS CHACKO, he himself took his daughter (who was also the sister of sethumadhavan) to hotel rooms and ruined her life, i have plenty more incidents to hate thilakan.

    but the one thing that i always remember abt thilakan is my 1st interaction (also the last) with him during one of the shooting set near my home. i talked to thilakan NOT TO PRAISE ABOUT his roles in KIREEDOM, PERUMTHACHCHAN or SANDESAM or NAMUKKU PAARKKAN, but to congratulate him for his role in his debut film PERIYAAR (1973 by his mentor p j antony) i still remembr his role in that film who in the climax become MAD ND RUN THROUGH THE STREETS OF THAT VILLAGE. the costume and make up of thilakan was something which i never forget. sadly, most people didnt had the opportunity to see the young THILAKAN as actor. and i still beleive thilakan will remember the name GOPALAKRISHNAN (he said he wont forget me) and our 1st meeting. whatever happens to the individual thilakan, his talent will be their always. as MOHD RAFI saab once sang (for shammi jee)

    MAUT JISM KO AATHI HAI.. ROOH KA JALWA REHTHA HAI…

    • Wah..wah. Gopalji.Yeh hui na baath. :) I would really love to watch that movie ( if it has survived) and agian reaffirm the fact that Thilakan, the actor is incomparable.Thanks.cinematters

  8. Wow! A well-written and inclusive write-up. I completely agree with Shobi Thilakan, when he says, ” the ones who lost out on movies that did not cast Thilakan in their movies were his young and upcoming co-stars who missed out on their valuable lessons by this “living university” of emoting, onscreen. ” Every role he has played, is a class in itself. We cannot imagine anyone else to have portrayed the characters so well. Malayalam Cinema has been known for Cinema, Acting and Story-portrayal in its truest sense, and Thilakan Sir being one of the ‘pride’ . Accolades on the article!

    • Hi Vini,
      Thank you for your kind words and really glad that you found some resonance with the post. Truly, we could never imagine any other actor playing his roles to perfection as he did.Hope to see more of you in these parts. Regards..cinematters.

      PS: http://mloreyesplus.wordpress.com/ is an interesting way to inspire youth in a positive way. The bests to the initiative.

  9. Bravo CM! you have outdone yourself! I bet this is the most comprehensive piece ever on Thilakan, the Master Craftsman. Thilakan and the Navarasas… what could be better? How many people are actually there who have actually managed to portray so beautifully all those emotions to perfection and with distinction on screen. and the write-up- simply brilliant. Loved it. and my only peeve? evideyenkilum aa moonnaam pakkathile appooppane onnu mention cheyyaamaayirunnu:( but then, like you said… it just me!

    • Umm,err, Remi, I would request you, as usual, to go real easy on the adjectives. :) Evideyenkilum Moonnaampakkam is not necessary, it is understood. Its just that Moonnaampakkam was taking paternal another generation high, and I would really want to write about all of my favorites in that, where I feel he excelled, soon. Thanks.cinematters

  10. Malayalam cinema have owned under its name many gifted talents who mesmerized the audience with their forte and Thilakan is one among the few unforgettable talent the cinema has gifted us. Today but fighting his fate he lays struggling between life and death . Demise of a hero is always painful .The characters he brought to life with his magical spell make us yearn for more of such real to life characters from such brilliant actors. Unfortunately his health forbade us from hoping for more. Even though recently he created a spur in the film field ,no one could disagree with the fact of his unparalleled talent and keep the passionate actor behind the camera. He was to come to the limelight and he came.
    His recent roles have come with such impact that i cant help pointing out his character in the film Indian Rupee. An intelligent, cunning, learned yet helpless old father, who drops in like a blessing, and finally rises up as a mentor to the hero.

    • An intelligent, cunning, learned yet helpless old father, who drops in like a blessing, and finally rises up as a mentor to the hero“- that should adequately sum up Achyutha Menon in Indian Rupee (2011), Gayathri. The fighter that he has been, we hope that he would flip infirmity the bird again, but whether he would be able to light up the screen with his brilliance, again, would be another question. Hope floats..Thank you for writing in..regards..cinematters

  11. Hello CM,

    A very well written piece on one of the greatest actors of ours times. Especially, liked the way in which you have collated and woven it within the sphere of rasas.

    For me and a few of my close friends, the lines “Hallo Mr. Pereira” is a way of life. It’s how we greet each other while meeting in person or on the phone; attracting the attention of passersby in public places, while screaming at each other in a false baritone, trying to imitate this great actor.

    During a ‘serendipitous’ moment, I happened to stumble upon your blog a few days ago and subscribed to it. Got your email notification today and this is the first article that I happened to read. I’ll surely take time and go through the rest of your blog. Of what I’ve seen, you seem to have a treasure house of content that a Malayalam movie buff would relish going through.

    Once again, great work…

    Cheers !!!

    Tom

    • Dear Mr Pereraaaah aka Tom,
      I sincerely thank that serendipitous moment that brought you here, and made you pass through this lil blog :)This post, in iteslf, doesn’t even pretend to hold a candle to the legend’s body of work, exhaustive as it is, but I fervently hope that this becomes a rough guide, a pale “Thilakan for Dummies” that would set them on a path of discovery in learning about this incomparable actor. Hope to see more of you in these parts, your thoughts on the published words and your perspectives as you roll them around in your head, going forward. Thanks so much again, cinematters

  12. Yes, actors like Thilakan are truly one of a kind and we are lucky to have had as much of him as we had. One memorable role of his which I did not find here was the father of Srinivasan in “Chintavishtayaya Shyamala”. The helpless indignation he feels about his irresponsible son was too good.

    • Hi Nalini,

      Thank you for writing in. As I have mentioned, Paternal roles acquired extra dimensions with Thilakan, and he excelled in them. Chinthavishtaya Shyamala is truly one of his memorable roles.regards..cinematters

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