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.
1974 to 1980! That is less than a decade of celluloid portrayals that Jayan has left as his legacy in Malayalam Cinema. He was lucky to be have been around in the cusp of the transition era, where Malayalam Cinema graduated from the the finality of its Black & White realms into an explosive world of Color. Not that it made much of a difference to the roles that he got on celluloid, but what saddens me is the fact that no one seemed to have tapped the actor in him, save for its flashes in a handful of films. Jayan, I repeat again, to me was the Original Badass of Malayalam Cinema, a feat that can never be equaled by anyone, ever. In his most prolific years of activity, 1977 – 1980, the way I see it, the majority of the movies were made to get a piece of that ‘action-cake’ that so guaranteed success at the box-office, and as a result, resembled more of clones of the same movie, rather than unique stories. But, I think, his sheer level of screen presence, badassery made up for all of it to ensure reasonable returns for its producers.
GK Pillai, an actor who can truly be called a living legend, has been announced the recipient of the RAGAMALIKA – JAYAN AWARD for 2011 , instituted by the Jayan Samskarika Vedi in memory of the late Jayan, actor, who passed away on 16 November 1980. GK Pillai debuted in Malayalam films in 1954, at the age of 29, way, way before any actor currently active in the industry faced the arc lights, in Associated Pictures’ Snehaseema, playing the role of an octogenarian !
I do not know how many of you have read this or skimmed through it in Malayala Manorama a few days back, but this sure gives me the jitters (and not in a good sense at all ). According the blurb, Vijeesh Thampy has initiated a project, tentatively titled “Avatharam” , a full-length feature film strarring ummm..Jayan ! Apparently, Kannan Nair, Jayan’s nephew is also an active partner of the project. TA Shahid ( Rajamanikyam, Mambazhakkalam) will be taking care of the screenplay, and they intend to release the movie by April 2011.
Puthiya Velicham (1979), produced by Subramaniam Kumar and directed by Sreekumaran Thampi was a remake of the Dharmendra starrer Phool aur Patthar (1966), the movie that ‘made’ Dharmendra the action star of Bollywood.
Puthiya Velicham (1979)
Puthiya Velicham (1979) told the story of this career criminal Venu (Jayan), the love of his life, a club dancer called Lily ( Jaya Bharathi), and the entry of a widowed, beautiful woman (Srividya) whom Venu gets acquainted with, in one of his midnight robberies. He stumbles upon her, ailing, bedridden and sinking, in a mansion he breaks into, and takes care of her, and in a peculiar turn of events, ends up taking her and offering her refuge in his bachelor quarters. Lily, desperate to leave the crime-ridden life, wants Venu to leave it all and walk away. But Venu is planning for that final one, the biggest heist of his career, the one that would never even make him want to do another ‘job’, but things take an interesting turn with the new ‘arrival’ at his house.
Malayala Manorama reports on the Prem Nazir Foundation Award for the Year (2010) being conferred to T Hariharan, who is one of those few Directors in Malayalam Cinema, and I would say Indian Cinema, who has defiantly refused being pigeon-holed in any genre. I think it is a felicitation that was long overdue for someone whose adeptness in handling the stereotyped ‘commercial’ productions, the ‘Arty’ ones and those high in literary content as well commercial faring at the Box-Office is legion. Correct me if I am wrong but his very first film as a director, Ladies Hostel in 1973 had Prem Nazir as the lead, produced by Dr. Balakrishnan.
Deeply saddening. This is the one emotion that comes to mind as you go through the online domains of our actors which are meant to be their online legacies for future generations. Almost all of them come across as something “begun-with-good-intent-with the wrong-tools-and-perspective-before-leaving-it-halfway”. None of them realise the gravity and importance of the very reason WHY the website is there in the first place. But you can’t blame ALL of them. Most of them seem to be built as tribute by fans who then employ their own yardsticks when creating them. As a result, all you get are over-the-top fawning and salivating text that sometimes borders on the hysterically bizarre ( which I intent to share as we go along) with howlers as text and thumbnail photographs in photogalleries that refuse to pop-up.On rechecking you find,ummm..well..that is their set size!
Another Anniversary, but the Spirit remains, indomitable, eternal.
Its been 30 years since Master Chief Petty Officer Krishnan Nair of the Indian Navy or Jayan as we know him left for his celestial action gig. Jayan was the first phenomenon of Malayalam Cinema, as far as I am concerned. Not Sathyan, not Prem Nazir. Jayan brought machismo into vogue and the spotlight in Malayalam Cinema. And even the timing was perfect – he ruled for the full four years with 150-odd films through the the kitschy, loud, brazen 80’s and went out on a blaze of glory. What else can a consummate artiste wish for? Jayan was our own Chuck Norris, and we even gave him the very same factoids that we bestowed on Chuck Norris and now Rajnikanth, but with a strong Malayali flavor.
Ormakal Marikkumo (1977)
It is one thing having to put up with crappy VCD’s of old classics in Malayalam, with their atrocious resolution complements and pricing that is surprisingly more than DVDs! Its quite something else to look at marketing gimmicks that attempt to push the same down your throat banking on the customer’s perceived ignorance. So, here I get a rude shock in my last outing for classical Malayalam movies, when I see MARUTHI VIDEOS proudly telling me, ” Here, buy this movie! It’s the only one with Kamalhasan and Jayan together in Malayalam cinema history!”