It was inside the VJT Hall at Palayam that one of Malayalam cinema’s greatest actors had one of his first public performances on stage, much before he arrived on the silver screen. Five decades later, on Friday, the people of his native town returned a big ‘thank you’ at the same venue for all those unforgettable moments on screen.

The occasion was a civic reception organised by the Thiruvananthapuram district committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] as part of his 80th birthday celebrations.

The proceedings started with a short video which chronicled the major roles played by Madhu through his career.

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan who inaugurated the function said Madhu was someone who managed to build his own kingdom in Malayalam cinema, which was at that time ruled by Nazeer and Sathyan.

“With just a twitch of his eyebrow, he was able to convey a lot of emotions effectively. His versatility helped him to take his performance beyond the borders of commercial cinema, into the realms of the middle cinema and the purely art cinema. He is also lucky to have played on screen some of our greatest literary characters created by the likes of Basheer, MT, Uroob, and Malayattoor,” Mr. Achuthanandan said.

He said the occasion, which was meant to celebrate Madhu’s achievements, should also be used to do a rethink on the current state of cinema in the State. Mr. Achuthandan later presented a citation and a sculpture made by Kanayi Kunjiraman to the actor.

CPI(M) district unit secretary Kadakampally Surendran presided over the function. Former Speaker M. Vijayakumar, Mayor K. Chandrika, and former Mayor V. Sivankutty attended the function, which was followed by a music concert in which songs from the actor’s films over the years were performed.