Prem Nazir is unstoppable in digital age too

A short documentary on Malayalam cinema’s evergreen star Prem Nazir, which surfaced online a couple of days ago, has garnered thousands of views, in testimony to the actor’s enduring popularity, thirty-two years after his passing away. On his death anniversary on Saturday, the video, which was made for Doordarshan back then, was shared across social media platforms, providing a glimpse of the actor to many from the younger generation too.

The documentary titled Nithyavasantham Nithyavismayam, converted from an old VHS tape, was uploaded on Facebook by Orbit Videovision. It was directed by Baiju Chandran, presently head of programmes, Doordarshan, Thiruvananthapuram. The film has interviews with actors, filmmakers, and producers who have worked with him, recollecting their memories.

Actor Mammootty speaks of how he, as a youngster unaware of the technicalities of filmmaking, assumed that Nazir was the same larger-than-life persona in real life as he was shown on screen.

Poignant memories

One of the poignant recollections is made by veteran script-writer Sarangapani about the special relationship the actor shared with Udaya studio, having starred in many a film produced under the banner. “He was not just a cinematic hero for the employees here. He used to enquire after each of the employees here, including the sweepers and the light boys and financially helped them out during difficulties,” he says. Actor Jose Prakash echoes these sentiments and says that Nazir was particular that whatever he is doing to help others should not be known to anyone else.

The documentary looks at how he became the romantic hero of the masses, how he was sometimes limited in his experimentation owing to that image, and of the instances when he successfully broke out of that mould and stunned everyone.

Rare camaradarie

His camaradarie with actor Sathyan, with whom he acted in several films, also becomes a point of discussion. Actors Saradha and Kaviyoor Ponnamma speak of how he was gracious enough to make everyone around comfortable, and treated everyone equally. There are rare interviews with his family members too.

The documentary ends with some rare visuals of his last journey, and of the multitudes waiting on both sides of the road, to catch a last glimpse of the star.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 11:26:59 PM |

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