Kerala

Mammootty is 70 years young today

Mammootty in a recent still from his film  

On the list of Kamal Haasan’s favourite Indian films is the 1971 Malayalam classic Anubhavangal Paalichakal. While watching it for the first time, he may not have noticed the presence of his friend and fellow-actor Mammootty in it.

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It was a blink-and-you-miss-it kind of role. Mammootty had to wait for another decade before Malayalam cinema began to give him enough screen time. The early 1980s saw him rise as an actor with exceptional talent, stunning good looks and a great voice.

A complete package like no other before him in Malayalam cinema, Mammootty went on to become one of the rarities in Indian cinema; a superstar who could be counted among the country’s finest actors. Scripts began to be written for him, in the main as well as the parallel streams.

The most talented and established directors were willing to wait for him. They still are.

He turns 70 on Tuesday. It may be a cliché, but to say that Mammootty is 70 years young would be no exaggeration. Not merely does he look young enough to play the hero, he has retained his passion for acting.

When it comes to the sheer passion for acting and a constant wish to be part of quality films, he doesn’t have many equals in Indian cinema. He is constantly on the lookout for challenging roles.

If a potentially fine film doesn't come to him, he would go towards it. Many a director would vouch for it.

He is justifiably proud of the fact that he could act in an astonishingly large number of great films. He had told this writer as much during an interview once.

It is no coincidence that some of the most artistic of our filmmakers like directors like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, K.G. George and T.V. Chandran have cast him in multiple films. He has, of course, been as much at home in the commercial cinema of directors such as Joshiy and I.V. Sasi. He has been able to find that right balance between box-office success and creative satisfaction.

Now that Malayalam cinema has resumed shooting after the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, several new films starring Mammootty are set to take off.

It may be a while before the theatres are open in Kerala, but thanks to the internet, you could always rewind some of his memorable films like Yavanika, Askharangal, Yathra, Arappetta Kettiya Gramathil, New Delhi, Thaniyavarthanam, Oru CBI Dairyakurippu, Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha, Vidheyan, Ponthan Mada, Ore Kadal, Paleri Manikyam: Oru Pathira Kolapathakathinte Katha, Pathemari, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Thalapthi and Kandukondain Kandukondain.


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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 3:03:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/mammootty-turns-70-today/article36323103.ece

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