LIFE

Judgement time for Onam releases

Balettan: superstar looking for a break.

Balettan: superstar looking for a break.  

The Malayalam film industry is keeping its fingers crossed. Hopes ride high, as six films are ready for Onam release. The entire industry expects to repeat the success story of films released during last Christmas. The box-office credentials of Mamootty, Mohanlal, Jayaram, Kunchako Boban, Prithviraj, Jayasoorya and Indrajith will be tested in the coming weeks.

This Onam is special for all and especially Mohanlal who celebrates 25 years of his career in the industry. After a series of recent setbacks, "Lalettan,'' as he is popularly known among his fans, comes to theatres with V.M.Vinu's "Balettan.''

The film makes an attempt to bring back that old charm of the actor. Trade pundits rate the film as "crucial'' in the career graph of this versatile actor. Actress Devayani is paired opposite Mohanlal in the film.

But the most-awaited and much-talked film for this Onam is none other than Lal Jose's multi-crore "Pattalam'' with Mamootty and Biju Menon in lead roles. The film has already evoked a lot of interest in film circles.

"Pattalam'' brings back the Lal Jose-S.Kumar-Vidyasagar team, the brains behind the super hit film, "Meesha Madhavan.'' Newcomer Reji Nair pens the script for the film. With a big star cast including Oduvil Unnikrishnan, Jagathy Sreekumar, Mala Aravindan, Innocent, Kalabhavan Mani and Saikumar, the film is scheduled to be released on September 5.

Jayaram also makes his presence felt in cinemas across Kerala during this Onam. He takes a different route with Rajeev Kumar's "Ivar.'' Claimed to be the first film in the Indian film industry to be shot entirely in stead cam, "Ivar'' tells the story of the underworld. Biju Menon plays "Pampu Jose,'' a don in the film. Shot extensively in Fort Kochi and Mattanchery, "Ivar'' has already evoked much interest in the industry.

Pattalam: In a combative mood.

Pattalam: In a combative mood.  

Director Kamal returns with yet another story for the youth in "Swapnakoodu'' for this festival. Fresh from the success of "Nammal,'' the director has brought together five youngsters in this film including Kunchako Boban, Prithviraj, Jayasoorya, Meera Jasmine and Bhavana.

Penned by Iqbal Kuttipuram, "Swapnakoodu'' was extensively picturised in Pondicherry. Kamal takes a different route in this film as he shot song sequences at various locations in Vienna.

Buoyed by the box-office success of "Nandanam,'' director Renjith has teamed up Indrajith and Kavya Madhavan in his "Mizhi Randilum,'' Actor Dileep will not keep away entirely during this festival time as he makes a guest appearance in the film.

The industry rides on the traditional belief that Onam is one of the "auspicious'' occasions to release a film. And with major releases in the pipeline, the time has now come for the film lovers to deliver their judgement.

By Krishnakumar G

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