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Mammootty still unstoppable

Old is Gold even in this modern times. What else would you say to see Mammootty being the most successful star of Malayalam in 2009? The Malayalam superstar had a memorable run with as many as eight films in 2009.

"Love in Singapore", "Daddy Cool", "Eee Patanathil Bhootham", "Loud Speaker", "Kutty Shrank", "Pazhassi Raja", "Palery Manickam" and "Chattambinaadu" films have reiterated Mamooka’s rule is not going to end anytime soon.

While "Pazhassi Raja", "Palery Manickam" and “Chattambinaadu” are declared the year end hits in Malayalam box-office, "Kutty Shrank" went to claim international laurels at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa and will have a commercial release soon.

The year 2009 also added more feathers to Mammootty. Success in front of camera not enough Mammootty launched his own production house to produce and distribute films. Another out of film honour for Mammootty is that he was appointed brand ambassador by the Kerala Volleyball Association.

(India Times)

Mammootty gets one more Doctorate

The University of Calicut will soon honor Mammootty with an honorary D.Litt. It will be in appreciation of his contribution to art and culture. This will make Mammootty the first actor to receive the honor from this University. The University of Kerala has given a similar honor to Mammuka before.

Mammootty is an internationally acclaimed 3 times National award winning Indian actor who works mainly in Malayalam Cinema, however has been shown his presence in Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi Film industries. He is considered as one of the versatile actors in the industry. During a career spanning more than quarter of a century, he has acted in more than 300 films as lead actor, and has been successful in both mainstream and parallel cinema.

Mammootty re-elected Kairali TV Chief

Malayalam super star Mammootty has been re-elected chairman of Malayalam Communications Limited, which operates a bouquet of channels under the flagship Kairali TV, during the annual general meeting of the company held in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. John Brittas was also re-elected as the managing director of the channel.

The meeting announced 5% dividend for 2008-09. This is the first time since its formation that Kairali TV is announcing a dividend. The company, riding on a 36% increase in revenue over the previous year, logged a total turnover of Rs. 47.86 crores during 2008-09. The revenue during 2007-08 was Rs. 35.21 crores.

Mammootty said that the company, which had launched two channels ‘People’ and ‘We’, had already acquired satellite space for a fourth channel and would launch the channels as early as possible. John Brittas said that from January 1, Kairali TV would switch over to non-linear post production and server-based telecast of programmes.

Mammootty-Blessy team again

Superstar Mammootty will be appearing together with Blessy again for a film. They had earlier teamed up for Palunku. The story of the film will be written by Blessy himself. The film will be directed by Maya Bazar director, Thomas Sebastian.

Scripted by Viju Ramachandran, the film’s story is about a simple man who goes to the Middle East, looking for a job but is not able to find a good one because of the economic meltdown. The role of the simple man is played by Mammootty. Blessy started his career with Kazhcha, starring Mammootty.

Mammootty on star salaries

In an interview to a Malayalam film magazine, Megastar Mammootty has said that superstar’s salaries are not responsible for the rise in cost of production of films.

Mammootty stressed: “The increase in cost of production in star films is in no way connected to star salaries. Though I fully endorse the producers association’s resolution that cost of films should be pegged around Rs 3.50 Crore, the rise in cost is due to the subject.”

The star points out that he worked for Pazhassi Raja at a reasonable salary, yet the cost of production shot up due to the subject which was a period drama.

Mammooka asserted: “Let me make it clear just because of my salary, the cost of my films has not gone up. I believe cost of production can be curtailed if proper script and planning is made before the shoot and the number of days for shoot and the film rolls to be used is worked out in a professional manner.”


Chattambinadu - Review

Director Shafi has narrated a story which is a potpourri of films like Rajamanikyam, Prajapathi, Thommanum Makkalum and a few others of the similar kind, but certainly without much of the charm of any of these films, in the absence of a credible storyline!

How many times have we been taken to some curious land in the Tamil Nadu border, where the hero is the God for the rather dumb natives and he has a past that will be revealed only during the second half? Amidst confusions galore, the hero will have the whole village ready to die for him, except for the villain and his cronies who will pose some problems until the climax, some minutes before the end credits start rolling.

Well, the story happens more or less the same way, in a remote village originally called Chembattunadu as well. The rivalry between two wealthy families had brought in some chattampis (goons) from neighbouring areas and after a while, they took control of the village.

Chembattunadu soon became Chattambinadu. Vijendra Mallaya (Mammootty), who speaks Malayalam with a heavy Kannada accent, soon comes to Chattambinadu, after he buys the property belonging to Mallanchira Chandramohan (Manoj K Jayan). This enrages the wicked Kattappilly Nagendran (Siddique) and he begins to pose troubles one after the other for Mallaya. There are some local chattampis in the area, like Makri Gopalan (Salim Kumar) and Dasamoolam Damu (Suraj Venjarammood) that is meant to makes things more interesting.

Mammootty looks eminently handsome in his trimmed moustache and neatly cut stubble. He wears a white kurta- pyjama, white shoes, dark sunglasses and a red tilak on his forehead that makes him quite an imposing figure. He talks in a peculiar accent and the actor has taken some nice efforts to give the character some real difference.

Mammootty’s punchline a mixture of Kannada and Malayalam is sure to become popular. But why does only his character speak in such an accent and everyone else converse in fluent Malayalam, including his gang members?

Vinu Mohan, who plays Murugan, is like a brother to Mallaya and the young actor has come up with one of the best performances in his brief career. Both the heroines, Lakshmi Rai and Manikyam Mythili, have limited roles to play.

Siddique, as the menacing villain, looks fine but has nothing much to do other than what we have seen in some of his earlier films. Salimkumar and Suraj tries really hard, but they too have nothing new to offer.

It is the script that is the weakest link here and that is evident all along. The scenes and even the locations remind us that this is a rather meek hodgepodge of situations from quite a few films from the past, with related themes. Manoj Pillai's camera, however, does a brilliant job and Alex Paul's music seems to be okay in parts.

At just more than two hours and eight minutes, Chattambinadu may turn out to be a mindless mass entertainer. The film is worth a look for Mammookka, he is simply awesome and holds the film together.


Paleri Manickam: Oru Pathira Kolapathakathinte Kadha - Review (sify)

Every once in a while comes a film that truly shakes you up and make you realize about the power of well-narrated stories in doing so. Director Ranjith's Paleri Manikyam: Oru Pathira Kolapathakathinte Kadha is such a film, which is exceptionally brilliant, intelligently executed and thrilling to the core.

Based on writer T.P.Rajeevan's book, the film is an investigative story, told in a refreshingly different way. Haridas (Mammootty), a private detective based in Delhi and his friend Sarayu (Gowri Munjal), comes to a sleepy north Malabar village called Paleri to unveil the mystery behind the murder of a beautiful woman named Manickam (Maithily), which happened more than five decades back.

It is through the eyes of Haridas that the truth behind the incidents that led to the shocking murder of Manickam comes out at an interesting pace. Manickam had died just a couple of days after her marriage to Pokkan, who was the good for nothing son of Cheeru (Swetha Menon). Soon, all the fingers start pointing to Murikkumkunnath Ahmed Haji (Mammootty, in a spectacular appearance), the rich and brash landlord, who virtually ruled the area according to his whim.

Ahmed Haji feared none and lived life strictly on his own terms. He slept with the women he set his eyes on, brutally assaulted the poor peasants who worked for him and had scant regard for the law. But for Haridas, there were still some missing links that finally proved to be quite startling and crucial. We won't reveal further and spoil the fun because the unravelling of the mystery is so engaging!

It is with absolute awe that one would come out of the theatres, especially for Ranjith, who has made perhaps one of the finest films in Malayalam history, based on Rajeevan's brilliant novel. There are flaws and scope for further improvement for sure, but the writer-director's ability to handle such an intricate tale needs to be appreciated wholeheartedly.

With a spectacular performance that can leave you spellbound, Mammootty underlines why he is easily regarded among the best actors in the country. His charisma, screen presence and style give an altogether different meaning to the characters and his portrayal of Ahmed Haji will remain as one of the best to have happened in Malayalam films, ever.

Swetha Menon's scintillating performance as Cheeru is another highlight of Paleri Manickam. In her role, she is at her sensuous best during her younger days and looks genuine as an aged and suffering woman, years later.

But the performances of the other two leading ladies, Maithily and Gowri Munjal, are nothing to rave about. No wonder, the focus is never really on them and as a result, it hasn't affected the film much.

The other key factor in the film's appeal could be the amateur artists who have played the supporting roles amazingly well. Almost all of them have made the film look authentic. The rest of cast including Sreenivasan, Siddique and T Damodaran among others have done their roles quite well.

The technical aspects about the film too need a mention here for the fine work that has gone into it. Here is an extra round of applause for Manoj Pillai's camera that does a brilliant job and the film's music, by Sharath and Bijibal, which syncs perfectly with the mood.

Paleri Manikyam: Oru Pathira Kolapathakathinte Kadha is one film that will haunt you days after you've left the theatres. It's a gem that comes not too often and the least you can do to appreciate it is to watch it at the cinemas, at the earliest!

Verdict: Excellent



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