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Velyettan

Mammootty's latest avatar, is all set to bring back vintage Mammootty to the screens after a while. Clad in a white jubba, sporting a twirled up moustache and metres of black thread tied on the right wrist, and slick,black mane. Instantly he gives out the message, ' don't mess with me'. The character's real name is Arakkal Madhavanunni, he is tough, because he has to but he is also compassionate. In Hitler, Mammooty was a tough and over bearing brother to his three adolescent sisters. This time he is the no-nonsense Velyettan (big brother) to his three brothers and a revered figure. So Malayalees are in for a treat from this versatile actor, coupled with Ranjith's fire brand dialogues and Shaji's explosive camerawork. Mammootty is the eldest son of Arakkal tharavad and its care taker. The warring factions of the rest of the clan and the ages old animosity with Patteril family makes up the story of this firebrand movie. Shobhana is cast opposite him. There is also a heavy weight cast backing up. Manoj.K.Jayan, Siddique, Sudeesh, Sai Kumar, Vijaya Kumar, Innocent, Capt. Raju, N.F. Verghese, Kalabhavan Mani, Bheeman Raghu, Augustine, Kunjan,Narayanan Nair, Sadick, Ishad, Dhanya, Sukumari, Rona, Yamuna etc. Apart from Shaji Kailas and Ranjith , the director and writer,Gireesh Putthanchery pens the lyrics and Mohan Sithara lends music.The shooting is fast progressing in and around Triprayar and Guruvayur and Velyettan is scheduled to set movie houses on fire release during Onam.

Shalini To Quit Acting

Malayalam film actress Shalini is quitting her acting career from June as she is getting married. Shalini, who has acted in 94 Malayalam, Tamil and other South Indian language movies is getting married to reigning Tamil hero Ajith. Shalini and Ajith told reporters that she had decided to quit acting to become a housewife. Shalini began her acting career at the age of three as a child artiste in the Malayalam movie `Amattikuttyamma.' Her Malayalam movie `Aniyathipravu' and Tamil movie `Kaadalukku Mariyadhai' were runaway hits. Shalini paired with Ajith in Tamil movie `Amarkalam'. She has just one more movie to complete, which she said would be over before her wedding. She would continue her studies which was halted because she took up acting. She is a Protestant Christian while Ajith is a Hindu Brahmin from Kerala. Both will follow their own religion after marriage.

Awards for Lal, Samyukta

Malayalam films yet again held forth at the 47th National Film Awards announced in New Delhi on Thursday, July 6th. Malayalam bagged a total of 10 awards. This include best feature film, best actor, best male singer, best screenplay, best child artiste, best film promoting environmental conservation, best editing, best critic, best book on film, and special jury award for performance. The best feature film award went to 'Vanaprastham', by renowned Shaji. N. Karun and Mohanlal wins the best actor Bharat award,yet again, for the compelling performance as Kunjikuttan, the kathakali artiste who faces an identity crisis, in the same movie. Kalabhavan Mani gets the special jury award for the blind street singer's role in 'Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njanum'. While M.G.Sreekumar is the best male playback singer for the song 'Chandupottum Chindelassum..' from the same film. The best screenplay award has gone to Madampu Kunjukuttan for 'Karunam' and Sreekar Prasad gets the best editing award for 'Vanaprastham'. 'Jalamarmaram' got the award for environmental conservation, with its star Aswin Thampy getting the best child artiste award. The best critic award goes to I. Shanmughadas.The best book on films award was shared by two authors, Madhu Eravankara for 'Malayala Cinemayum Sahityavum' and Aruna Anant Damle for 'Marathi Chitrapat Sangeetachi Vatchal'.The book jury has also made a special mention of the book 'Economic aspects of film industry in Kerala' by Uma J Nair. Hindi language films bagged nine awards followed by Bangla with seven, including the best actress award for Kiron Kher and best director award for Buddhadeb Das Gupta for the film 'Uttara'. Tamil blockbuster 'Hey Ram' received three awards. The jury consisted of eminent personalities like director Gautam Ghosh for feature films and Jabbar Patel for non-feature films and K. Satchidanandan among others.

Nakshathrangal Parayathirunnathu

Nakshathrangal Parayathirunnathu is a comedy film in which Mukesh and Innoncent are heirs to a great legacy in Ayurvedic medicine, but they do not know how to practice it. They get into many business ventures to make money but fail and finally decide to get into their family business. This story is narrated in a hilarious manner by director C S Sudesh. Divya Unni, Lal , Harisree Asokan, Narendra Prasad, Rajan P Dev, Madhupal, Jaybaharathi and Kaviyoor Ponnamma are also in the cast. Story by Shatrugan, lyrics by Kaithpram, music by Mohan Sithara and cinematography by Venugopal are the other major credits. The film is produced by Grishmam films.

War And Love

Is there any relation between the two? There is. Says Vinayan, the director of this film. This is supposed to be his masterpiece. The story is absolutely fantastic. Indo-Pak war. The whole soldiers in one battalion of Madras regiment are captured by Pakistan. They are jailed and subjected to horrible torture. One of the Pakistani majors is a keralite. (Wonders that never cease.) And… You know it. The major has a beautiful daughter. She fell in love with a Malayalee soldier. She helped them to escape from the jail. From then onwards, interesting incidents began to unfold. Let us hope India and Pakistan does not become one single nation in the climax. Anything is possible in these days. Dileep is the hero and Indraja is the heroine. Prabhu, Kalabhavan Mani, Jagadeesh, Mukesh, Manoj K.Jayan are the other prominent actors in the film.

Untitled

"What's in a name?"- That's what the Harikumar-Sreenivasan team seems to ask regarding their new film, which is still unnamed though the first schedule of shooting has been finished. Harikumar, the maker of films like Jaalakam, Oozham and the national award winning Sukritham, seems to have changed tracks, at least for the time being. His latest unnamed film has a story told in a rather lighter vein. With script and dialogues by none other than Sreenivasan and Jayaram in the lead role, the film is most likely to go well with the audience. It is after a considerable gap that Jayaram and Harikumar are coming together, their last film together being Ezhunnallaththu. The plot of Harikumar's latest film revolves around Deepu, a young man for whom the twenty-four hours of a day do not suffice since he is always busy helping one or the other of his five sisters. (Four of the sisters are married while one is still in college). Deepu's main business in life seems to be running errands for his sisters, whose dependence on him never seems to end. If one of them has to get the gas cylinder replaced, she calls Deepu to do it for her. If another one of them wants the children to be taken for an outing, Deepu is needed. If someone among the five needs something from the market, it is Deepu who has to run and fetch it from the market. Poor Deepu! He has to be ever-present to help them meet their never-ending demands. Once in a while even if he tries to escape from all this, his mother reminds him that he is the only person on whom the five sisters can depend. And then again it is the same story for Deepu. Deepu's sisters had tried many times to find a suitable bride for their brother, but all in vain. For they never seem to agree with one another upon any girl and hence the marriage goes on getting delayed. Finally, they unanimously choose a girl, Priya. With Priya making her entry, things naturally change in that household and there are many subsequent developments, even unexpected ones. And it is here onwards that the story of the film takes a new turn. Jayaram is Deepu while Samyukta Verma does the role of Priya. The screenplay by Sreenivasan has an equal dose of humour as well as family-stuff, at the same time getting serious now and again. The songs by the Yusuf Ali Kechery-Gireesh Puthencherry-Johnson team are sung by Yesudas, M.G.Sreekumar, Sujatha and Venugopal. Cine-journalist Shantivila Dinesh is the associate director for this film, which has been produced by Sukumaran under the banner of 'Divya'. The second schedule of shooting for the film has started and it is expected that the film would be getting a name very soon.

Innocent In New Role

Innocent has been cast in a really serious role this time. No, not in a film, but in reality. He has been put at the helm of AMMA - the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists. Innocent was elected as the President, and Mammootty as the General Secretary. Mohanlal and Suresh Gopi have been elected as the Vice-Presidents. The other elected stars are T.P.Madhavan (Secretary), Suchitra (Joint Secretary) and Jagadeesh (Treasurer). Jayaram, Sreenivasan, Nedumudi Venu, Mukesh, Siddique, Captain Raju, Manianpillai Raju, Ashokan, Ganesh and Idavela Babu are the executive members. The term of the newly elected members is to continue for three years.

Grihalakshmi's X'mas Venture

While most of the production houses are busy getting ready their Onam releases, Grihalakshmi Films, after the success of Kochu Kochu Santhoshangal, has gone a step further and has decided their Christmas release well in advance. Their Christmas venture will be a Suresh Gopi-Jayaram starrer to be directed by hit maker Shaji Kailas. The script is by Renjith. The female lead has not been finalised yet. Same with the subject also. For a banner which has specialised most in family subjects, this decision is likely to be a change from their usual subjects since the mention of the names of Shaji Kailas & Renjith together indicates the possibility of an action film. Anyhow, taking into consideration the box office appeal of the duo, it is going to be a really welcome change for the production house.

Nana Patekar In Malayalam Film

Hindi actor Nana Patekar has been signed up to act in a Malayalam film. The film is based on the life of Changampuzha Krishna Pillai, the romantic poet of Malayalam, who died of tuberculosis at a young age. . Considered to be the 'Keats' of Malayalam literature, pain, pathos and pessimism were the keynotes of Changampuzha's poems. The young Malayalee lovers of his times drew inspiration from the pastoral elegy 'Ramanan' written by him. Ramanan' based on the tragic story of the poet's close friend and a poet in his own right Edappilly Raghavan Pillai who committed suicide at the age of 23 by hanging, was also filmed with the old-timers Sheela and the late Prem Nazir in the lead. The film on 'Changampuzha' with Nana Patekar who incidentally has a strange resemblance to the poet will be directed by V.K.Prakash whose 'Punarathivasam' won the National Award this year for the best Malayalam film. Girish Puthencheri's lyrics will be set to music by Jhonson. Definitely this is going to be a film Malayalees

Praveena To Quit Acting

With Praveena having decided to call it a day after her wedding in August, Malayalam Cinema is bound to miss one of its most talented young actresses. Praveena, a relatively new entry into filmdom has acted in only a few films, but has made her presence felt with sensitive portrayals in films like 'Agnisaakshi', 'Saaphalyam', 'Vaasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njaanum' etc. Her sterling performance in 'Agnisaakshi' got her a national award. Praveena is one of those genuinely gifted artists and her quitting the scene is at a juncture when Malayalam Cinema faces a severe dearth of talented actresses. The saving grace is that Praveena has decided to continue her acting career on the mini-screen, along with her singing career. The team at Satyamonline wishes her a warm and wonderful married life.

Mazha

Mazha is based on Kamala Das's novel Nasthapetta Neelambari. The central character in Mazha is a doctor, Bhadra who is into an unhappy marriage with a computer engineer. The only solace for her is her work and memories of her teenage love affair with her music tutor. To find happiness, she sets in search of her lover. Will she find him is a question that can be answered only after the film's release. Samyuktha plays Bhadra, Lal is her husband and Biju Menon plays her lover. Camera is by S Kumar and music is by Ravindran. Lenin Rajendran is the director. The movie is scheduled for late July or early August release.

Manassil Oru Manjuthulli

Bombay based businessman turned director Jayakumar Nair is making his debut in Malayalam Cinema with 'Manassil Oru Manjuthulli'. It's a three-way love story with a distinct treatment, claims Jayakumar Nair, who has worked earlier in some Hindi films. Krishnakumar, who is much endeared to the TV viewers with his character in the serial 'Sthree' and Praveena play the lead roles. The story goes like this: Mohandas (Krishnakumar) is a Malayali businessman based in Bombay. Amidst the hurly-burly of city life, he happens to meet Maya (Praveena). For Mohandas, Maya is a relief and he always finds solace in her company from his nerve-racking business activities. Gradually, they fall in love and now they are eagerly waiting for their wedding day. But fate decides other way. Mohandas had to airdash to his ancestral home back in Kerala for an urgent engagement. A decision taken by his mother tends to dash all his hopes. Not knowing the betrothal of her son to Maya, she promises her family friend that Mohandas would marry his daughter. Though much reluctance, Mohandas had to yield to her mother's wish and marries that girl. But, he cannot wipe away the memories of Maya from his mind. As Mohandas slowly began to adjust with reality, fate strikes again this time with disastrous consequences. Mohandas meets with an accident and sustains with serious injuries. The impact of bruises leaves him paralysed. Now he is bedridden and his body becomes a liability to himself. Even his wife turns her back on him. For him, his life seems to reach the dead end. Still, there is a ray of hope for him, which manifests in the form of Maya. Maya reaches his home to take care of him. Slowly her love and care brings Mohandas to normal life. But Maya's arrival causes an explosion in Mohandas' family, which in turn echoes in the mental state of Mohandas. 'Manassil Oru Manjuthulli' is all about sublime love, says Jayakumar Nair. The film presents a lot of emotional and heart rending situations. The film is being shot in the vibrant locations around Kuttikkanam in Peerumedu. 'Manassil Oru Manjuthulli' would be a big break for Krishnakumar as a character actor, which is in stark contrast to his TV screen image where he shines as villain. The other casts include Nishant Sagar, Jagathi Sreekumar, Kalpana, Bindu Ramakrishnan, M.S. Thrippunithura, K.T.S. Padannail, Shruti Raj, Deepa etc. The duo Suresh Ramanthalli and Unni Nair pen the script and dialogues. Utpal V Nayanar wields the camera. Jayakumar's brother Santhosh Kumar produces the film under the banner of Marshall ovies. 'Manassil Oru Manjuthulli' will be released in the next month.

Madhuranombarakkattu

Kamal's new film, 'Madhuranombarakkattu', stars Biju Menon and Samjuktha Varma. 'Madhuranombarakkattu' is the story of a village where lives are influenced by the wind. The village, that remains untouched by the winds of civilization is Ananthapuram, a settlement near Kasargod. The story revolves around a school - a thatched hut of sorts, actually - which would simply get razed to the ground if the wind decided to blow a bit harder. The protagonist of the film, Vishnu (Biju Menon) comes to the village as a teacher. The attractive Samjuktha is his wife. Abdulla (Mala Aravindan) is their friend and well wisher. He runs the village's only form of transport - a buggy. Another character is Sivankutty Master (Oduvil Unnikrishnan), the Headmaster of the school. Ironically, he is the one who prays for the wind to destroy the school. Kamal hopes to repeat the huge success of his last film 'Niram', with this film. 'Madhuranombarakkattu' is one story he has found dear to his heart since 'Kaakothikkavile Appoppan Thadikal'. Through this film Kamal intends to take the viewers to a new setting - a barren landscape with seamless borders. Ananthapuram would indeed be a new experience for the viewers, Kamal says. Apart from the leading cast, this film boasts many talented artists - Sarath, Sreenivasan, KPAC Lalitha, Kavya Madhavan, Master Vignesh, Baby Manchima, etc. The story, script and dialogues are penned by Raghunath Paleri. Vidyasagar scores music for the lyrics written by Yousuf Ali Kecheri. P.Sukumar wields the camera. P. Nandakumar produces the film. 'Madhuranombarakkattu ' will be released in the last week of July.

Randam Bhavam

After experiencing a long lull, underworld strikes again in Malayalam Cinema, but with a difference. Taking a cue from the usual underworld stories, young director Lal Jose presents a story that tries to look at the under world from a different angle. Films, especially with Mohanlal as hero, with the underworld as backdrop and theme were proved to be instant hits. The advent of underworld into malayalam films began with the superhit 'Rajavinte Makan', directed by Thampi Kannamthanam which portrayed Mohan Lal as a vengeful mafia don. Then came 'Bhomiyile Rajakkanmar' and 'Aaryan' in which Mohan Lal was in his elements. Time and experience seem mellowed Mohanlal and the directors and films like 'His Highness Abdulla', 'Aaram Tampuran' and 'Ustaad' saw the transformation of Lal from a ruthless don to a benevolent don. Though Suresh Gopi, who played the crony to Mohan Lal in 'Rajavinte Makan', too tried his luck in the underworld with 'Rudraksham', directed by Shaji Kailas, he had to eat a humble pie as the film failed to click. With Randam Bhavam, Suresh Gopi wields gun again with a vengeance not to kill but to regain his lost prestige. Fear is the central theme of the film, says director Lal Jose. Fear appears in the form of leitmotif in the film. Fear lingers from beginning to the end of the film. All its characters also live under fear psychosis, Lal Jose explains. Navneeta Krishnan (Suresh Gopi) is the hero of the film. He is a renegade underworld don. He was the Man Friday of Govindji ( Tilakan), the dreaded leader of an underworld gang based in Mangalapuram. Once he was a nightmere to the rival mafia gangsters. But for his friends he is Kishanji and they still rever him. Now, Kishanji is a changed man. He has renounced violence and returned to his ancestral home at Ottappalam. He finds solace and peace in the warmth of his family. For his relatives, Kishanji is their dearest Kitchu. Kitchu spends his time by writing and bird watching. In the love of his family members, he feels security and freedom. As he is about to begin a now life, a Police Officer arrives at his home to spoil the party for Kishan. The police officer, Commissioner Jeevan has only one demand. Kishan should return to Mangalapuram to help the police to gather some crucial information regarding the underworld there. For his purpose, Jeevan plays all duty games and even blackmails Kishanji. But Kishan is not ready to go back to the same place where he once ruled the roost. Because he is not the same Kishanji he shudders at the mere thought of Mangalapuram. So he simply refuses to pick up the gauntlet Jeevan has thrown. The script for the film is written by a new face, Ranjan Pramod. He is an ad film maker. Earlier, he had worked with director Rajiv Menon as his assistant. The Randam Bhavam has two heroines with equal importance-Poornima Mohan and Lena. Poornima's character in the T.V serial 'Paithozhiyathe' was widely appreciated. Randam Bhavam is her second film. Lena has earlier acted in a couple of films. The nun in Jayaraj's 'Karunam' and characters in 'Indriyam' and 'Kochu Kochu Santhozhangal' have got special attention. Apart from Suresh Gopi and Tilakan, the other casts include Biju Menon, Oduvil Unnikrishnan, Nedumudi Venu, Narendra Prasad, Sreevidya, Priyam Vada and Ambili. 'Randam Bhavam' is produced by Manoharan under the banner of Jayathara Films. Vidyasagar scores music to the lyrics penned by Grish Puthncheri. The film will be released in the first week of July.

Susanna

T.V.Chandran may not be a prolific filmmaker. In a career spanning about two decades he has made just a handful of films, six, to be exact. But the few films that he had made were all well received and internationally acclaimed. Alicinte Anveshanam, Ponthan Maada, Ormakalundaayirikkanam, Mankamma - all won him critical acclaim. And now, full three years after Mankamma, Chandran is all ready with his newest venture, Susanna, which was very much in the news recently on account of finding problems with the censors. Susanna, the story of which opens in the nineteen seventies, tells the story of Susanna, a lower middle class Christian girl, who falls in love with Thomachchan, the son of a rich man, Planter Varkey. They elope, but later, when Susanna is pregnant, Thomachchan leaves her for another woman. And when Planter Varkey says that he cannot see her as his daughter-in-law, she turns his concubine. But Planter Varkey doesn't keep her to himself alone; he introduces her to his four friends - a High Commissioner, an advocate, a Shakespeare-loving professor and a colonel, all of them around sixty. For the four of them, Susanna provides an outlet to act out their fantasies. As years pass by, the relationship between Susanna and her five lovers develop in a peculiar way. Susanna doesn't hate or despise those five who had exploited her condition. Instead she loves them, sympathizes with them, discusses with them and listens to their various problems and even treats them like little children. Susanna, who has full control over her lovers, has learnt a lot from her experiences and has grown into a different, mature person in these twenty-five years. Susanna is sure to come as a surprise-package for the audience. For it is Vani Viswanath, who has never played such a challenging and offbeat role and had been doing action roles or so, who does the title role of Susanna. It is her luck indeed. Or else how would the role, which was to go to Mallika Sarabhai or Kamya Malhotra (both of whom couldn't take it up due to different reasons), come searching for her. In T.V.Chandran's opinion, Vani has done a really splendid work as Susanna and the character now seems to have been created for her and her alone. Susanna has, in the cast, some of the best and most talented actors of the country including veterans Nedumudi Venu, Bharath Gopi, Charuhaasan, M.R.Gopakumar, Narendra Prasad and famous director P.Sreekumar. Another interesting feature of Susanna is that music director Johnson, who was the first music-director from Kerala to have got the national award, turns crooner. He sings a song "Himabinduvaayi pirannu.." and in his own opinion, it has turned to be much better than he had ever expected. For cinematographer K.G.Jayan, Susanna is perhaps his most ambitious project after K.P.Kumaran's Rugmini. The editing is by Venugopal and lyrics are by K.Jayakumar. The film, the shooting of which was completed in a mere 16 days schedule, is all ready and is most likely to be a real treat for film buffs.

India Gate

Vani Vishwanath, the action heroine of Malayalam films of late, has yet another vendetta film lined up. In India Gate, she plays Gayatri, a brahmin girl married to Charanraj, a circle inspector. The honest and upright CI has many enemies, who bump him off. Gayatri then decides to get out of the house in search of her husband’s killers. She has Inspector Jagadish for company. Bheeman Raghu is the villain. Vichitra and Roopasri provide the oomph. The film is produced by Friends Movie Makers. Saji directs the film and Sabu directs the music. Murugan, the videographer of Joshi films makes his debut as cameraman in this film.

Sahayatrikal Snehapoorvam

M.Shankar, or Shankar Valathunkal as he is better known, is ready with his second directorial venture. His first film Nakshathrathaarattu was a success, which had Kunchacko Boban donning the lead role. And perhaps because it was a success and because Kunchacko Boban is a hot favourite among the audience, especially youngsters, Shankar has again chosen him to do the lead role along with Kavya Madhavan. Sahayaatrikaykku Snehapoorvam takes you into the world of TV journalism where you see two young entrants, Saji Philip and Maya Zachariah, engaged in a mutual competition. (Reminds you perhaps of Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, Isn't it?). Saji and Maya, who had done their master's in Communication together, are close friends with of course a little bit of romance- of a more intellectual nature- going on among them. Saji had even made a tele-film based on Maya's script. Both Saji and Maya join as reporters in a major TV Channel- Royal TV. Since both had recommendations from highly placed sources, the channel couldn't avoid either and were forced to accommodate both though there was only a single vacancy. Anyhow the Managing Director found a solution to this. He added a clause to their appointment, according to which both of them were put on a probation of six months during which they had to prove their worth, after which only one of them would be appointed. Though both Saji and Maya are not that much anxious about their confirmation at first, things change later with circumstances pressing upon each of them to get their appointment confirmed. Friends turn rivals and both of them wage a mutual professional battle and this forms the thread of the plot of Sahayaatrikaykku Snehapoorvam. . This is the first time that Kavya is starring opposite Kunchacko Boban and naturally she is very thrilled about it. Kavya has proved herself through the few roles that she had already done and hence we can hope that she is most likely to do full justice to her role. And the director, taking into consideration the novelty of the plot and the impressive cast, is very much optimistic about the box-office success of his film.

Vinayapoorvam Vidyadharan

Director K B Madhu will be directing Vinayapoorvam Vidyadharan starring Jagathy Srikumar and Bhanupriya in the lead. The film revolves around Vidyadharan, a bank employee who is simple at heart, and his wife who aspires for an extravagant lifestyle. Her extravagance results in Vidyadharan losing his job He decides to flee from the city but instead finds himself amidst a few slum dwellers led by Hitler. Vidyadharan finds happiness among them and with the support of Hitler goes about setting his house in order. Jagathy plays Vidhyadharan and Bhanupriya is the wife. Rajan P Dev is Hitler. Others in the cast are Harisree Asokan, Madhupal and Chakiyar Rajan. Music is by Kaithapram, and camera is by M J Radhakrishnan in this film produced by Film Folks.