Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Malayalam Cinema 2000: A Flashback

Puththooram Puthri Unniyaarcha

After Udaya's Unniyaarcha and M.T-Hariharan team's 'Oru Vadakkan Veeragaatha', here comes another film based on the Vadakkanpaattu, the folklore of the Malabar, which are really ballads extolling the brave and valiant Chekavars, who were warriors with a tradition of heroism and self-sacrifice. P.G.Viswambharan's Puththooram Puthri Unniyaarcha, produced by K.Ramakrishnan under the banner of Shyni Films, is based on the script by Shatrughnan and has focus on Unniyaarcha, the valiant heroine of the Vadakkanpaattu. In the words of the scenarist himself, Unniyaarcha was the first feminist in Kerala and hence deserves special mention. The film portrays Unniyaarcha as the embodiment of all virtues and also tries to say as to why Chandu, her cousin, finally cheated his own cousin and Unniyaarcha's brother Aaromal. In the title role of Unniyaarcha is Vani Viswanath and as Chandu is cast Devan while Siddique becomes Aaromal. Captain Raju becomes Kannappa Chekavar while Kunchacko Boban achieves a change of image as Aaromalunni, Unniyaarcha' son.The songs written by Yusuf Ali Kechery are set to tune by Usha Khanna and are likely to usher in an era of change in Malayalam film music.Art director Gangan Thalavil has transformed Cheloormana in Thriprayaar into the Puththooram Veedu, the house of Kannapa Chekavar, Aaromal, Unniyaarcha etc. Noted cinematographer Ramachandra Babu cranks the camera and Sreekar Prasad does the editing. Also in the cast are Jagadeesh, Mala Aravindan, Jayakrishnan, Anoop, Sreehari, Manya, Manka Mahesh,Sphadikom George, Mamookoya etc.

Will Manju warier Ever Make A Comeback?

Manju Warrier is a talented actress who excels in any role. She is our favourite actress who had performed well during her cinema carrier is quite a house-wife now at their house at G.C.D.A.Nagar. As a house-wife she does all the house-hold duties happily. At the same time she spends most of her time for her husband and child , without caring for the outer world. We've to admit one thing that she was really a wonderful actress. We may even say that she is the best actress we have ever had. She with her magnetism-pleasant smile, pleasing manners, naughty actions and dialogues captured our heart. Eventhough she left the film field after marriage she haunts in our mind like an illuminating character. We can't easily forget her and we may hope that she will return soon to the film field once again.

Film Industry Boom Or Doom?

Some people, in the Malayalam cinema field regard success as festivals, but they ignore the failures. In fact, we do not get rewards for what we spend for the film every year. We spend at least 75 crore for films every year. That means Rs. 1.25 crore for one film. Even a starless- movie with new comers will cost between 80 Lakh to 1 crore. If it is a Superstar film it costs 1.50 crore to 2.25 crore . For a Mega star film the expenditure ranges from Rs. 2.50 crore to 3.25 crore. So an A-grade product with big stars and technicians costs high. But they will be released breaking or making fortunes and altering market conditions. Film producers are vying with each other to create the monster film to beat all others. The results will spell either boom or doom. In the last two years among the big budget films only "Aaraam Thampuran" and "Narasimham" ran successfully in the theatres. The lack of a proper marketing system is causing the downfall of Malayalam film industry. There are about 1350 theatres in Kerala which includes about thirty releasing centres. If we exhibit a megastar film for about 50 days in these releasing centres the distributor will get an average share i.e. Rs. 6 lakh from a centre. Then there are about 100 shifting stations from which we obtain an average of one lakh Rs. from one centre. Then comes about 150 B class centres from which we can expect an average of 75 lakh rupees collection. About 200 C class centres are also there in Kerala from which we earn about 30 lakh. If we exhibit a Malayalam hit film in 480 centres the distributor can earn a share of about 3 crore and 85 lakh rupees. From this the producer should give 25% to the distributor. Then is there any benefit in exaggerating about the films as hit, mega-hit, super-hit etc.when he is actually earning nothing or peanuts. Now a days we spend about 50 crore for the advertisement of a 10 rupee soap or a 8 rupee soft drink. So we should be careful to have strong marketing techniques for the films for which we are spending crores of rupees. "Indriyam" a small film reminds us the importance of marketing. The success and failures of today's cinema depends on effective stories and intellectual marketing techniques. Hence producers and distributors should agree the need of an able marketing manager who knows every aspects about the film, from the beginning to the end.

Vakkaalaththu Narayanankutty

Rajeev Kumar, who had recently made the National award winning Jalamarmaram and then the Hindi film Raja Ko Rani Se Pyaar Ho Gaya, is on to his next venture Vakkaalaththu NarayananKutty. The film stars in the lead are Jayaram and Manya and the others in the cast include Mukesh and Jagathy Sreekumar in major roles.NarayananKutty is an advocate who can bear anything but breach of justice. If anywhere he sees a law being broken, he doesn't ever hesitate to react, and that too promptly. He doesn't even care as to who is pitted against him and just goes on fighting. By presenting on the screen the story of Narayanankutty, popularly Known as Vakkaalaththu Narayanankutty, the accomplished director is attempting to question the conscience of the modern, so-called civilized society, which never cares to question any sort of injustice. Donning the role of Narayanankutty is Jayaram while Mukesh is Advocate Mathew LLB. Jagathy is in the role of Eeswara Subrahmanya Aiyar, an able advocate himself. Also in the cast is Bobby Kottarakara as Captain Bobby, a seller of books at the bus-stand and it was during the shooting of this film that Bobby Kottarakara passed away, leaving the team to continue the shooting without him.Also in the cast are Rajan.P.Dev, Ponnamma Babu, and P.Sreekumar etc. Vakkaalaththu Narayanankutty produced by Kalliyoor Shashi and B.Rakesh. The script is by Rajeev Kumar and Jayaprakash Kuloor, based on a story by the director himself. Dialogues are by Jayaprakash Kuloor. The film will be released by Khathilakam Release.

Dost

This film is a remake of the Tamil hit Kannithrey Thondrinal which starred Prasanth and Simran along with Curran. Its all about Boban Kuknchacko and Dilip being friends. Dilip has this great seething anger in him and it's about his eldest sister who eloped with his best friend and ever since he has been a loner till Boban comes his way. Now fate plays a cruel trick, when Boban comes to know that Kavya the girl whom he loves is the sister of Dilip. He cannot give up on her and yet cannot confront Dilip on this issue.The film is directed by Thulasidas and has music by Vidyasagar and camera by Saloo George. Jagathy, Kalabhavan Mani, Shiju, C I Paul, Sruthiraj, Ambika,Srilakshmi, Bindu Paniker, Kanakalatha are the other artistes in the film. Kottarakara films produce the film.

Agninakshtaram

'Agni Nakshatram' is a DTS film directed by Karim. Vaidyanathan of New York has produced the film being picturised using modern technical systems like computer graphics and morphing. Several films that have employed the technique of computer graphics have been released recently, one such film among the series being 'Agni Nakshatram'. S.N.Swamy has done the screenplay and dialogue for the film. An outrageous incident that shocks the life of a small child forms the subject matter for the story of this film. The picturisation of the film has commenced under the banner of Rashmi Arts in localities surrounding Ottappalam and Shoranoor. Suresh Gopi, Biju Menon, Jagathi, Siddiq, Raghuvaran, Nasar, Salimkumar, Abirami, Indraja, Bindu Panicker form the film casts. Cinematographed by Madhu Ambattu and edited by B.Lenin, the songs for the film are penned by Shibu Chakravarthi for which Raveendran has composed music. Make-up is by Pattanam Rasheed, and stills are by Sunil, Guruvayoor. N.Vijayakumar undertakes production. Lalloo films have undertaken distribution. 'Agni Nakshatram' is the 3rd film for the young director, Kareem. The novelty involved in the film's story vividly portrays this Director's film as a unique one of its kind. "The character that Suresh Gopi portrays in this film is also a completely different one, from the roles he has already played" the director states.

Alphonsa Attempts Suicide

Alphonsa, the vampish dancer who is a major attraction in many of the hit films including mega starrers of Rajanikanth and Mohanlal attempted suicide likeViji. But fortunately was saved by the doctors of the city hospital in Chennai.This luscious vamp had got prominence through dance sequence in Baasha of Rajanikanth and from then was featured in many Tamil films and later became a hit in Malayalam films. Her recent hit film in Malayalam was Mohanlal's Narsimhamam. With the start of the soft porn wave she was in demand in Malayalam and she acted in the film Parva Mazhai(youthful rain) where she acted opposite Sagar. Sagar,a married man did not stop from starting off a torrid affair with her and even promised to marry her as he is a Muslim. However things soured up and Alphonsa attempted suicide by taking an overdose of pills.She was rushed to Soorya hospital in Chennai and saved by the doctors. The matter was hushed up and not reported to the cops. She had recently built a new bungalow in Saligramam ( Chennai) and leading a very cushy life . Rajanikanth's soft corner for her was said to be the reason for her riches. Her brother is also a dancer in films.

Kunchaco Boban-Urvasi

Kunchacko Boban, who has been identified with lover-boy role type roles only, seems to be on the verge of taking a new turn in his acting career. He has started getting some meaningful roles. (He has already bagged the role of Aromalunni in P.G.Viswambharan's Puththooram Puthri Unniyaarcha). It would indeed be a thing worth mentioning that this young star of Malayalam Cinema has bagged the lead role in the next film by director Satyan Anthicaud.Satyan Anthicaud is one of the most reputed filmmakers of Kerala. He is a favorite among the audience, especially the family audience, on account of making films with subjects closer to the common man's heart. Satyan Anthicaud's next venture, to be scripted by none other than noted actor-scenarist-director Sreenivasan, is to have actress Urvasi too in a major role. It is considered that Urvasi, who has not been seen in films for quite a long time, would stage a real comeback with this film. Shooting for the film will commence in January and it will be released during Vishu.

Naranathu Brandan

Naranathu Brandan is a film produced by M. Mani under the banner of Sunitha productions and directed by Viji Thambi. Jayaram taking the lead role in the film, the tamil actress Soundarya is cast as heroine. Siddiq, Jagathi, Janardanan, Harisree Asokan, Cochin Hanifa, M.R. Gopakumar, T.P. Madhavan, Rasika, Bindupanicker and Zeenath form the other cast. Benny P. Nayarambalam has done the script and for the songs of Ramesan Nair music has been composed by Vidya Sagar. Cinematography is by Sanjeev Sankar and Editing by Sreegar prasad. The work for the film is progressing so as to start Picturisation by the month of December.

Praja

It has been a long time since Joshi and Mohanlal came together, a hit pair indeed! The last time it happened in No.20 Madras Mail, preceded by Naaduvaazhikal. And now Joshi is coming up with his 56th Malayalam film Praja with the super star of Malayalam films Mohanlal in the lead, perhaps for the fifth time in a Joshi film.Praja tells the story of Zakir Ali Hussain, a man who, under certain circumstances, turns a criminal. And when he becomes a part of the underworld, Zakir Ali Hussain executes his works there with a daring perfection and rises to be a dreaded underworld don. But later he gets fed up with all this and longs to quit. He wants to do away with all this violence and crime, and wants to lead a peaceful life. But this is not easy for Zakir Ali Hussain. Mohanlal plays the role of Zakir Ali Hussain, a role that is very much likely to win him loud applause and assure a good box office collection. In the movie, Babu Namboothiri plays the role of Thirumulpaadu; a friend cum confidante cum guru of Zakir Ali Hussain and Aiswarya is the leading lady. While the others in the cast include Biju Menon, Indraja, Cochin Haneefa, N.F.Verghese,vijayaraghavan, Vijay Kumar, Shammi Thilakan etc. Scripted by Renji Panicker, the film is too likely to have fiery dialogues. Lyrics by Gireesh Puthencherry are set to tune by M.G.Radhakrishnan. Joshi and Renji Panicker produce Praja under the banner of Mukhyadhara Cinema.

Suresh Gopi's Leg Sprained

Actor Suresh Gopi is nowadays strict in receiving payments. He states that his duty is acting alone and an adequate compensation is that which is most important for acting and there is no place for personal relationship in the held. He has made a decision to act in only those films that are produced by producers who import to him the stated amount at the stated time. There is one more reason for this. He has acted in numerous films giving importance to human relationships - the consequence of which he had to land up with hands full of bounced cheques amounting to seventy lakhs of rupees. While performing in a guest role in the film "Thillana Thillana", Suresh Gopi had his leg sprained. Doctor advised for a bandage and the leg was duly bandaged. But it was producer Vaidyanathan who had paid Suresh Gopi every single penny well on time, who fell into the trap. It was from his 'Agni Nakshatram' film set that Suresh Gopi reached Trivandrum to act in a guest role. Suresh Gopi who receded for a short rest after having his leg bandaged arrived Chennai under the guise of expert treatment. People of the 'Agni Nakshatram' set stopped Picturisation of the film half-way and rushed after him when they came to know that he is acting in a tamil film. Now they are on their heals searching for him in Chennai to catch hold of his sprained leg.

Santham

The multifarious advantages that are comprised in a film directed by Jayaraj varies from winning of an award, national recognition and business opportunities from abroad. It was 'Girihalakshmi productions, a production company that was well aware of this fact that seized the opportunity to make the 20 lakhs budget film, "Santham" using Director Jayaraj. When one could think of all the aforesaid recognitions and business opportunities, the producer's pockets might bulge with cross of rupees in the name of "Santham". Other than that he is bestowed with vantages like free foreign trips and opportunity to earn in foreign currencies under the film's façade. The people from Grihalakshmi productions have wisely produced the film. The masses have started realizing this trick as to why a production company that usually produces big-budget films investing crores of rupees has all of a sudden started producing such a "smallie"as 'Santhan'. I am Vijayan, who was hitherto displaying lightening performance in the football field is now here to become a beam of lightening in the court of films too. Vijayan's performance in the film field. That is the dexterity of Jayaraj. Kudos to him. Look at the huge sum of money he has saved through experimentation by converting a star of the football court into a film hero. Seema Biswas, being a new entrant to the Malayalam film Industry, too needs only a small compensation package. Whatever be the matter, the victorious march of 'Santham' has just begun.

Good Morning Chiyang Ching

After completing the horror film, 'Bhadra', Mummy century, the new producer to the field has marked the beginning for his next film, 'Good morning chiyang ching', which is a full length comedy film produced under the banner of Brahmaputra films. The character of chiyang ching is role played by Jagathi Sreekumar and Vanivishwanath us cast as heroine in the film. Sankar, Jagadish, Harisree Asokan, Cochin Hanifa, Kalabhavan Mani, Mamukkoya, Mala, Jnebans, Risabawa, Mahima,, Kanakalatha and Ponnamma Banu form the cast. Camera is handled by Rajeev madhavan and editing is by P.C. Mohan; Make up is by Pattanam Rasheed; Costumes are by velayudhan Keezhillam, Dance is by Kala, Picturisation is about to start during December.

Susanna

T.V. Chandran is a director who directs art films. He states that all those films directed by him are capable of winning awards. Few of his previous films have received awards. T.V. Chandran has spoken a lot about 'Soosanna' from the moment it attained completion. Slowly 'Soosanna' has hit the theatres of Kerala. The viewers who came out of the theatres after seeing the film expressed different opinions. T.V. Chandran is recently busy running after workers and eminent of the cinema Industry collecting their convictions about the film, being threatened about its plight. Asianet has invested large sum of money in producing "Soosanna". This is the reason why the channel is squeezed with news and opinion polls relating to "Soosanna". The character of "Soosanna" is role played by 3rd grade actress, Vani Viswanath. T.V. Chandran states that the film is a research into the depth of feminity and feminine sentiments. The film having been completed under the banner of Film commune has arrived theatres. Vani Vishwanath, Nedumudivenu, Gopi, Murali, Narendra Prasad, Charuhasan, Gopakumar, P.C. Soman, Urmila Unni, Omana, Ouseph and Prasanna form the film cast. Cinematography is by Jyan, and editing is by Venugopal.

Kollam Thulasi Turns Hero

Kollam Thulasi has been cast for long in villainous roles only, and that too in so many films that he is perhaps identified with such roles only. And now when he has completed 100 films and he has even bagged a good role in a Tamil film (the Vikram starrer Samurai. Directed by Balaji Shaktivel), Kollam Thulasi is, for the first time, being cast as the hero in a Malayalam film. The film, Mohitam, to be produced by Sajith and Gireesh under the banner of Image India International, is to be directed by Saleem Bawa, who had earlier made Rapid Action Force. Scripted by John Zachariah, the film would have lyrics by Vayalar Sharath Chandra Verma and music by Sreemoolanagaram Thilak. Besides Kollam Thulasi, Mohitam will feature in the cast Riyaz, Anzil, Maala Aravindan, Saththaar, newcomer Swapna (as the heroine), Kanakalatha, Maria etc.

Jayaram in a jam

After the super-hit "TENALI", where Jayaram stole the thunder from Kamalhassan he had lined up three Malayalam releases, but unfortunately all of them have got stuck in financial quagmire. UTTHAMAN was supposed to be released for Christmas but the producer ran out of money to shoot two songs needed for the film. As far as VAKKALATH NARAYANAN KUTTY was concerned the new distributor Khatilakam films promised to take the film for entire Kerala territory, but a week before release (January 19) he reneged on it and was willing to distribute only Travancore area. So unless some new distributor buys Malabar and Cochin area the film cannot be released. The bad luck continues with Jayaram's latest film under production SHARJAH TO SHARJAH, where Dinesh Panikkar the distributor walked out, because he did not have money even to release his own THILANA THILANA. So it will take some time for the producers of these three Jayaram film to complete their venture and get it released. Meanwhile Jayaram plans to do a Tamil film with comedy director C. Sundar.

C.I.Mahadevan Anjadi Naalinchu

C.I.Mahadevan Anjadi Naalinchu is a comedy, full of humorous situations, directed by K.K. Haridas. C.I. Mahadevan (Cochin Haneefa), the central character is a serious police officer, but as an inspector he is irresponsible and does nothing but foolishness. Film is his weakness and his colleagues make a fool out of him exploiting his weakness. Cochin Haneefa has a different role, unlike his other films. In the earlier films, he was either a villain or a comedian. But now, in this film, he is the central character. Jagathy, Kalabhavan Mani, Harisree Ashokan and Indrans are there to add more to the humour. C.I.Mahadevan (Cochin Haneefa) is a serious police officer and his wife Lakshmi (Sruthy) is a gynaecologist. He is irresponsible in official duties. Hence he is known as an idler or idiot among his colleagues. As an inspector, he does only foolishness. But he is a 'Pakka' gentleman who is against corruption. He hates drinking and adultery. But he is a good artist and film is a weakness for him. He knows all about films and film stars from magazines. Film being his weakness, Mahadevan will do any favour to those who promise to show him a film. People of Kallidaamkunnu are not treacherous and they know only to love. But an explosion in the Kallidaamkunnu convent shocked them. The Chief Minister visits there and announces to discuss about this incident with senior police officers and thereby bring the criminals before law. But the Chief Minister himself, entrusts the duty of investigation to C.I.Mahadevan knowing his incapability. The Chief Minister had some calculations when he entrusted the duty to C.I.Mahadevan. Watch and break your suspense.

Welcome to Kunjavarachan

Actor Jagathi Sreekumar is always ready to perform any acrobatics to make his character appear lively and realistic. Once there was a shooting scene where a fish would enter his mouth while bathing in a river. The Director was of the opinion that a dummy fish would help completion of the shot. But Jagathi denied. Let an original fish appear to provide originality to the scene. This was Jagathi's stand point. At last a real live fish was brought, and Jagathi posed with the live fish struggling in his mouth That is Jagathi…. The career he was doing - It should be genuine, accurate and exhibit professionalism. For that matter he never accepted a dupe. Here is a full-length comedy film "Welcome to Kunjavarachan", the Picturisation of which has started at Kottayam. The story of the film is based on an important comic novel. All the character portrayed in the film is a comedian. The lead characters of Kunjavarachan's father known as Appappan Kuriachan is role played by Jagathi. The nitwitted Kunjavarachan expresses milk from a cow - This is the scene that was shot. Appappan who arrives at the scene scolds Avarachan who suddenly jumps up form his place, picks up the cow dung from the floor beneath and throws it on the face of Jagathi. Jagathi's face is drenched in cow dung. Needless to say, he pours the cows milk too over the splashed cow dung. The audience burst into laughter. Jagathi acted the scene with coolness. He stated - "This is acting - It needs originality - to the maximum extent possible". The film is directed by Sanjeeva raj and produced by PonniVadakkekara for Holy Matha films. Vijaya raghavan, Jagathi, Kalabhavanmani, Janardanan, Indrans, Lalitha, Kalpana, Kanakalatha, Rona Tindu are the other film casts.

TID BITS

Suresh Gopi and Rajasenan unites for the first time in which Samyuktha Varma plays the lead. Jayaram did the switch on for the shooting while Producer Suresh Kuamr and Suresh Gopi were also present. One liner tells us that this is going to be the love story of a girl after her death presented with DTS and heavy graphics. .

Vasundhara Das, who made an impact with her role opposite none other than Kamalhaasan in Hey, Ram! , is to make her entry soon into Malayalam filmdom. And this time it is National award winning superstar of Malayalam Mohanlal who is pitted opposite her. And the film? The film is Ravanaprabhu, popular scenarist Renjith's maiden directorial venture. Renjith, who obviously is doing the script too, is busy giving final touches to the story, based on which he will start writing the script soon. The film, which will commence shoot in April, will be released during Onam this year.

Jayaram plays 'Sheikh Khalid Al Mubarack Mehabani' in the new film 'Sharja to Sharja' directed by Nandakumar. Locations are in Sharja and Aleppy. Aisharya plays the lead and Vismaya Films releases this movie produced by karthika Mohan and Vikraman Klappana.

Now that Vaanchinaathan has been released, Shaji Kailas is all set to start his next venture, a Mammootty-starrer. This is the third Mammootty film that the hit-making director would be doing, the first two being The King and Valiyettan. This time the scriptwriter is Dennis Joseph. The film, to be produced by Abdul Nazar and Nazeem.P.Hamsa under the banner of Golden Films, will commence in a few weeks time. Details are yet to be known.

Popular film director Prathap Pothan, who has churned out many hit films in Malayalam and Tamil, is to direct Navodaya's second 3-D film. The film, made by the production house that had made My Dear Kuttichaathan, India's first 3D film, will have teenage sensation Kunchacko Boban in a major role. Though it was first to be directed by Jijo, he wouldn't be able to do it on account of being busy with the activities of Jeevan TV.

K.B.Madhu, who started his career as an independent director with Chitrashalabham and then made Deepasthambham Mahaascharyam and then Vinayapoorvam Vidyaadharan, is all ready to do his fourth film. The film, to be produced by Unni Poonkunnam under the banner of Krishnakripa Films will have Vijayaraghavan in the lead. Jagathy too would be doing a major role. It is being said that a major star of Malayalam Cinema, whose name is yet to be disclosed, will also be doing a major role. To be scripted by Suresh Pothuval, the film will have lyrics by Kaithapram and music by Ouseppachchan. Cinematography will be by Tony and G.Murali will do editing. The film will be shot mainly in Kochi and Ootty

Dileep, one of the most popular heros of new generation in Malayalam cinema, seems to be a busy star. He's been getting a lot of offers lately. His latest releases Joker, Darling Darling and Thenkaasipattanam are doing well at the box office. Kottapuraththe Koottukudumbam, fame director Pappan too seems to have decided to make a safe bet on this young star. It is Dileep who will do the lead role in Pappan's next venture, to be scripted by Udayakrishna and Sibi.K.Thomas and produced by V.Verghese under the banner of Soorya Creators. The film, most likely to be a family entertainer, will have a new face for the leading lady and Jagathy Sreekumar too would play a key role. The film would be released during Vishu.

Noted film director, Jayaraj has been conferred with this year's Bharathan award for the best director, by the Bharathan Cinema Academy. Jayaraj has been selected for the award for his film "Karunam" based on the 'Navarasas'. The award carries a citation ,a sculpture and a cash prize of Rs.10,000. Kavya Madhavan bagged the best debut actress for her excellent performance in the film, "Chandranudhikkunna Dikkil". The award comprises of a cash prize of Rs.5000, a citation and a sculpture.