Malayalam Cinema 2000: A Flashback

Mohanlal Honored With Padmashri

Keralites joined the celebration in pride when movie mogul Mohanlal was awarded the Padmashri. Lal was shooting for a Priyadarshan movie 'Kakkakuyil' in Hyderabad when he came to know the news. It was a coincidence that he was working with the same old team who launched him in to movies many years ago. Priyadarshan, Nedumudi Venu, Suresh Kumar, Innocent and Kumar were all present at the location. Lal was running out of words while he said that a force, God almighty who had been his guiding light, bestowed the honor on him. Three cheers to Mohanlal from Keralites and all his fans.

Karumadikuttan

Vinayan- Kalabhavan Mani combine hits again with their new venture ‘Karumadikuttan’. Star actor Mani well known for his excellence in handling character roles plays lead role in this picture. The role has immense potential and Mani is famous for exploring the artistic dimensions to the limits in all the movies he has worked. He has provided Malayalam movies a new range of creative freedom with an acting perfection comparable with major leading reality portraits from movie industry all over the world. After ‘Vasanthiyum Lekshmiyum pinne Jnanum’, this venture has lend him one more chance to explore himself. He is being accompanied by a wide array of cine actors like Ganesh, Saikumar, Bharathi, Janardhanan, Rajan. P. Dev, Aathira, Sivaji, Cherthala Lalitha, Augustine, Mala, Sophia, Kalabhavan Santhosh, Ponnamma Babu, Pushkalatha, and Priyanka. The shooting is progressing in the vicinity of Kavalam. The story is set against the backdrop of the Venice of the east- Kuttanad in Alleppey. Karumadikuttan, portrayed by Kalabhavan Mani is the mentally unsound son of Subadra Thampuraty a woman of noble birth and her lover Kannan Cherumon a slave who was asked to work in the family field. The marriage took place much against the wishes of both families. Karumadikuttan was born and by fate saw the death of both his parents at a very early age. Despite his noble relationships, he grew up at the mercy of the local people and was mentally impaired. Yet he was well loved by the people of his village because of his innocence and loving nature. Some local chaps then instilled in him a liking towards his cousin- Nandini, (portrayed by the actress Nandini). This irks Nandini’s mother and her uncles. Nandini has always seen Karumadikuttan as a servant and an unwanted filthy animal worth nothing but the comical situations he creates by virtue of his unsound mind. Further Nandini loves her music teacher (portrayed by Ganesh) and to add to the hell lot of troubles, the person Sekarankutty seeks Nandini’s hand in marriage. The movie takes us though the mindscape of Karumadikuttan, enviably played by Mani. The supporting music is composed by Mohan Sithara and is being scripted by Yusuf Ali Kechery. Yesudas,Chithra and M.G. Sreekumar rendered voices to these melodious songs. Technical avenues are being handled by Vinayan (story), J.Pallasery (screenplay & script), B. Murali (editing), Azhagappan (cinematography) and Bava (Art director). The film is produced by Jacob Earaly and directed by Vinayan. The Premiere is expected to be by February end.

Agninakshatram

Directed by Karim, an erstwhile pupil of late movie legend Bharathan, the movie casts superstar Suresh Gopi in the lead role. He plays the role of Thalakulathur Thambi, an expert in the keralite martial art Kalaripayattu. He is a new generation propagator of this age-old ritualistic form of warfare. He fuses the skill of the mind and body to discover the true potential of man. He is being hired by Thirumangalam Kovilakom to be entrusted with the responsibility of protecting his daughter ‘Rudra” played by Baby Sanika. Rudra is a girl with a superhuman tint and a particular behavioral capability to invoke the sixth sense activism. She predicts all future events with ease and her capabilities bring her both friends and foes alike and the central theme is thus carried forward in a mixture of misticism and suspense. The story is an inspiring combination of myth and lore. Supporting roles are played by Siddique, Biju Menon, Jagathy, Madamb, Indraja, Aiswarya etc. Raveendran composes music and Shibu Chakravarthy scores the lyrics. Songs are sung by Yesudas, Chitra, Biju Narayanan and Radhika Tilak. B.Lenin (editing), Sreeni (art direction) and Peter Njarakkal (production controller) are shaping affairs behind the camera.

Praja

Shooting of Joshi’s Praja is fast nearing completion. Ranji Panicker has written the screenplay. Mohanlal plays the lead role of an underworld don ‘Zakir Ali Hussain’. The movie is an ideal Joshi concoction of action, suspense and violence. Much of the movie was shot in Bombay. Zakir Ali has two faithful companions; Plavulakindi Hameed and Arjun played by Cochin Haneefa and Biju Menon respectively. The heroine is the splendid actress Aiswarya. She lends life to the character Maya Marie Kurian a young IPS officer. The Joshi combination of murder and violence in the dance hall of the wealthy Parsi tycoons during the dance and drinking spells is depicted in this movie too. The story is shot in the bloody and dark winding ways of crime capital Mumbai. Mohanlal is an infamous underworld don who for some reason decides to take revenge on his old associates who it turns out to be cheating his ambitious business plans. Police officer Maya, who has just taken charge in town meets Zakir in a taxi during a routine vehicle examination. He has been travelling to Manglore with his accomplices. The music composed by M.G.Radhakrishnan includes both Keralite and Hindustani melodies. The lyrics were scored by Girish Puthencherry. The movie is being shot with extreme care to lend all originality to increase the impact at the point of delivery. It is a celluloid imprint of real life depictions from the crime world. Apart from these lead actors, Vijayaraghavan, Vijayakumar, Shammi Thilakan, Babu Namboodiri, N.F.Varghese are also working in the picture. The technical team comprises of Sanjeev Sankar (cinematography), K. Sankunny (editing), Boban (art director) and Pazhani as dress designer. The movie is expected to premiere by the first week of February.

Aramjalakam

Aramjalakam directed by M.A.Venu is an innovative venture narrating a love story. Nishant Sagar plays the lead role. He portrays the central character 'Devan'. Devan is a typical village gentleman who has no relatives other than an old grandmother. Devan is compelled to marry and find a life partner to help his old grandmother with house hold jobs. Finally he marries Sooryaprabha (Sindhu Menon). Their family life is depicted as smooth and full of the romantic air. It is a typical meeting of two post marriage love and romance patrons. The subplot is another love theme, cast by Sudheesh and Dhanya. The characters portrayed by them are of Sreekuttan and Malathi. A common friend of both Devan and Sreekuttan named Manikyan relates them to the main plot. Malathy happens to be Manikyan's sister. Apart from Sudheesh and Nishant Sagar, artists like Meghanathan, Harisree Asokan, Lakshmi Krishna Murthy, Meena Ganesh, Renuka Thomas and Kavitha share the star cast. The technical team involves Venugopal (cinematography), Hariharaputhran (editing), Nathan Mannur (art director), Khader Kochannur (stills), Clinton Perera ( production executive) and Mohan Pattambi (production manager). Kaithapuram has cast the musical spell on his own poetic lyrics. The movie concentrates to achieve an unmatched impact on delivery due to it's innovative story telling methods. The vision was to create a love story as never before. Forgiving the celluloid contraints, it is a mammoth effort to reorient the tracks a love story can take in the history of Malayalam movies.

Mazhameghapravukal

A movie with a difference- that's how best you could speak of this picture which exposes the thin lines between men, women, acceptance, romance and the beauty of the inscape. This is Kavya's picture; one that has given this glorious little girl the chances to discover her-self. At least that is what it seems, quite knowingly or unknowingly she transforms her talents to an even break. She plays the role of a teenage village girl- 'Malu'. The character is one that breaks it's shell to imbibe our conscience to the limits hitherto unknown to the viewer. Its all new; the movie, the story, the presentation and the characters. The story is set in a remote village which the writer S.G. Dev and his wife Sathyabhama makes their home. He comes in and lends support to a young girl and boy. The boy is called Sreekuttan, played by teen idol Krishna. Malu lives next door and she leads a menacing band of kids around the whole place. She has a fiancé whom she hates like hell. Malu's father dies shortly and S.G.Dev adopts her. Dev has a real son who works in the army. Malu hears his stories often being said among family members. Owing to Sreekuttan's interests in Malu, Dev decides to conduct their marriage. Malu quite unexpectedly breaks down at this point. She has committed the folly of loving her folklore idol- 'Shyam'. She has never had a glimpse of him; yet she is madly in love with him for some obscure reasons her childish mind had kept for herself. Lalu Alex plays Shyam while T S Raju plays Kavya's father. Other characters are being brought to life by Subair, Meena Ganesh, and Pragathy to name a few. AR Rahman's assistant Sreeram has composed the music for the film and Girish Puthenchery has scored the lyrics. The film is all set to be an entertainer. Director Pradeep is working hard to find the hairline balance for the landscape and inscape equations of the commonplace human mind. The film is expected to be released in February.

Meghasandesham

An all inspiring innovative fusion of two impeccable brains - Suresh Gopi known for his master-talent as an actor and the director Rajasenan comes together to work for their innovative project- MEGHASANDESAM. It's the first time in a Malayalam movie that the new DTS technology is being fused with premium computer graphic support to lend birth and life for this new conceptual cinema. Apart from Suresh Gopi, well-known actors and actresses such as Oduvil Unnikrishnan, Indrans, Harisree Asokan, Narendraprasad, Venuji, Samyuktha Varma, Abhirami and Urmila Unni support the cast. The movie also introduces a novel face- Rajasree Nair a fair, beautiful and talented young actress who plays the role of 'Rosy', Suresh Gopi's girl friend. The central theme of the movie revolves around a mystical suspense of the girl Rosy. Suresh Gopi bringing to life the character called Balu an immensely talented freelance journalist and orator once happened to give a lift to the girl Rosy. The girl attracted by Balu's personality then starts to dream of him as her dream guy. Suresh Gopi has a personal engagement with Anjali, a girl of noble birth portrayed by the graceful actress Samyuktha Varma. Rosy's attempts to win Balu's heart is partially accomplished by her peculiar and noticeable virtues like faithfulness, truthfulness and coupled with her innocent and childlike behavior, Balu gets in to a dilemma. But here the story takes an interesting turn. Balu once for some reason turns up at Rosy's home to hear the horrifying fact that Rosy had died a couple of years ago and that his dream girl is nothing but a ghost. The rest of the movie is about unfolding this mystery and trying to plug in a realistic identity in to his cloudy, misty, fairyland romance partner. Ramesan Nayar scores the lyrics to the compositions of M G Radhakrishnan. Singers Yesudas, M.G. Sreekumar, and Chithra have lend their melodious voices to these tracks making them tunes to remember. The technical team comprises of Venugopal (Director of photography), Sreegar Prasad (editing), Premachandran (art direction), Vazhoor Jose (news), Soorya Peter (stills), Kumaram Mohan (makeup-man) and dress design by Indrans. All said and done, this movie is expected to premiere in a fortnight's time.

Sharjah To Sharjah

Venugopal presents this quite unique movie with Jayaram as hero. He breaths life in to the character of Nandakumar, a trained advocate himself who dislikes pursuing a career in law. He is a known football player. He wishes to remain so for the rest of his life. But that cannot be forever. He has always evaded the process of enrolment with some petty excuses. Things change as this goes on for a long time. His brother who works in Sharja provides Nandakumar with a visa. This time again he has made reasons to stay back for an important tournament. The tournament was a welcome experience in Nandakumar's life. It was expected to give him much-required image boosting in the game. Ironically, things turn out otherwise. The tournament ends in a fight and all it's team members are arrested. Nandakumar along with his friends are produced in the local courtroom. The judge, Nandakumar's father then approves bail to all his friends, but he is remanded in custody. This isolation was his father's only chance to give him a better lifestyle. So he spends a few hard days in prison. The Nandakumar who emerges out of the confinement is a changed man. Soon he comes to know that his brother is imprisoned in Sharja for an offence of murder. He is destined to be executed. Nandakumar flies to Sharja and then plays a whole drama to rescue his brother from jail. He imposes to be an Arab prince. Veteran actor Madhu plays judge Viswanathan Kartha. Actors Krishna, Manianpilla Raju, M.N.Nambiar, Nadirshah, Ebrahimkutty, Aiswarya, Ushakumari, Raji, and Bindu Panicker have brought other characters to life. This is an entertainer with a difference. The innovative and interesting presentation is skillfully put to test for the first time in molly wood.

Unnathangalil

Unnathangalil is another narration of underworld rivalry starring Manoj K Jayan, Lal, Jagadish, Mammukoya, Babu Antony, Mala, N.F. Vargheese and Indraja to name a few. Mohanlal also makes a guest appearance in the movie. Directed by Jomon, this is a movie with action jazz and street spice. The picturisation is being completed in Cochin in Kerala. The technical team comprises of veteran technocrats like Muralidharan (editing), Sreeni (Art director), Jayamohan (Make up), Vajramani (dress designer), Chandran Monalisa (stills) and Devassykutty (communications). Mohan Sithara composes music for the movie and Girish Puthenchery writes the lyrics. The story revolves around a balance of power and friendship equation. Velubhai is the theme character. He left Cochin for Bombay years back to make good and expand his underworld empire to the north. Cochin was handed over to his most faithful associate - Antony. Antony grows bigger and is mature enough to swallow the town whole. His intimidating comments about Velubhai send bad chills down his spines. Velubhai then decides to outmuscle Antony and recapture his home empire. The story is taken ahead from this point by the introduction of two new youths at Cochin- Michle and Siva. Michle was attracted to the glamour of the underworld and Siva wanted to lead a simple and peaceful life. Their intimate friendship is running in to rough seas.

Kakkakuyil

Kakkakuyil in Hyderabad Jubilee House a week back, where a song was being picturised. Mohanlal, Mukesh and model Swetha Menon were seen dancing to the tunes of Music Director Deepan Chakravorthy. Chakravorthy had earlier been an assistant to the Legendary R.D.Burman, and is an audiographer for various south-indian films. The film has five songs, which according to him are going to be chart-busters. The story, is about a youth, Sivaraman who comes in search of a job to a metro city from a village, where he meets his old friend Govindankutty. Both of them, get involved in a bank-robbery and what follows afterwards forms the story of this hilarious film. Priyadarshan seemed extremely happy at the set, as he feels that he can make use of visuals to the maximum while picturising songs. He even plans to picturise a song in Australia. The cast also includes Nedumudi Venu, Jagathy, Sucheta and Sukumari. The popular hindi star Sunil Shetty does a guest appearence. It is Priyadarsan's 50th film and 25 years of association with Mohanlal, his school buddy. Story, screenplay, dialogue and production is by Priyadarshan himself.

2000 Awards

Kerala Film Academy has declared this year's film critics award. The P.R.S. Pillai gold medal is shared by Susanna directed by T.V. Chandran and Mazha directed by Lenin Rajaendran. T.V. Chandran has been adjudged as the best director. A special award has also been given to Lenin Rajendran for Mazha.The film Joker grabbed the best runner up award. Biju Menon and Samyuktha Varma are the best actor and best actress respectively (both for their perfomance in the film Mazha). Shantham directed by Jayaraj and produced by P.V. Gangadharan has won the special jury award for the relevance of the movie in the contemporary world. 2nd Best Actor - Oduvil Unnikrishnan (Oru Cheru Punchiri) 2nd Best Actress - Chippi (Kattu Vannu Vilichappol) Best Music Director - Raveendran (Mazha) Best Lyrics Writer - PrabhaVarma (Nagara Vadhu) Best Male Playback Singer - MG Sreekumar (Kattu Vannu...) Best Female Playback Singer - Asha Menon (Mazha) Best Newcomer - Manya (Joker) Most Popular Film - Narasimham (Director - Shaji Kailas) Actress Sukumari will be presented with "Chalachitra Ratnam" Award considering her acting in over 2000 films

Suresh Gopi Blasting his directors

It was a great comeback for Suresh Gopi, whom the Malayalam film industry had written off after a series of flops in 2000. But at the end of the year with the release of Tenkasi Pattanam, Suresh Gopi has regained his super star status. The film, which is a rollicking comedy has turned out to be a mega hit and has revived Suresh Gopi’s staggering career. Now Suresh Gopi blames his directors for the debacle for his flops like Pilots, Dreams, and Cover Story. In a recent interview he said that directors other than Shaji Kailas, K.Madhu, and Viji Thampy had not handled him very well. He says "They think if there are five fight scenes and if I show my muscles the audience will come and watch the film". Gopi blasts the flop film directors and says that they are incompetent and do not understand the basics of commercial cinema. But unless his future releases, which are mainly action oriented, does well, his career crisis would continue. But his critics say that he was lucky to be in Tenkasi Pattanam where comedy king Dilip stole the thunder from him.

Life is not beautiful

They are known as the lovebirds from Trichur - the handsome hero, Biju Menon and the top Malayalee heroine, Samyukta Varma. Samyukta, who has acted opposite all top heroes was said to be madly in love with Biju. Samyukta entered Malayalam industry with the hit film Veendum Chila Veetu Karyangal, but later when her films like Life is beautiful, Swayamvara Pandal flopped she was labelled as the unlucky heroine. It was during this time that she was all set to tie the knot with Biju Menon. When the films they did together Mazha and Madhura Nombara Kattu also bombed at the box office, Biju’s career too suffered. But with the release of Tenkasi Pattanam things took a turn when the unlucky heroine became the number one and has signed half-a-dozen films with top heroes and reputed banners. When last heard Samyukta has decided to postpone her wedding by a year, leaving Biju Menon in the cold. Poor Biju has not only lost his ladylove but he is left with hardly any new films this year.

Dubai dreams

Will the costliest Malayalam film Dubai be released? The entire trade and fans of super star Mammootty is eagerly waiting for the producer, distributor and exhibitors to come to an understanding regarding the release of the long delayed film. Dubai which has been under production for the last 18 months was slated to be released last Vishu (April 14). Now Mammootty has decided that, until Dubai is released he will not sign another Malayalam film. Dubai was plagued by financial problems and producer V.K.B.Menon’s has taken money from various exhibitors and later sold the film to Aziz of Kavia Chandrika a distribution concern. Menon claims that the film has already cost around 3.5 crore and if the films is to be released it will require another crore. But Mammootty and the trade are positive that the film will click and are trying there best to release the film by Vishu 2001.

Is he the new number one?

In Kerala film trade today Dileep is hotter than the original superstars - Mohanlal and Mammootty. Even though Dileep played only a comedians role in Tenkasi Pattanam and Suresh Gopi was touted as the hero of the film, people came to see the film only for the five foot four inch midget superstar. Dileep’s last three films Joker, Darling Darling, and now Tenkasi Pattanam has given him what the trade says is the most important thing in film business – INITIAL. Yes! He sells on his own name today as Tenkasi Pattanam is all set to cross the landmark collection record of Mohanlal’s Narasimhamam. According to Suresh Shenoy of the prestigious Shenoys theatres in Ernakulam where Tenkasi Pattanam is creating new box-office records : "Dileep is devastating in Tenkasi Pattanam. The ladies and children audience are coming back just to see by now the famous cow shed comedy scene in the film". In cities and smaller towns in Kerala people can only talk about how Dileep, sort of a "suthradhar' comes to the house of Suresh Gopi, Lal and Kavya Madhavan disguised as a cow. After Joker, Dileep’s rate went up from a measly Rs.6 to 10 lakhs. Now after Tenkasi Pattanam he is asking and getting Rs.15 lakhs. Comedy is the essence of his movies and such kind of films can be shot in a single schedule of not more than 25 days under Rs. 1 crore. If the film is a hit or a flop it is a safe bet, as the "initial" would cover the cost. For example Tenkasi Pattanam had stars like Suresh Gopi and Samyukta Varma and cost around Rs. 1.50 crores, but the film has got a distributor share of over Rs. 1 crore and 60 lakhs in its first 35 days alone. Joker made on a shoe string budget of Rs. 65 lakhs collected more than a crore from releasing stations alone. Compare this to a Mohanlal or a Mammootty film which cost anywhere between Rs. 2.50 crores to 3.25 crores and unless the film is a hit, returns are not assured. Recently Devadootan Mohanlal’s costliest film at Rs. 3.25 crores could not even cover the cost of its print and posters. Mamootty’s Dada Saheb even though said to be a hit, may just break even for its producer-distributor Sargam Kabir. So in the final analysis Dileep is a safer bet than the super stars and with the failure of Jayaram’s Vakalath Narayanan Kutty he is miles ahead of his nearest competitor. Now everybody wants to make a comedy caper with the new number one hero – Dileep.

FortKochi

What makesthis movie unique is the realistic portrayel of life in the coastal belts of Cochin town. There are three friends- Balu, Nasar and Ramu. These young friends are best described as three bodies and one soul. They spend their life knee deep in troubled waters. The go out to sea and fish from morning to evening and their efforts produce nothing except more hunger. They had high hopes about tommorows. These hopes kept them going as any other man and woman. But time left little profits for these young men. Given these circumstances, they plan to rent a fishing boat belonging to an effluent local merchant- Avarachan. The business seemed good in the beginning but in a short period of time added more debt than they could ever imagine to pay off. The only personal contribution it could give was the relationship that developed between Avarachan's daughter and one of them which slowly increased in it's intensity. One of these days, their mother purchases a lottery ticket from her friend Bumper Vasu. The prize comes as an unexpected relief to their problem. In their frenzy to get the ticket encashed, they end up being cheated by a lobby of thugs. The offer of exchanging the prize money without tax is quite good. But they are cheated and the exposure of the gang behind it takes the movie to a different plane. Famous south Indian actress Ravali plays the heroine in the movie. Other roles are being played by Kalabhavan Mani, Kottayam Nasir, Devan, Jose Pallissery, Sidharaj, Salim Bava, Mafiya Sas and Amir Jaan.

Punyam

Punyam is riding back in time to the aryanisation of India and to it's vedic roots. After Vaisali, our movie industry has never really done a flash back in to real time history. The settings though primitive in nature, the story and it's theme are surprisingly modern; so to say, the theme has never lost it's social prominence. It is the story about problems in married life. The theme has received a mature treatment despite the fact that digging down in time is a rather complicated process. The story is about 'Sukanya' the mythological character. She after her husband abandons her spents the rest of her life in the ashram. Sukanya is presented by actress Lakshmi. Her grace has actually led the director to pick her up for the role. She too was waiting for a break to express herself in a better manner with a character role. This movie is expected to bring a new concept in to mollywood. The team swear it is an experience the viewers would never wish to forget. The picturisation is progressing near Peppara dam. The ashram of muni Kashyapa is set here among rows of green woods. The ashram is the ideal pet palace with scores of rabbits and other animals together with birds. Narendraprasad plays the role of Kashyapa maharshi. His excellent characterisation skills add magic to the character. Bobban Alumoodan plays the hero in the movie. Apart from these actors, Captain Raju, Sindhu, Krishnakumar, Salimkumar, Urmila Unni, Vineetha, Jancy, Sangeeth and Nathan are all acting in the movie.The new treatment coupled with the new theme is a magic formula for instant success

Jasy passed away

The famous movie director and producer Jasy died here this morning following a heart attack. K.J. Vargheese who later came to be known as Jasy has made immense contribution to the field of movies. He has directed over thirty two films and has also acted in twenty films. He introduced two new comers who later acme to be super heroes - Jayan and Soman. The latter was a very good friend of his and his death had really caused deep impacts in the mind of Jasy. The last film that he completed before death is 'Oru Sankeerthanam Pole'

Dosth

Thulasidas tells the interesting story of two friends Vijay and Ajith played by Kunjako Boban and Dileep respectively in Dosth. They walk and eat together and think alike. Though the film has a more serious theme, Thulasidas has cast a general treatment of humor for the whole story. It comes as an end to a controversial gossip that Boban and Dileep had problems working with each other. Both of them maintain that it is just a story that is completely cooked up. The movie also casts Jagathy as Ettuveettil Kuttappan. He is the caretaker of Vijay's properties. He happens to be a glutton in the pretext of a body builder. But his wife laughs at his endeavor. Kuttappan is all sprees once somebody commends of him to be having a well-built body. Vijayan is engaged to a girl Chinchu played by Sruthy Raj. She is the first to compliment Kuttappan in his body building endeavor. However the movie is all set to be an excellent entertainer. It is the first movie to cast two new generation heroes in the sane frame. Such experiments with super stars are expensive and all recent endeavors have been failures. But Thulasidas has designed a new mould to fit the two stars correctly. Further the movie is an entertainer and both heroes are proved actors in the comedy movies. The presence of teen icon Kavya Madhavan is also expected to increase the effect of the whole movie many folds.

Vani Marries Stunt Actor?

Vani Vishwanath the action queen of Malayalam cinema has married Baburaj, a stunt man and a villain in films and TV serials says the industry. Vani first met Baburaj , already married and a father of two children, at the locales of The Gang, which was produced by Baburaj himself. Later they worked together in Rapid Action Force. Baburaj is a constant escort of Vani in all locales. He is a resident of Alwaye (Kerala) but stays in Vani's apartment in Chennai say film circles. Baburaj who was once accused in a murder case and later acquitted is it seems the suspect of the famous Alwaye murder says a section of the press.

Randaam Bhaavam

Director Lal Jose's third film Randaam Bhaavam is getting ready for release. (His earlier films were Oru Maravaththoor Kanavu and Chandranudikkunna Dikkil). Produced under the banner of Jayathara by K. Manoharan Randaam Bhaavam was a bit delayed owing to veteran actor Thilakan getting hospitalized and then advised to take bed rest. Now that Thilakan is well and in full-form, the film is nearing completion and getting ready for release. Govindji is one of the most dreaded names in the Mangalore underworld. This ghazal-loving underworld don has with him, as his trusted lieutenant, Kishan, a youth who proves himself to be smart, intelligent and dependable. Kishan, who had been groomed in underworld activities under Mohammed Ibrahim in Goa, leaves Ibrahim and later joins Govindji. Kishan proves himself a tough underworld man. It is then that Akhila, a bank employee, enters his life and touches a different chord in his heart. Kishan finds himself in a very delicate situation. He cannot bring himself to reveal his true identity and profession to Akhila and at the same time he does not like hiding the truth from her. Back at home, Kishan is a different person among his parents and sisters. A man whom everyone fears in Mangalore, Kishan still is afraid of his father. It is these different faces of Kishan that Lal Jose has tried to etch in Randaam Bhaavam. Suresh Gopi becomes Kishan while Thilakan becomes Govindji and Poornima Mohan is Akhila. Lal is Mohammed Ibrahim while Biju Menon again appears as a tough cop- Jeevan IPS. Others in the cast include Janardhanan, Nedumudi Venu, Oduvil Unnikrishnan, Narendra Prasad, Nadirsha, Sreevidya, Lena, and Ambili etc. Ranjan Pramod does the story and script while the Gireesh Puthencherry-Vidyasagar teamwork behind the songs. The film is to be released by Sagar Movies, Amma Arts and Rajasree Pictures.

Friends Turn Into Foes

Music director Vidyasagar and singer M G Sreekumar were close friends and even shared common vices like seducing girls who came to sing. Its been heard now, that these friends who shared everything are bitter enemies. Because Sreekumar refused to share his glory and money with Vidyasagar. Sreekumar who went on a Gulf tour found that he was a much in demand singer and the sponsors were offering him good bucks. When Vidyasagar got an offer to perform in Dubai he put Sreekumar as one of the singers but to his dismay he was told to look for someone else. As this great singer would hereafter perform alone and not with any sagar's. Sagar in turn threw Sreekumar from all his films. Who is the loser, only time would tell.

Mohan Lal to do Karna

The Malayalam megastar Mohanlal is doing a stage show with a difference. He is to don the mythical role of Karna in a Sanskrit play Karanabharam by Bhasa. The veteran Malayalam stage director Kavalam Narayana Panikkar and his Sopanan troupe is presenting the play on March 27 at New Delhi as part of the National School of Drama festival. According to Kavalam: “Getting Mohanlal the super star to do the role of Karna was indeed a blessing. It is not easy for a commercial hero to make an entry into stage and that too as Karna.” Mohanlal has a daunting task, only a gifted and talented artist like him can do the role of Karna – he has to bring out the conflicting emotions, which besiege the character. Karna when he goes to the battlefield has to kill his brothers the Pandavas at the same time heed to his mother Kunti’s plea not to kill them! Said Panikkar: ”Only a innovative born actor like Mohanlal can make Karna click on stage”. Mohanlal fits the character, as he knew Kalaripayutu and Kathakali movements, which are essential for the stage show. A beaming Mohanlal told www.malcinema.pyar.com: “Initially when Kavalam offered to direct my maiden performance on stage as Karna, I was not sure whether I would be able to do it. But his confidence in me made me pick up the dialogues and nuances of Sanskrit pronunciation”. He has a very charitable and noble purpose behind the stage performance. A video of the show will be later sub-titled and telecast. He intends to use the proceeds from this to set up an academy for performing arts in the state. Hats off to Mohan Lal a star whose fans are telling him only to do Rajnikant style films. It is definitely a bold step to play Karna on stage at the peak of Mohanlal’s superstardom.

Naranathu Thampuran

Jayaram is Ananthan Unni in Aroma movie international’s new film Naranathu Thampuran. Ananthan Unni is a surprise for everybody. He goes out of the way to help everybody. Hemalatha and her aged father had just revived from the shock of the sudden death of her brother, that his creditors started troubling them. She comes to know that her brother had died, after borrowing a huge sum of money from these people. The father and daughter finds it difficult to pay back the money and they apply for a loan in a bank and gets it. To their misfortune, as they were coming out of the bank with the money some body snatches it and runs away. Ananthan Unni, the police officer comes to her rescue and gets hold of the man and returns the money. Hema was thankful to the police officer but she was shocked to see him as a lawyer the next day and later as a doctor, a snake charmer etc. She was surprised how a person could become a police officer, doctor and lawyer at the same time? Nandini (Kousalya) is Hema and other cast are Devan, Jagathy, Bindu Panickker etc. Jayaram comes in eight different characters including one in which he comes as a lady. This however is the highlight of the film and it was shot secretly in Trivandrum. Songs are by S.Ramesan Nair and music is by M.Jayachandran. Editing is by Sreekar Prasad and the producer is M.Mani, of Aroma pictures. The film is directed by Viji Thampi.

MG Srikumar's 15 Year Old Love Affair

M G Srikumar seems to have put his foot in his mouth. This Malayalee singer, who himself is unmarried, had been involved with a married lady for about 15years. That lady's husband, who lives in US and with whom she has a kid, came to know about this affair only recently. A magazine corrected him with details of Srikumar courting this married woman. This 15 years old extra martial affair has finally ended up in marriage now. It's better for Srikumar to stick to singing and keep his personal life away from the public eye.

Sravu

The film portrays all movie villains in Malayalam as heroes. This team is put together by Commisioner Mohan Roy to nab the in famous forest brigand Devanarayana Murthy. Babu Antony plays the role of Malappuram Bava, an autorikshaw driver who was later arrested and detained in jail for mureder. Now the police department wants to utilise him and his accomplice Kannan played by Baiju to put the forest brigand behind bars. The ministers order is procured for their release from jail and the duo join the team sent to the forest. It was not an easy task for the members of the force. Bava and Kannan had their own plans - They had to run away at the first chance. However, by this point of time both got involved in affairs with two girls and they decided to stay back. Soon they became the most respected members of the team. Their valour and perseverance really paid off. Murthy was still a hard nut to crack. He had a number of people and modest ammunition to resist any use of force. However, the private army under the commissioner made good and Murthy was arrested. The movie is a clear entertainer with emphasis laid on action. The heroines are Reshma and Swathi. Other actors and actresses are Captain Raju, Devan, Rizabava, Shankar, Jagannatha Varma and Pushpa.

Mammootty's New movie

Mammootty has not signed a movie in the past six months. After Dadasaheb, he withdrew to the back stage and was rehearsing for this venture. He has now vowed to do only those characters that could give him enough confidence to go through. T.V.Chandran is doing this venture after his Susanna. This is believed to be an artistic movie with novel ideas incorporated and is among the rare genre of movies that provide entertainment in a garb of artistic applaud. The character Mammootty presents has something of a dual personality. He behaves both like a thirty-seven year old and like an eighty-year-old man. This is believed to be a strong character. 'Dany' is expected to be the most artistically revealing movie for this actor.

Shakeela signed for twenty new movies

It is boom time in Kerala for glamour actress Shakeela and Maria. Almost thirty pictures are in the making of which Shakeela plays heroine in twenty of them. Shakeela's remuneration has increased to rupees thirty thousand a day and rupees five thousand for an extra hour. Major producers who once denounced her films are coming back to embrace such films as they turn out to be the fastest way out from the economic crisis that has gripped this industry. Shakeela comes to the sets accompanied by two body guards. The total cost for such films are believed to be nearly twenty lakh rupees and the income it generates is estimated to be a whopping one crore rupees including the sale of dubbed rights.

Kunchacko Boban And Samyuktha Varma IN Dubai

Leading film and stage show director Rajiv Kumar is to direct the stage show 'Alukkas Fairy tales' in Gulf countries from the 10th of April to the 16th of May. The event is co-ordinated in Dubai by Stage Dubai a premiere event management company in Dubai. The co-ordinator in Kerala is the leading film producer Premachandran. Stars expected to participate are Kunjako Boban, Mukesh, Jagadish, Manian Pilla Raju, Martin, Kalabhavan Navaz, Sudeesh, Thomas Thoppinkudy and Saju Kodian. Actresses such as Jomol, Samyuktha Varma, Aiswarya, Manya, Bindu Panicker and Sukumari. The singers are Vijay Yesudas and Junior Usha Uthup (Reny). The coreographer is Kalamaster.

TID BITS

Punchiri creations is executing their plan for a new movie combining super star Suresh Gopi and actor Manoj K Jayan. The shooting has started in Shornur in Palakkad District. This is expected to be a new movie in the sense of the general outlay. The movie presents a novel concept in its theme. Samyuktha Varma is playing the heroine. Apart from these actors, Vijayakumar, Jagadish, Jagathy, Saikumar, Narendra Prasad, Janardhanan, Nedumudi Venu, Sadhiq and Kaveri are acting in the movie. .

Mas movies's 'Swarna Medal' has started shooting.The movie is being produced by Friends Nazir and Mummy Century writes the screenplay and directs it himself. The movie is an action thriller based on contemporary Kerala politics. Vani Viswanath and Raghuvaran are doing the lead roles. The movie is being made with due importance to action and an array of the modern technologies are to be used in its making.Other actoras and actresses are Rajan P Dev, Lal, Sidhique, Mala, Mamukkoya, Meghna and Kanaka Latha. The movie is one anmong the first few of its kind to use digital graphics and animation coupled with DTS sound track.

Kerala Film Academy has declared this year's film critics award. The P.R.S. Pillai gold medal is shared by Susanna directed by T.V. Chandran and Mazha directed by Lenin Rajaendran. T.V. Chandran has been adjudged as the best director. A special award has also been given to Lenin Rajendran for Mazha.The film Joker grabbed the best runner up award. Biju Menon and Samyuktha Varma are the best actor and best actress respectively (both for their perfomance in the film Mazha). Shantham directed by Jayaraj and produced by P.V. Gangadharan has won the special jury award for the relevance of the movie in the contemporary world.

In what is believed to be Mohanlal's pet project, MT Vasudevan Nair has committed to write for Priyadarsan. MT was approached by Mohanlal himself requesting his inputs. Lal believes that the characters of all MT creations have the spur of originality and is different in dimensions to that of conventional characters in Malayalam movies. This project is expected to be rolling late 2001.

Jayakumar Vallamkulam produces new film 'Shambho Mahadeva'in the banner of Jayageetham Films. The movie is to be directed by Suresh Babu. Star cast include Mukesh, Divya Unni, Babu Antony, Janardhanan, Captain Raju, Jagathy, Narendra Prasad, Chanchal, Kaveri and Harisree Asokan. Vinu Kariath has written the dialogue and screen play for the story of Rajan Kariath. The picturisation is expected to begin in Thiruvalla in February.

"Lux" Asianet Film Awards declared, Mammootty (for Arayannagalude Veedu) is the best actor and Samyuktha Varma (for Mazha and Madhuranombarakkattu), the best actress. "Narasimham" won the best film award. Other winners are: Best Director - Shaji Kailas (Narasimham), Best Supporting Actor - Biju Menon (Mazha), Best Supporting Actress - KPAC Lalitha (Shantham), Best Playback Singer (Male) - Yesudas, Best Playback Singer (Female) - Chithra, Best Musician - Raveendran.

Yes, a star sister is going to be launched in Malayalam. It's none other than Vani Viswanath's sister Priya. Priya Viswanath is to do the female lead in a film to be directed by Shyam.B.Pillai, produced under the banner of Film Tools Entertainers. Tamil actress Regeena is another heroine in the film and in which Nalini, heroine of yesteryears too is making a reappearance after a long time. Also in the cast are Devan, Indrans, Oduvil Unnikrishnan, Sreevidya, Prathapachandran, etc. the script and lyrics are by M.R.Jose.

Noted writer, scenarist and National award winner Madambu Kunhikuttan is said to be busy these days doing the script for Kalakkaththu Kunjan Nambiar, a film on Kunjan Nambiar the immortal poet of Malayalam. The script is based on the story written by M.C.Radhakrishnan, who would be directing the film too. Madavoor Radhakrishna Kurup would produce the film under the banner of Vega Cine Creations. The cast is yet to be decided, but rumours are afloat that Jagathy Sreekumar will do the title role, that of Kunjan Nambiar.