Lights, camera, action…and an evening of Mohanlal

By Poornima Koonath
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Mohanlal

The superstar of Malayalam cinema comes to Australia for his first live performance

An actor with an extraordinary repertoire of talent, Mohanlal continues to rule the Malayalam film industry with a variety of roles and portrayals. An artist who is constantly challenging himself with characters that may be outside the comfort zone of any actor, Mohanlal does not stop amazing the cinema goers and his fans with his flair. Be it an intellectual, a nerd, a rowdy, royalty, a gangster or a family man, Mohanlal has done it all, and done it with perfect élan.

Though most of his movies are restricted to South India, Mohanlal is one of the finest actors of the Indian cinema. He probably is only actor who has also impacted the Bollywood scene like no other actor from outside the ‘fold’. The finesse of his acting genius was seen in the movie Dhrishyam that was remade in other Indian languages, but no actor compared with Mohanlal’s depiction of the protagonist.

He has received many national and state awards for his talent. A Padma Shri recipient, he won the national award four times, including two best actor awards. He has also won the Kerala State award nine times. The other awards on his mantle are Filmfare Awards, Star Screen Awards, Screen-Videocon Awards South, Film Express Award, Asiavision Movie Awards, IIFA Awards, Mathrubhumi Film Awards, Kerala Film Audience Council Awards, and Vanitha Film Awards.

Mohanlal made a mark on the global platform with Vanaprastham. Made in 1999 as an India–French-German co-production, the movie premiered in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ section of the 1999 Cannes Film Festival. The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the American Film Institute Los Angeles International Film Festival. IBN Live ranked the film ninth on its list of greatest Indian films of all time.

In 2014, the film was screened retrospective, during the 2014 International Film Festival of India, in the ‘Celebrating Dance in Indian Cinema’ section. Movies of this calibre, which is an artistic blend of great acting, technical excellence combined with realistically good story that shows the Indian society in its complexity, beauty and ugliness is not something that is often seen on the horizon of Indian cinema. Mohanlal won many accolades for his impeccable portrayal of the protagonist, a Kathakali dancer. It is his incomparable performance that makes this movie a must watch.

Mohanlal

Mohanlal is an actor who is always challenging himself. He goes through rigorous transformation to identify himself with the character he is playing. He gets ‘beneath the skin’ of the character and the wide spectrum of roles he enacts only goes to prove beyond doubt his versatility as an actor.

He is a classic example of exceptional talent trapped within the limits of regional cinema. He is not the typical macho six pack hero, but his colossal acting prowess makes up for any physical shortcomings he may have. He might not be the typical romantic guy, the angry young man or a style icon, but his eyes and his facial muscles can depict sorrow or evoke laughter from one’s core. He is an actor who can move from one extreme to the other with an ease that no other actor in India can. Mohanlal believes in good cinema, “If you want good cinema, you have to make good cinema. I do not believe in blaming others for the decline in the production of good films. Whenever I see a good script or hear a good idea, I produce that film. It’s as simple as that,” he says.

The supporting acts

M G SREEKUMAR (MGS): On a song
MG Sreekumar (MGS)

Veteran singer and music director M G Sreekumar (MGS), one of the finest singers of the Malayalam music industry, was born into a family of Carnatic musicians. His father, Malabar Gopalan Nair was a renowned singer. His older brother, the late M G Radhakrishnan, was an award-winning music director and Carnatic singer, and his elder sister Omanakutty is a classical music vocalist and the principal of Kerala Music Academy. He started his music career by accompanying his brother to Carnatic musical concerts.

MGS made his debut as a singer in 1988 with the Malayalam movie Coolie. In the same year he sang all the songs for the Mohanlal starrer, Chithram. He has sung more than 3,000 songs in Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and Telugu. Some of the movies he has worked as a music director are Chathurangam, Thandavam, Kanchivaram, Alexander The Great and Oru Naal Varum. He has often sung songs for Mohanlal, Dileep and Jayaram. This singer who enthralled he audience with songs has also acted in a short film.

With a music career that spans over two decades, MGS has won two National Awards apart from the various State awards. He has sung with Lata Mangeshwar, Asha Bhosle, Shreya Ghoshal, S Janaki, Sujatha Mohan, Dr K J Yesudas, S P Balasubramanian, Hariharan and other renowned singers. MGS carved a niche for himself in the annals of the music world at a very young age. A natural artist, he is gifted with a voice that is both resonant and mellifluous. His style is characterised by emotive musical expressions and a commendable purity of lyrical diction. MGS relishes in handling the toughest of the songs with admirable ease. Each syllable in the songs is distinctively brought out in his renditions, a talent that is seen in very few artists. He shows equal mastery and musical aesthetics while handing classical songs too.

In recent years he has been seen on Asianet TV anchoring SaReGaMa. He was also a judge for the reality show, Idea Star Singer. In 2012, he produced the Malayalam movie Ardhanaari, directed by Santhosh Souparnika and his second movie is Swaminadhan. MGS owns a music company named KMG Music.

MEERA NANDAN: The host with the most

Meera Nandan, one of the most talented actresses and anchors of the Malayalam film industry, made her first appearance before the camera in an advertisement for Mohanlal’s Taste Buds. She started her career as a TV host and soon became a success on the silver screen.

Meera made her acting debut in Malayalam playing the female lead in Lal Jose’s Mulla. She had that ‘girl next door look that he wanted in his heroine’. The role of Lachi, a “bold, smart and outgoing girl” that she played won her many accolades. She soon started working in Tamil and Telugu films too. She has sung the romantic number ‘Mazhayude Ormakal’ in the movie Silence.

Meera played the role of a tribal girl in Black Forest, which won the National Film Award for Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation. In the Telugu film Hitudu she is seen as a tribal woman in three different stages, as a 14-year-old, as a 23-year-old and as a 35-year-old.[14] She has also lent her voice for Taapsee’s character in the film Doubles. She was the host of Mohanlal’s TV show Lalsalaam. Meera Nandan is one of the very few multitalented stars of the Malayalam film industry, she is an actress, a singer, a dancer and a stage presenter all rolled into one!

PRAGAYA MARTIN: Ready to rock
Pragaya Martin

Pragaya Martin is the new sensation in Kerala after her recent blockbuster hits including Ram Leela and Rattappanayite Ritik Roshan. She is an actress and dancer who excels in stage performances. Pragaya garnered recognition as an actress after her performance in the Tamil film, Pisaasu. In 2016, she signed three Malayalam films. She has participated in several television shows, like Comedy Super Nights, Show Guru, J B Junction, and Malabar Masala to name but a few.

SREYA JAYADEEP
Sreya Jayadeep

In 2013, at the tender age of eight, Sreya Jayadeep rocked the music world when she won the Star Singer competition on Surya TV and in 2014 the Sun Singer on Sun TV. Sreya started her training in classical singing when she was just three years old. She made her debut in Malayalam films with Weeping Boy. In 2015, she had a breakthrough with the song ‘Enno Njan Ente’ from the film Amar Akbar Anthony. Her song ‘Minungum Minnaminuge’ in the film Oppam which was one of the most popular Malayalam songs of the year and gained her critical acclaim. Sreya considers music director M Jayachandran as her guru, according to whom she is as talented as Sujatha Mohan and Shreya Ghoshal. Sreya has sung in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada too. She was also the part of M Jayachandran’s Ormayil Oruvattam Koodi musical show created in memory of M B Srinivasan, who died in 1988.

G S VIJAYAN: All the world’s a stage
G S Vijayan

G S Vijayan is the director of the Mohanlal Show. He has directed eight movies, Charithram starring Mammotty being his debut film. Vijayan is the chairman of MACTA and is known as one of the most techno savvy directors in the Malayalam film industry. G S Vijayan has directed many multi-star stage shows for performances around the world and is known in the Malayalam film fraternity as the ‘Super Director’ of stage shows.

HAREESH PERUMANNA: Jokes 4 U
Hareesh Perumanna

Hareesh is a much-loved stand-up comedian and actor who started his journey as a mimicry artist. He has performed as part of many popular mimicry troupes like ‘Calicut Super Jokes’, ‘V4 Calicut’ to name a couple. He gained popularity through the character he portrayed in the reality show, Comedy Festival on Mazhavil Manorama. Hareesh won the Best Comedian Award for his brilliant portrayal of the character. He made his debut on the silver screen with the film, Ulsaha Committee.


For tickets and more details about the Mohanlal show in Sydney visit https://www.mohanlal.com.au or call Sathyaraj on 0412 211 627 or Vipin Das on 0470 293 581

 

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