Thursday, December 20, 2007


Vying for top spot this fesival season

The Malayalam film industry gears up for the festival season with four new releases, Flash, Kadha Parayumbol, Kangaroo and Romeo. KK Moidu writes

The festive season, Christmas and New Year, coincides with Eid Al Adha this year and frontliners Mohanlal, Mammootty, Prithviraj and Dileep have new releases for their fans. The last season of the year is one of the best times for new releases, not only in time for the celebrations, but also for the two-week holiday in Kerala.
Director Sibi Malayil and Mohanlal team up after an interval of seven years in Flash. Fans of the superstar have high expectations of the psychological thriller scripted by journalist S Bhasura Chandran. Recording artist Gopi Sundar makes his debut as the music director.
Of Notebook fame, Parvathy plays Dhwani, an obstinate rich girl, born and brought up in Chennai. She is the sole heir of the wealthy Kalarithodi family but has little knowledge about her relatives or her state, Kerala.
After the death of her mother, Dhwani returns to her ancestral home in Kerala. She is welcomed with immense love and affection by her grandfather because of the long years of separation. Mithun Madhavan (Mohanlal), a Mumbai-based IT businessman's entry in her life changes everything.
Jagathy Sreekumar plays an important role in the film as Idea Sasi, a close friend of Mithun. Sasi always has ideas, which are always impractical. Tamil actor Ponvannan, Indrajith, Sai Kumar, Jagadheesh, Siddique, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Bijukuttan, Vineeth Sreekumar, Shamna Kasim etc. are the other artistes in the film.
The movie, filmed at Kannoor, Kanjangad, Kozhikode and Changanassery is cinematographed by Sajan Kulathil.
The classic makers Lal and Sibi have earlier created superhits like Kireedom, Maayamayooram, Bharatham, Kamaladalam, His Highness Abdulla etc.
Will Mohanlal bring back his glorious success in his reunion with Sibi Malayil in Flash?
Lal's pairing opposite Parvathy in Flash will be another record for the highest paid actor of Malayalam cinema. The fifty-plus actor is playing the hero opposite an 18-year old Parvathy this time! This is the biggest ever age gap for the actor in his more than two-and-a-half decades long career.
The actor has worked on his appearance and lost weight to romance the young heroine in the thorough entertainer. The first half of the film is comedy and romance and the second half gives importance to suspense and action.
The success of the film will be a relief for the superstar Mohanlal who is going through a series of flops. Starting with Alibhai, even his latest film Rock N Roll, directed by Renjith, failed at the box office.
According to reports, success or failure will not affect the superstar's career for a couple of years because his hands are full with offers with a group of heroines.
Mohanlal earlier created news by appearing with eight heroines in his forthcoming film Casanova. Other leading directors like Sathyan Anthikkad also cast him opposite four heroines a new release. The upcoming film Kaarthika Thirunaal Kaarthikeyan will also feature him with leading heroines Parvathy Milton, Padmapriya, Namitha and Shwetha Menon. He paired with three ladies Shwetha Menon, Padmapriya and Lakshmy Gopalaswamy in Pardesi.
Kadha Parayumbol
M Mohanan, an assistant of Sathyan Anthikkad, makes his directorial debut in Kadha Parayumbol with Mammootty. He plays the role of Ashok Raj, a film superstar, scripted by Sreenivasan.
Sreenivasan is also playing a full length character in the film. Mukesh not only plays an important role in the film but also produces the film under the banner of Lumiere films.
The movie tells the story of a rare friendship between Balan (Sreenivasan), a barber in a village and a reigning superstar Ashok Raj. They are childhood friends and studied in the same school.
Balan becomes a luminary in the village because of his unusual companionship with Ashok Raj. Villagers are ready to do anything for Balan and his family. He climbs the ladder of success within no time, but Balan does not disclose his closeness to the superstar.
The arrival of Ashok Raj in Melukaavu Village for the shooting of a film becomes a trial by fire for Balan. Will the superstar recognise his childhood campanion? Will people get to know their intimacy?
Innocent appears as Ashok Raj's personal assistant cum chef in the film. Mukesh plays a parallel college teacher role. Meena is barber Balan's wife, who makes a living by selling goat's milk.
Other artistes in the comedy entertainer are Jagadeesh, Salim Kumar, Jagathy, KPAC Lalitha, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Sadiq and Mamukkoya. M Jayachandran tunes for the lyrics of Anil Panachooran and Gireesh Puthencherry.
Will Mammootty create another hit with a debutante director? He could as he has tasted success earlier with debutante directors Joemon, Blessy, Amal Neerad, Anwar Rasheed, Lal Jose etc.
Prithviraj, who is delivering hit after hit in Tamil, has repeated his success on home turf in the recently released Chocolate. His new release Kangaroo will add to his prestige to keep his star status.
Kavya Madhavan is his love interest in the film. Other artistes are Jayasoorya and Kaveri.
Prithviraj plays the role of an auto driver for the first time. In the film, he always carries a baby which he found on the street everywhere with him. Although Josekutty was born in a rich family, he is almost like an orphan and has grown up as an ordinary person.
The film, produced by Isabella Movie Tone, is directed by Raj Babu. Other cast members are Jagathy, Salim Kumar, Bindu Panicker, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Lalu Alex and Sukumari.
Whenever any south Indian superstar played an auto driver's role, the movies were superhits like Basha starring Tamil superstar Rajnikanth and Aye Auto with Mohanlal.
Another possibility of a box office victory for Kangaroo is his partnership with Jayasurya. These young actors earlier appearance in Swapnakoodu, Classmates and the recently released Chocolate were big hits. Will the auto driver role in Kangaroo take the young hero to new heights?
Superstar Dileep, who did not have a release in the last five months, is returning as a male nurse in Romeo. Like Mohanlal, Dileep also has three heroines in the film, Vimala Raman, Samvrutha Sunil and Shruthi Lekshmy. This is Dileep's first appearance with Vimala Raman.
Romeo is directed by 90s hit maker Rajasenan and is produced and scripted by the super hit team of the year Rafi-Mecartin.
Rafi-Mecartin became a successful script writing duo in Aniyan Bhava Chettan Bhava directed by Rajasenan, which released one-and-a-half decades ago. In Romeo, the duo returns as the producer with their mentor Rajasenan, who is going through a bad phase in his career.
Romeo also reunites Rajasenan and Dileep after Darling Darling. The humorous entertainer is centered on Manu (Dileep), son of a junior film artist. Manu is a male nurse in a reputed hospital. He loves music and girls. He has a special attachment with doctor Priya (Vimala Raman), who works in the same hospital.
Manu is in love with Leena (Samvrutha Sunil), the star contestant in the music reality show on television. His love for music forces him to study classical music and that makes way for a new female fan (Shruthy Lakshmy). The film tells the story of Manu's varied experiences in life with music, love and women.
Other important roles are played by Bheeman Raghu, Ashokan, TP Madhavan, Cochin Haneefa, Mallika Sukumaran and Bindu Panicker.
Alex Paul-Vayalar Sharath team handles the music department of the film and it is cinematographed by KP Nambiathiry.
Dileep's last release was July 4 and it was not a box office hit. The delay of Calcutta News directed by Blessy created a long gap for a new release in Dileep's career.
Romeo was opened in 45 centres in Kerala on Dec.14. The film is enjoying a wave of success with satirical comedy sequences.
Will Romeo continue the lead after the release of other superstar films? Will Mohanlal's Flash with Sibi Malayil bring back their earlier success? Will Mammootty's debutante director formula create box office wonder? Will Prithviraj repeat his Chocolate success in Kangaroo?
Among the last Eid Al Fitr releases Chocolate, Nasrani, Pardesi and Black Cat, the Prithviraj starrer Chocolate turned out to be the biggest box office hit. Mammootty's Nasrani is also doing well at the box office. Mohanlal's Pardesi and Suresh Gopi's Black Cat bombed at the box office.
Who will be the winner in this festival season? It remains to be seen as each film promises to be a hit.

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