Director Lal Jose has never disappointed the Malayalam movie lovers ever since his debut. Except for twice – with films like “Pattaalam” and “Mulla” – his movies are widely accepted by the Malayalee audience. His movies are mostly set to the backdrop of a typical Kerala village and both the story and camera capture the essence and beauty of the place. The song sequence in Lal Jose movies are a visual treat and he doesn’t go out to Singapore or Switzerland to shoot for a song, yet captures the breath-taking beauty of the ordinary places/villages. His latest (though I am yet to watch it) is one of the 10 short films in the movie “Kerala Cafe” which is already a hit with Mammootty and Srinivasan doing the lead roles.

“Neelathaamara” is one of the year’s much awaited Malayalam film. Lal Jose teams up with writer M T Vasudevan Nair to do a remake of an old Malayalam film. And Malayalees have huge expectation over the film as two magicians (MT and Lal Jose) join hands for this film. The movie is taken in a very low budget. I just saw/heard one song and it has such stunning visuals. I don’t have much to praise the song though. The tune somewhat reminds us of the old popular Malayalam hit songs composed by Vidyasagar himself (what is it with music directors these days recycling the old wine?). The song reminds me too much of Vidyasagar’s early (Lal Jose film) hit “Karimizhi kuruviye kandilla”. And though it is my sweetheart Shreya Ghoshal [;-)] singing the song, the pronunciation at places were bumpy in the song. “nirayum” for “niRayum” for example. Shreya is usually so keen on the pronunciation part and has sung even much more difficult Malayalam song lines with ease (“Vida Parayukayaano” and “Chaanthu Thottille” for example), so I would blame it on the people who were in the studio for this mistake. Another bumpy thing was the over stress at “ka” in the word “akale” by the male singer. But generally it is a good melodious tune, but nothing new.

So here is “Anuraaga Vilochananaayi” mostly for the visual treat it offers. And do check out Lal Jose’s blog.

Looking Back to 2008: Mammootty & Mohan Lal

[Today’s is a guest post by K K Moidu].
A look at the career graph of Mammootty and Mohanlal and their dominance at the box office. At the end of 2008, front line Malayalam superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal had reason to be happy — they remained in the top slot. Their box office successes with super hit films and success guaranteed projects in their hands show their strong presence in the industry.


He started 2008 with the hit film Roudram by playing a cop for the 25th time in his career. His double role in Anwar Rasheed’s superhit Annan Thampi was one of the biggest superhits of the year. Other films of Mammootty like Parunthu and Maya Bazaar didn’t do well at the box office. But the actor, who started the year by playing a cop ended it by shining in a lawyer’s role in the magnum opus Twenty 20.

Compared to the seven releases in 2007, Mammootty had only five films last year including Twenty 20. In 2007 the actor had two offbeat films like Ore Kadal and Kaiyoppu, which has screened in various film festivals and won few awards. But this year the actor didn’t have an art film.

The biggest achievement of the actor last year is not the released films, but his completed projects like Pazhassi Raja and Kuttishranku. The epic movie Pazhassi Raja, made on a big budget, reunites the literary genius MT Vasudevan Nair and Mammootty. The film, directed by Hariharan, also stars senior Tamil hero Sarath Kumar and veteran Ilayaraja scores music. Like Pazhassi Raja, Mammootty is playing a rare role in Kuttishranku directed by National Award winning director Shaji N Karun. Both the movies have a chance of benefiting him by winning accolades at the national and international levels.

Mammootty has already completed the shooting of few commercial entertainers and the first release of 2009 will be Love in Bangkok directed by Rafi-Mecartin. Telugu heroine Navneet Kaur is making her Malayalam debut as his love interest. His bilingual film Vandemataram titled in Tamil as Aruvadai has only few scenes left for completion. Tamil action hero Arjun plays an important role in the film. Mammootty romances Sneha and their pairing in Thuruppugulan was a hit at the box office.

According to reports, three times national award winners Mammootty and Kamal Hassan are expected to team up in a forthcoming film in different South Indian languages. The film will be a remake of Bollywood offbeat hit A Wednesday. If Kamal succeeds in buying the rights of the Hindi movie, he himself will act in the role of Naseerudheen Shah and Mammootty will once again fit the cops cap as a police officer, which was enacted by Anupam Kher in the original.

Mammootty will play the lead in director Jayaraj’s forthcoming film scripted by Renjith. The ace director’s earlier movie Johny Walker with Mammootty in the lead, released one-and-a-half decades earlier, was also scripted by Renjith. In the forthcoming film Thaappana, which means an elephant used to train wild elephants, Mammootty plays the proud owner of a famous elephant. The film will be the next directorial venture of Akku Akbar, after his runaway hit Veruthe Oru Bharya. It will also feature the elephant owned by actor Jayaram featured earlier in Rappakal.

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