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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mohanlal's Biography, From Thiranottam to Bhramaram

Mohanlal --> "Villian" in 1980,But Today he is the King of Kerala Box Office

Mohanlal Viswanathan Nair (born May 21, 1960), is a four time National award winning Indian actor, producer, who works in Malayalam films, a part of Indian Cinema. He is one of the most popular actors in the Indian state of Kerala. He is noted for his versatility, effortless acting, unique body language and for his association with some of the best Malayalam directors and screenwriters. He was awarded the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian honours in India, by the Indian Government in 2001.

Mohanlal became immensely popular in Kerala during the mid 80's in light hearted roles with his easy and natural acting style. The late 80's and the early 90's, known as the Golden Age of Malayalam cinema, produced some of the most creative and diverse Malayalam movies and enabled Mohanlal establish himself as one of the most talented actors in the country. He is critically acclaimed for his ability to get into the character's skin and portray their inner feelings and turmoils within a limited time-frame.

Early life (1960-1980)

Mohanlal was born in Elanthur in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala State (India), to father Vishwanathan Nair, an advocate, and mother Santhakumari and later shifted to Mudavanmugal in Thiruvananthapuram. He attended the local school in Mudavanmugal and later enrolled into the Model School, Thiruvananthapuram(Trivandrum). An average student at school, he started his association with the world of acting very early, when he used to participate in school-plays. In the sixth grade, young Mohanlal was chosen the best actor in school, an award that was usually bagged by tenth graders.

After schooling, he went to Mahatma Gandhi College, Thiruvananthapuram for his Bachelor's in Commerce, but failed to complete it. During this time he continued to act in college productions and won best actor awards. He made friends with a group of fellow-students, who were passionate about theatre and feature films. They were instrumental in getting him his first breakthrough and some of them, notably Priyadarshan and Raju, went on to become popular movie directors and actors.

Early years (1980-1985)
His introduction to movies was automatic, when his friends combined to establish a movie company, Bharath Cine Group and began shooting a film titled Thiranottam. Mohanlal was given a small comic role. The film ran into trouble with the Censor Board and was never released.

His first breakthrough came in 1978, at the age of 20, when a Malayalam production house Navodaya wanted to make a film with new artistes in leading roles. Mohanlal's friends sent his photographs to Navodya productions. He was auditioned and selected for the role of Narendran, the antagonist, in Manjil Virinja Pookkal.

He had no dearth of opportunities after this and he played roles of gradually increasing importance in a number of movies in the following years. In the year 1983, he is credited in more than 25 feature films. Uyarangalil, a story of cheating and deception, written by noted script-writer M.T.Vasudevan Nairand directed by I.V.Sasi was a highlight of this period of his career. He then expanded into comic roles in his director-friend and college mate Priyadarshan's debut Poochakkoru Mookkuthi.

mohanlal in

Golden Period (1986-1995)

Mohanlal in his National Award winning role as Sethumadhavan in Kireedam(1989 film)
Malayalam cinema was entering its golden age at this time with films characterised by detailed screenplays, lucid narration and fresh ideas that narrowed the gap between art cinema and commercial cinema. As a young talent on the rise, Mohanlal obtained roles that gave him ample scope to display a wide range of emotions and started some very fruitful associations with some of the best directors and writers in Malayalam cinema.

The year 1986 was one of his best years. Sathyan Anthikad's T.P.Balagopalan M.A got him the first Kerala State award for best actor. His role of a underworld don in Rajavinte Makan saw the emergence of Mohanlal as one of the two leading stars in Malayalam cinema along with the other popular Malayalam actor, Mammootty. In the same year, he played an asylum inmate in Thalavattom, a harassed house-owner in Sanmanassu Ullavarku Samadhanam, a journalist in M.T.Vasudevan Nair's Panchagni, a farm owner in love in Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal and a Nepali Goorkha in Gandhi Nagar 2nd street.

His association with the writer-director combination of Sreenivasan and Sathyan Anthikkad, who excelled in making socially hard-hitting satires, resulted in films such as Varavelpu, in which he played a Gulf returnee who is welcomed back home to greedy relatives and a state with a hostile climate for entrepreneurs. Director Priyadarshan's musical comedies, notably Chithram had him playing the typical Indian romantic hero and increased his popularity among the teenage movie-goers.

mohanlal in BABA KALYANI

Mohanlal portrayed a real-life character in Devasuram (1993)directed by I.V.Sasi and the film went on to become a hit and a cult classic
At his peak, he portrayed some of the best author backed roles in Malayalam cinema in movies written by Padmarajan and M.T. Vasudevan Nair. Thoovanathumbikal in which he portrayed a person torn between his twin love interests, broke many stereotypes in Indian films such as the leading man falling in love with a second woman immediately after he is rejected by the first. Amrithamgamaya was about a man who ends up at the house of a boy whom he had unknowingly killed in college during a ragging session.

The combination of writer Lohithadas and director Sibi Malayil is considered to have produced some of his most haunting roles. His role of Sethu Madhavan, who dreams of becoming a police officer but ends up as a criminal in the film Kireedam became a classic tragedy in Indian cinema. It got him the Special Jury award at the annual National awards. Another role of a classical singer who is burdened by the jealousy and final death of his singer brother in Bharatham helped him bag the Best actor award at the same awards next year.

Mohanlal in Manichithrathazhu (1993) sharing screen space with Suresh Gopi

The 90s saw him continuing his success with more entertainers like His Highness Abdullah, where he played a Muslim disguised as a Nambodiri brahmin to assassinate a king. His other notable commercial movies during this period such as Midhunam, Minnaram, Thenmavin kombath continued the tradition of the 80s with neat well-written scripts and a rich set of characters. Devasuram, written by Ranjith and directed by I.V.Sasi was particularly noted for Mohanlal's portrayal of a proud, rich and brash young man who is slowly humbled by a chain of events. Director Bhadran's Sphadikam became a cult classic for the revolutionary way in which the stunts were picturised. Critically acclaimed films were fewer in number during this time and were mostly semi-entertainers like Manichitrathazhu, which had the female lead Shobhana bagging a National award for best actor.

mohanlal in NARAN

Later years (1996-Present)
During the later period of his career, film makers cashed in on the immense popularity that Mohanlal enjoyed in Kerala by portraying him as an invincible larger-than-life hero in movies. Movies like Aaram Thamburan, Ustad, Narasimham, Praja, Naran used his superstar image. After their initial novelty, these films faced criticism from most quarters over their lack of realism and for creating movies around Mohanlal. Priyadarshan's Kalapani, an account of India's freedom struggle against the British that focussed on the Cellular prisons of Andaman islands and Lohithadas's Kanmadam were some of his notable films during the late 90's.

mohanlal in IRUVAR

Aishwarya Rai debuted in Iruvar with Mohanlal
It was at this time that Mohanlal started getting noticed outside the Malayalam speaking world. He acted in his first non-Malayalam movie when popular director Mani Ratnam roped him in for the Tamil film Iruvar. It had Mohanlal playing MGR, a cult figure of the neighbouring Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The Indo-French production, Vaanaprastham, in which he played the role of a Kathakali dance artist with an identity crisis, won him the second National award for Best actor and was the first film that got him international recognition. The film was selected for the competitive section at the Cannes film festival and his performance was critically acclaimed.

Other Milestones

In 2002, Mohanlal acted in his first Bollywood movie, Company, which introduced him to the wider Hindi speaking audience in India. In 2006, the critically acclaimed Malayalam movie, Thanmathra (translated as molecule), won him the Kerala state award for best actor for portraying a person affected by Alzheimer's disease. His second Bollywood movie Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, which is the remake of the 1975 blockbuster movie Sholay was released in August 2007. Many see this movie as a forgettable episode to Mohanlal's illustrious career, in which he appears strained and struggles with his Hindi dialogues. He did the role of Inspector Narasimha, which was portrayed by Sanjeev Kumar in the Original Movie.


Mohanlal in Chithram, which made him immensley popular in Kerala . A number of factors combined to make Mohanlal immensely popular in Kerala. The kind of roles that he enacted, his easy natural way of acting and chubby innocent looks endeared him to the public and he came to be considered as just another member in many Keralite households. This was reflected in his being widely popular and affectionately called as "Lalu" or "Lalettan".
But, like other Malayalam films during this period, Mohanlal's movies, though strong in story, screenplay and direction, were low budget movies that were not intended to be viewed outside Kerala. The content was highly local and the movies had relatively weak production values when compared to the other popular Indian movies with the result that Mohanlal and many of his films were not known to the ordinary people outside Kerala or the Malayalam speaking world


mohanlal in NARASIMHAM

Like most other Indian stars, Mohanlal's acting career does not have a theatre background. However he has acted in a few plays. He debuted on the stage as Karna (a character in the Indian epic Mahabharata) in Karnabharam, a Sanskrit play that was premiered in New Delhi as part of the National Theatre Festival. The play depicts Karna's mental agony a day before the Kurukshetra war, when he thinks about his past and his faith[citation needed].

Kadhayattam, was a presentation enacted by MohanLal, depicting 10 unforgettable characters and situations selected from Malayalam literature. He has said that it is his offering to his mother tongue. The presentation is a fusion of stage acting, movie expression, sound and lighting techniques and music, conceived by film director T.K. Rajeev Kumar


Attitude towards career

Mohanlal comes across as a remarkably laidback and philosophical person in his interviews. He chooses his movies and plays largely based on instinct and likes to let things happen.

"Nothing was planned in my life. It just happened."

"Somebody is helping me from somewhere. Somebody has planned things for me. Some power is looking after me."

"No, I had no strong ambition to act in films. Only those who had this burning desire to act in films, and who had to struggle hard to get a break in films would have experiences to recollect. My life wasn't like that at all."

He prefers and enjoys working in the Malayalam industry with a close group of people whom he has known from his early career. Many of his best school-college mates are with him in the film industry. These include director Priyadarshan, singer M. G. Sreekumar, actor Raju and producer Suresh Kumar.

"We are all still a part of the industry; still the same. All of us grew together. Even now, when we are shooting a film, we feel we are still the same college students! We still enjoy when we shoot a film. It is like a picnic for all of us, even now." He is uncomfortable working in other languages and attributes it to his lack of command over the intricacies of those languages.

Mohanlal in his 2007 blockbuster comedy film Hallo. It breaks all the collection records of Malayalam films within 40 days.

Mohanlal is not known to plan or prepare extensively for his roles and is not considered a method actor. Director Priyadarshan's words about Mohanlal summarize his acting style
"He never prepares for any role or scene. He is not bothered how he looks or what he does. Once the camera is on, he is a transformed person. As he does only one film at a time, he knows everything about the film, nothing more." He also recollects what ManiRatnam told him about Mohanlal "Hereafter, I will never work with a man of whom I am a fan. I often forgot to say 'Cut' in Iruvar."

Many of his directors agree that he is a spontaneous actor who has the ability to express and convey what the director wants, very fast and convincingly and is able to brilliantly portray inner feelings and turmoils of the characters that he plays. We would certainly appreciate his ability to handle different roles. Does not matter if its comedy or charecter role. Anything and everything is possible if lalettan is infront of the camera.

In 2007 he faced criticism from prohibition activists in Kerala for appearing in advertisements that were against the spirit of an Indian law which bans direct liquor advertisements. Brewers used different methods to get around the ban, sometimes promoting non-alcoholic drinks with near-identical labels to the alcoholic ones.

We would certainly appreciate his ability to handle different roles. Does not matter if its comedy or charecter role. Anything and everything is possible if lalettan is infront of the camera. Jaison
Personal life.He is an avid collector of paintings and antiques and has a private art gallery at his home. He married Suchitra, daughter of veteran Tamil actor-producer K. Balaji, on 28 April 1988. He has two children Pranav and Vismaya. He is currently settled in Chennai. Both his father Viswanathan Nair and brother PyareLal have expired.

mohanlal in BHRAMARAM

Bhramaram is the latest movie from the superstar Mohanlal. In the movie he is doing the role of a High range Jeep driver. The movie is directed by Blessy.
Bhoomika chawla one of the popular south indian actress is the heroine of our lalettan in this movie. Other casts of the movie include suresh menon,Lakshmi Gopalaswami,Muraleekrishnan etc..

Awards and achievements

Mohanlal was awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian Government in 2001. He was recently elected as the Most Popular Keralite by the survey conducted by CNN - IBN related to the Silver Jubilee of Kerala formation in 2006.
National Film Awards
  • 1989 Jury's Special Mention - Kireedam
  • 1991 Best Actor - Bharatham
  • 1999 Best Actor - Vaanaprastham
  • 1999 Best Film ( Producer ) - Vaanaprastham
Kerala State Film Awards
  • 1986 Best Actor - T .P. Balagopalan M.A.
  • 1988 Actor (Special Award) - Padha Mudhra, Chitram, Utsavappittennu, Aryan and Vellanakalude Nadu
  • 1991 Best Actor - Ulladakkam, Kilukkam, Abhimanyu
  • 1991 Best Second Film - Bharatham (Producer)
  • 1995 Best Actor - Kalapani, Spadikam
  • 1995 Best Second Film - Kalapani (Producer)
  • 1999 Best Actor - Vaanaprastham
  • 2005 Best Actor - Thanmatra
International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA)
  • 2002 Best supporting Actor - Company
Other awards
Star Screen Awards of Bollywood
  • 2002 Best supporting Actor - Company
Film Fare Awards
  • 1986 Sanmasullavarkku Samadhaanam
  • 1988 Padamudra
  • 1993 Devasuram
  • 1994 Pavitram
  • 1995 Sphadikam
  • 1999 Vaanaprastham
  • 2005 Thanmathra
Asianet Film Awards
  • 1999 Vanaprastham
  • 2000 Narasimham (Best Film Producer)
  • 2003 Balettan
  • 2005 Thanmathra, Udayananu Tharam
  • 2006 Kirtichakra.........
Vanitha - Manorama Film Awards
  • 2003 Balettan (Started)
  • 2005 Thanmathra,
Kerala Film Audience Council Award
  • 2003 Balettan
  • 2004 Vismayathumbathu, Mambazhakkalam
  • 2005 Thanmathra
Other awards
  • 1988 Critics Award (Chitram and Padamadura)
  • 1991 Critics Award (Bharatam and Ulladakkam)
  • 1999 Prem Nazeer Award
  • 1999 Mathrubhumi-Medimix Award
  • 1999 Critics Award (Vanaprastham)
  • 2000 Mother Teresa Award
  • 2000 M. G. Soman Award
  • 2001 Natana Ratna Award - Film Critics
  • 2001 First Most Popular Actor Award
  • 2002 Film Express Award (Karnataka State Government)
  • 2003 Chalachitra Ratna Award
  • 2003 Mathrubhumi-Medimix Award
  • 2003 Indian Medical Association Award
  • 2005 Kala Keralam Award
  • 2005 J. C. Foundation Award
  • 2005 National Film Academy Award
  • 2005 Popular Star Film Critics Award
  • 2006 Amritha best actor
  • 2006 Jeevan TV best actor
This year Mohanlal is honoured by the Indian Military Force by giving him the Lt.Colonel rank. He has been commissioned in the Territorial Army (TA), a citizen's force of the Indian army.

Growth from 1 to......
Mohanlal, our lalettan is the king of Box-Offices..No other actor in malayalam film industry can dream about the intial collection got for lalettan's films.if you have any doubt just look at Sagar Alias Jacky Collection report.

Never Ends..

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  1. Mohanlal,he is the king of Indian film industry

  2. lalettante munpil mammooty verum puzhuvanu. malaylathil ethu vare lalettante athrayum hitukal nalkan mammootty kazhijittilla. mega serial jwalyayi produce cheythathu kondu megastar avilla megastar orikkalum universal starinu mukalil alla.......

  3. lalettan kii jaaaaaaaaaayy
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)


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