I have to admit I have become a bigger fan of Mammootty in recent years than I used to be before. What amazes me is his phenomenal consistency as a performer across all these 38+ years and an undying determination to remain relevant, keep improvising.
How Mammootty has found ways to remain consistent over years- Read through pics
At age of 30, Mammootty wins state award for second best actor in Ahimsa. For someone who arrived late in industry than most other lead actors, this is the year perhaps where he marked the real start of his journey as an actor.
At age of 31, his act as a police officer in Yavanika perhaps changes the way Malayalam actors used to approach Police roles. He would then go onto play police roles of umpteen variations in years to come.
At age of 32, he plays the jealous captain Thomas in Padmarajan’s Koodevide showcasing his ability to play roles with negative shades with aplomb. He also starts the “Mammootty-kutty-petty” trend in numerous other movies
At age of 33, Mammootty wins his first state award for Best Actor in Adiyozhukkukal. His portrayal of a middle aged man in the romance, Kanamarayathu, is a personal favorite.
At age of 34, Mammootty has now almost refined his skills of bringing the audience to tears which we would be fortunate to witness in so many more years to come. Balu Mahendra’s Yathra is a heart-wrenching experience.
At age of 35, Mammootty’s ability to play rough angry characters with perfection is further noticed in Avanazhi, Arappatta Kettiya Gramathil and Kariyila Kattu Pole
At age of 36, he becomes superstar in New Delhi , making a stunning comeback from a series of flops with a big blockbuster. In Thaniyavarthanam, when he says “Ivide thekku, randu veedappurama, vaadakakka” it becomes a frame that would stay with us forever.
At age of 37, Mammootty makes Sethurama Iyer a household name through Oru CBI Diarykurippu. From an angry Balram to an extremely calm and composed Iyer, Mammootty just changes himself as a character needs.
At age of 38, Mammootty wins his first National award for Oru Vadakkan Veeragadha. This has to be one of the greatest performances ever in Malayalam. Period.
At age of 39, his portrayal of Soorya Narayana Iyer in Iyer the Great is a personal favorite. Kottayam Kunjachan might be one of his rare fine comedy performances those days, a genre he is not known for.
At age of 40, Mammootty stands tall to Rajnikanth and also walks away with few scenes in the hugely memorable portrayal of Devraj in Thalapathi.
At age of 41, Mammootty gives us a movie to remember forever when he walk to Suresh Gopi and says “Arokke paranjaalum Gopaa nee mathram parayaruthu njan ente mone snehichitilla ennu” in Pappayude Swantham Appoos. In the same year, he gives Kauravar, Johny Walker and Soorya Manasam too. Talk about versatility.
At age of 42, he gets another state award for Valsalyam. Well didn’t we already talk about his ability to bring us to tears. And Dhruvam still remains one of the biggest Mass movies in Malayalam Cinema.
At age of 43, he wins his second National award for Vidheyan and PonthanMada. The beauty of this win is how at two extreme ends of a spectrum these characters lie. One so unassuming. Another despising, ruthless and authoritarian !
At age of 44, he gives us The King. They used to say only Sivaji Ganesan perhaps comes above Mammootty when it comes to dialogue delivery. This movie is all about his that skill!
At age of 45, his portrayal of Sankar Das in Azhakiya Ravanan is a personal favorite. This movie did not work well at Boxoffice. But perhaps everyone loved the movie and performance over time.
At age of 49, Mammootty wins his third National award for Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar. Maybe I talked already a lot about his ability to become the character he plays ! When he says “Intha Pachakan Devathaye..” to Aishwarya Rai in Kandu Kondain Kandu Kondain in his inimitable style, it is one of my most revisited sequences.
At age of 53, Mammootty once again tears your hearts when he leaves Kochundapri in the camp, waves him bye for one last time and begs to the officer to give him any chance possible to take the boy back. He gets his fourth Best Actor state award and was a strong contender for National award before Saif Ali Khan won.
At age of 54, Mammootty reinvents himself in a way actors rarely do at this age to give a phenomenal comedy performance in Rajamanikyam. How he switches gears from comic to serious to emotional so swiftly through this entire movie and the energy that he exhibits at that age – both still astonishes me. Its also time now to talk of his inimitable skill to flawlessly dub in any dialect in Kerala or most other languages !
At age of 56, Mammootty portrays the mass character of Big B in a completely different way than he has done before. His last speech in Katha Parayumbol still makes me end me in tears even though I know the plot completely. Its perhaps things that only he can do.
At age of 58, Mammootty wins his fifth state award for Paleri Manikyam. He returns to his skill to be so effective when ruthless and despising on screen and shows us he is as good as before.
At age of 59, Mammootty gives a performance that is one of my top 5 favorites of his. He handles the comedy in Pranchiyettan with such restraint and he updates his body language and mannerisms from top to bottom for Pranchi in a way so distinct from the 400+ movies he has done. And we already talked about his skill to nail any dialect in any part of Kerala like he has spoken it for his entire life !
At age of 63, Mammootty doesn’t give you anything away on what runs in the mind of the mysterious “CK Raghavan” in Munnariyippu. Maybe he has started doing that from Pranchiyettan, but in Munnariyippu, I notice that Mammooty is becoming more restrained and subtle in his performances.
At age of 64, Mammootty may have brought us to tears again by keeping a smile through his interview speech in the climax of Pathemari. In this movie, he doesn’t really breakdown or cry loud in his signature style. His subtle change in expressions instead moves you if you or anyone in your family had liven the life of an expat like Pallikkal Narayan.
At age of 66, Mammootty is superb when he passes through the emotions of father of a girl who has been raped in The Great Father. This movie if had been handled more delicately with less slow motion walks in second half deserved to be lot better than it is today.
At age of 68, Mammootty plays the father of a girl with celebral palsy with amazing brilliance in Peranbu that I still feel he should have been one of the winners of that year’s National Awards. In Unda, when he says “Kshamicherada Uvve”, you can see an actor who is looking for variations to deliver a scene or a dialogue and still have that same old impact on you.
Lucifer and its frames
Follow me on Twitter: