‘How is your experience of working with Mammootty different from that of Mohanlal’, ‘ How do you compare Mohanlal and Mammootty as actors’.These are questions that any of their colleagues ,actors or directors, cant escape from in their interviews. We have heard a lot different types of comparisons made on their careers, acting styles and roles they take up but one that really struck me is when director Kamal recently called Mohanlal a ‘director’s actor ‘and Mammootty a ‘Writer’s actor’.
A close comparison of both these actors’ fabulous careers prove that this statement makes a lot of sense. Mohanlal had brought out his best whenever he had worked with more accomplished directors .There are plenty of great instances to support this that include his classics with Padmarjan, Sathyan Anthikad, Priyadarshan, Sibi Malayil from the 80’s and 90’s to the recent Drishyam where he united with one of the best directors of this generation – Jeethu Joseph.
What is further more interesting is even if its Padmarjan ( Koodevide, Arapetta Kettiya Gramathil, Thinkalazcha Nalla Divasam) or Sibi Malayil-Lohithadas team ( Thaniyavarthanam) , they have first started off with Mammootty before they started teaming up with Mohanlal. Thereafter when they preferred to have a continuous collaboration with Mohanlal , Mammootty never complained. He gladly made way for them but he never stopped making best movies for himself too . What made Mammootty achieve this though was his amazing ability to discover new talented directors .
If a newcomer had approached Mammootty with exciting scripts, history shows that Mammootty had been able to covert them all to great movies too. Lal Jose, Blessy, Amal Neerad, Anwar Rasheed, Aashiq Abu are all among our top directors today. All these directors’ movies are awaited with great expectations by the audience. They all have one more thing in common. When they made their debuts, Mammootty was their lead actor. Here is a list of directors whose careers Mammotty had given great starts to.
Lohithadas (Bhoothakannadi) – Lohithadas made a grand entry to Malayalam Cinema as a script writer in Mammootty’s Thaniyavarthanam which won him his first Kerala State Award. After teaming up with Sibi Malayil to give us some of the most heart wrenching Malayalam movies of all time, when Lohithadas decided to make debut as a director , it was once again with Mammootty. Lohithadas perhaps never found much success as a director as he did as a writer but his terrific directorial debut fetched him 1997’s National award for the best first film of a director.
Lal Jose (Maravathoor Kanavu) – One of the most respected directors from this generation, Lal Jose will always have an important place in Malayalam Cinema for giving us Classmates and Meesha Madhavan. If given stunning scripts, Lal Jose can amaze you like he had done in Arabikadha , Diamond Necklace and the recent Ayalum Njanum Thammil. Sixteen years back , this talent was spotted by none other than Mammootty when his debut movie Maravathoor Kanavu was a huge success at box office and was a refreshing entertainer from what we saw those days.
Blessy(Kaazcha) – Until Drishyam, Blessy had been only one director in the last decade to consistently churn out the best from Mohanlal through his Thanmathra, Bhramaram and Pranayam. Blessy’s debut movie, Kaazhcha though was with Mammootty and remains my favorite work from him. I still remember how I could not think of anything else for long time after leaving the theater watching Mammootty painfully walk away dropping the kid at Gujarat Camp. Mammootty once again introduced to us a hugely talented director and the actor also won a state award himself for his heartfelt performance.
Amal Neerad (Big B) – When Mammootty introduced Bollywood cinematographer Amal Neerad to Malayalam in Big B, it created quite a sensation among the youth in Kerala. Mammootty was 57 when he did Bilal but his slow motion walks and dead pan dialogue delivery style ( the most popular one being ‘ Bilal pazhaya Bilal thanne’) made the youngsters of the state go frenzy. Amal Neerad’s projects are still awaited with a lot of hype today but it remains a fact none of his other movies had been able to match up to Big B.
Aashiq Abu ( Daddy Cool) – Aashiq Abu brings on something unique in all his movies. If his Salt and Pepper had a refreshing treatment , 22 Female Kottayam was daring and bold.Before all this , he started off with Mammootty too when he told the story about a super cool carefree father in ‘Daddy Cool’ . Aashiq Abu is currently rated a lot high among the new generation directors , the huge response to his Gangster’s first look posters where he re-unites with the mega star being a great proof to the same.
Martin Prakkat ( Best Actor) – Another talented actor and another great discovery by Mammootty. Mammootty was already on a roll after Pranchiyettan and the Saint’s success when Best Actor released in 2010 and it gave him further reason to rejoice. To blend an interesting story with entertainment and to make sure your audience leave the halls with a little surprise and a pleasant smile – All these are not easy, but Martin Prakkat had achieved the same in two of his movies so far – Best Actor and ABCD.
Vysakh (Pokkiri Raja) – Vysakh knows pretty well how to play to the gallery and how to create electrifying moments. Any other young director would have clearly failed to turn poor scripts like Mallu Singh and Sound Thoma to hits. Incidentally Vysakh too made his debut with a Mammootty movie , Pokkiri Raja when he created a mass entertainer giving ample space for both his stars to have a blast on screen
Lingusamy (Aanandham) – Interestingly its not only in Malayalam where Mammootty had facilitated the start of some great director’s careers. Lingusamy is today known for his Tamil action movies – Run, Sandakozhi and Paiyya. But before moving to action movies, he made his debut with Mammootty in this beautiful family drama named Aanandham where Mammootty played the loving big brother , a role which had almost been a cakewalk for the actor after portraying such roles so many times successfully in Malayalam.