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Novel in TOP 5 list only because of lack of competition

Novel - This was considered to be a boon for actor Jayaram to revive his fortunes in Malayalam cinema. But the film, co-starring Tamil actress Sada and directed by debutant Vijayan, has been rejected by the audience. It is here by default, for lack of competition.

Toonz animation movie released in the US

Dragonlance, a movie made by Toonz Animation that is headquartered at the Technopark here, was released in the US Tuesday.

Malayalam films need marketing professionals: Nedumudi Venu

Sada refused to comment when asked if Malayalam superstars are ageing. Veteran Malayalam actor Nedumudi Venu Saturday warned the Kerala film industry that it was in dire need of marketing professionals.

Mammootty, Mohanlal bag Asianet awards

Rival film stars Mammootty and Mohanlal have bagged this year's Ujala-Asianet film awards presented by a private television channel in Kerala. Popular actress Meera Jasmine won the Best Actress award for her roles in Orae Kadal and Vinodhayatra

'Kadha Parayumbol' leads Malayalam pack

Of The People - Director Jayaraj makes yet another sequel to his 4 the People with a bunch of newcomers. But it doesn't have the magic of its prequel and enters the list by default.

'Killi Chundan' the catchiest Malayalam song

Killi Chundan - Film: Romeo; Music: Alex Paul; Lyrics: Sarath Varma. Dileep always makes an effort to make his films wholesome entertainers. So good music is guaranteed, whether the plot demands it or not.

13-year-old to compose music for Malayalam film

A Class IX student from Kerala dons the mantle of music director this week. Plavila Police, a children's film in Malayalam, will see 13-year-old Ramatheerthan make his debut as a music director.

Sreenivasan shines in Malayalam cinema

If we look back at how well Malayalam cinema fared in 2007, it is not titles of the films that come to mind but the personalities, who have left their mark on the screen.

'Naalu Pennungal' not complex like my other films: Adoor (Interview)

Adoor gopalakrishnan's new film for 2008 two stories from malayalam author Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai novels. Along with 'Naalu Pennungal', I shot another film which is again an adaptation of the same author's work. It has two stories and will come out next year, said the director.

Feel-good 'Killi chundan' top Malayalam song

Songs of Kadha Parayumbol and Kangaroo make it to the charts this fortnight, but Killi Chundan from Romeo tops them all.

'Kadha Parayumbol' tops Christmas releases in Kerala

It is festival time and the Malayalam film industry has come out with its Christmas bonanza. This fortnight four new movies make it to the popular film list - Kadha Parayumbol, Romeo, Kangaroo and Flash

Twins win role in Malayalam film

Film director Anwar Rasheed and his team have found twins to act in their new Malayalam film Annan Thambi starring mammootty after weeks of searching.

Tisca Chopra impresses Naseer

Talented Tisca Chopra has been asked by none other than Naseeruddin Shah to take a few classes and teach new students at Subhash Ghai's Whistling Woods International school,

Akshaye chilling out in a houseboat in Alleppey

Akshaye Khanna is shooting in Alleppey with one of his favourite directors, Priyadarshan, for an untitled film and he is virtually living it out in a plush houseboat in the famous backwaters of Kerala.

Kerala firm to animate BBC mega series

The British Broadcasting Corp (BBC) has teamed up with a Kerala-based firm for an animation series with a budget of more than 10 million pounds ($20 million).

Superstar Mohanlal to play 'reel life' magician

Veteran Malayali superstar Mohanlal is all set to play a magician in his next film, the songs for which have been penned by a Class X student. The muhurat of Mohanlal's latest film, titled Swapnamalika, was held at his Vismaya Film Studio here.

Kerala filmmakers lament official apathy

Lamenting what they termed as official neglect of the regional cinema in Kerala, filmmakers at a film festival here Thursday said local movies have failed to make any mark due to the lack of proper marketing and promotional tactics.

Jeevan TV to launch song and dance reality show

One of Kerala's leading TV channel, Jeevan TV, will launch a reality show dubbed 2 Crore Apple Megastar Feb 1 next year, which will carry a total prize money of Rs.20 million.

A Malayalam filmmaker's feat with feet

A young Malayalam filmmaker, Ranish K. Dawa, has made a unique short film which features no faces and stars people's feet.

'Chocolate' faces no pre-Christmas challenge

Christmas and New Year are certainly harvest time for the Malayalam film industry. There's a line-up of at least half a dozen films at the theatres, but right now things are dull.Hareendran Oru Nishkalangan?

'Chandamama' rules Malayalam music charts

The song Chandamama from the box-office hit Rock n Roll continues to top the Malayalam charts. The top five songs are:

'God gave them handicap, I gave my actors confidence'

Kerala filmmaker P. Vinayan's 2005 blockbuster Albhutha Dweep (Wonder Island) has earned not only a Guinness Book entry but also enriched the lives of many of its physically disadvantaged actors.

IFFI lacks in programming: Adoor

Veteran Malayalam filmmaker Adoor Gopalkrishnan, who praised the atmosphere at the 38th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) ending Monday, is however, not satisfied with selection of films and programming.

Masala movies have corrupted our audience: Adoor

Veteran director Adoor Gopalakrishnan believes that India still has miles to go as a nation of filmgoers.

Hollywood expert lauds Kerala's talent

Hollywood's animation and graphics expert Richard Klien said the creative minds of Kerala have more reasons to enjoy as the talent in the state is amazing

Item song tops Malayalam charts

The songs of Rock n Roll make it to the music charts, one of them topping this fortnight's list of most popular Malayalam songs.

'Rock n Roll' may not rock for long

Two new films, Mohanlal starrer Rock n Roll and Indrajith's Hareendran Oru Nishkalangan?, make it to the top five but Chocolate of the old lot is still going strong.

IFFI venue was once dilapidated hospital

Not too long ago patients hobbled around here, plastered and in bandages, and sick children shed many a tear. Today the International Film Festival of India's (IFFI) dreams are being nurtured in the very same place.

Adoor's 10th film is a perfect 10 at IFFI

Adoor Gopalakrishnan's 10th feature film, Naalu Pennungal (Four Women), coming nearly five years after his last movie Nizhalkkuthu (Shadow Kill), is among the most awaited films at the 38th International Film Festival of India here.

Discriminating against any film unfair: Malayalam director

Bollywood's endearing presence at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) seems to be missing in this year's edition but Malayalam director Shyamaprasad says it is unfair to discriminate against Hindi films even if the move is meant to provide space for regional language films.

Malayalam actor Ravi Menon passes away

Noted Malayalam film Actor Ravi Menon passed away early morning Saturday.

'Ore Kadal' to open Indian Panorama at IFFI

Director Shyama Prasad's Ore Kadal, starring Mammootty and Meera Jasmine, will open the Indian Panorama section at the 38th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2007, staring Nov 23 in Goa.

Toonz Animation wins industry award

Technopark-based Toonz Animation India Pvt Ltd has won the Nasscom super pitch 2007, the company said here Tuesday.

'Chocolate', the most popular Malayalam song

Chocolate - Film: Chocolate; Music: Alex Paul; Lyrics: Sarath Varma; Singers: M.G. Sreekumar and Rimi Tomi. A girl-versus-boy song with a foot-tapping rhythm still holds on to its top position.

Kerala laps film version of Thakazhi quartet

Most of the films released after Ramadan are biting the dust at the ticket window. A relief comes in the form of Adoor Gopalakrishnan's Naalu Pennungal Released last week, the film has rocked box office.

'Hello' stays on top despite new Malayalam releases
By Paresh C. Palicha

Kochi, Two new films, "Mission 90 Days" and "Sooryan", hit the Malayalam marquee last fortnight, but they couldn't dislodge "Hello" from the top spot.

The top five Malayalam films are:

1. "Hello" - Directors Rafi-Mecartin have presented Mohanlal in an out-and-out comic role. The actor has enthralled audiences with his performance and it shows in the
box-office collections.

2. "Mission 90 Days" - Major Ravi is back with the story of a National Security Guards (NSG) team tracking down the assassins of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. The
film, which has Mammootty in the lead, has received a mixed response from viewers.

3. "Arabikatha" - Sreenivasan plays a man who holds leftist ideals close to his heart. There is a twist in the tale when he has to go to the Middle East to earn money.
Director Lal Jose beautifully captures the turmoil and confusion of the protagonist.

4. "July 4" - The title was supposed to bring Dileep good luck, but could not make up for this mishmash of many films.

5. "Sooryan" - Actor Jayaram and director V.M. Vinu team up to tell the story of a classical singer, but end up with a heavy concoction that leaves viewers unmoved.

Kerala laps up 'Hello' numbers
The popular numbers of "Hello" still stay on top of Malayalam charts. The rest of the list remains largely unchanged except for the inclusion of a song from the recently released film "Sooryan".

The top five Malayalam songs are:

1. "Kadukkittu" - Film: "Hello; Music: Alex Paul; Lyrics: Sarath Varma; Singers: M.G. Sreekumar and Sangeetha Prabhu. Wholesome entertainment by Mohanlal's
standards means that his fans should have everything they want from their idol. And they are certainly enjoying his dancing skills in the song.

2. "Thirike" - Film: "Arabikatha"; Music: Bijibal; Lyrics: Anil Panachooran; Singer: Yesudas. The song conveys the craving for one's homeland when one is in foreign lands
and strikes a chord with listeners.

3. "Kattupoocha kurumbi" - Film: "July 4"; Music: Ousepachan; Lyrics: Shibu Chakravarthy; Singers: Afsal and Sayonara. It is a typical Dileep song that does not make
much sense, but goes down well with young fans.

4. "Chella thamara" - Film: "Hello"; Music: Alex Paul; Lyrics: Sarath Varma; Singers: K.S. Chitra and Sangeetha Prabhu. The melodious song still holds on to its position in
the chart.

5. "Ishtakkari" - Film: "Sooryan"; Music: Ilayaraja; Lyrics: Girish Puthencherry; Singers: Madhu Balakrishnan and Manjiri. The song has techno beats to lure young listeners.
Santosh Sivan on road to Hollywood
From terrorism to historical characters, Santosh Sivan has tried his hand at everything. And now he transcends borders with his period film "Before the Rains" which has Hollywood actors and producers.The film, about a British planter in colonial India who wants to build a road to the hills to commercially tap the spices grown there, will be premiered at the Sep 6-15 Toronto
International Film Festival.

Filmmaker Ravi regrets not catching Rajiv Gandhi murder mastermind
Malayalam filmmaker and retired army commando Major Ravi still rues that he could not catch Sivarasan, the mastermind behind former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, in Bangalore due to a delay in storming into the house where Sivarasan was hiding. Ravi was here with his second Malayalam film "Mission 90 Days" which tells the story about the trial of the killers of Gandhi. It stars veteran actor Mammootty in the role of Captain Ravindran, the name by which Ravi was known during those days.

Santosh Sivan's first Hollywood film to premier in Toronto festival
Thiruvananthapuram, July 11 The world premiere of ace cameraman and film maker Santosh Sivan's first Hollywood film "Before the Rains" will be held at the 32nd Toronto International Film Festival in September this year.

Chikungunya hits Mohanlal and Meera
The Malayalam film industry has been badly hit by chikungunya. Apparently, more than 40 Malayalam actors are suffering from the mosquito-transmitted diseases of chikungunya and dengue.
'Vinodayathra' stays on the top of the best film list
By Paresh C. Palicha

Kochi, Despite a couple of small releases showing a lot of promise at the state's box-office, "Vinodayathra" continues to be at the top of the Malluwood list.

1. "Vinodayathra": This pleasure trip has been good for Dileep. His first venture as a hero with director Sathyan Anthikkad is the real super-hit among Vishu releases.

2. "Time": Suresh Gopi finds yet another hit with favourite director Shaji Kailas. They just tweaked the formula of their filmmaking brand to find success.

3. "Chhotta Mumbai": Rasheed Anwar, the director of this film, turns out to be the man with the Midas Touch, as his two successive films has become Malluwood megahits.

4. "Pranayakalam": Debutant director Uday Ananthan makes a love story of the '80s with newcomers and finds a place in this list due to lack of any serious competition.

5. "Akasham": Comedian Harisree Asokan attempts to play a serious role as the lead character in this film directed by A.K. Sundardas. The film has had limited success
due to its poor script.
Single organisation favoured for Malayalam film industry
Thiruvananthapuram, Thespian Malayalam actor Thilakan favours one common organisation for all the people associated with the Malayalam film industry to end its problems.
'Nagaram': A Malayalam commercial film on garbage
"Nagaram", a new Malayalam film that opened in theatres last week, tells the tale of a village which has to suffer from the waste dumped by a nearby city.The films features 33 Malayalam film stars, including Kalabhavan Mani, Seema, Gopika, Telegu actress Laxmi Sharma, Jagathy, Jagadish and thespian actor Thilakan.

Mammootty and Kavya team up for 'Nasrani'
Thiruvananthapuram, Veteran Malayalam superstar Mammootty, who has been teaming up with young Malayalam heroines of late, has been cast alongside Kavya Madhavan in the film "Nasrani". Mammootty first acted with Kavya a long time ago when she was a child artiste. Although she has been part of the supporting cast of films starring Mammootty, this is the first time the two are the leading pair in a film. Mammootty is past 50 while Kavya is in her mid-20s. Of late, Mammootty has been acting with very young heroines. Meera Jasmine stars with him in "Orae Kadal", for which shooting has just ended. He was paired with Gopika in his last release "Mayavi". Whenever asked about the age gap between him and his heroines, Mammootty, unfazed, poses the question: "Isn't your wife younger to you?" Fans have huge expectations from "Nasrani" because accomplished director Joshy is directing the film. Nasrani is a colloquial term for a rich Syrian Christian and Mammootty plays the role of a Syrian Christian estate owner. It was Joshi who gave Mammootty's career a huge boost in the 80s with the film 'Sanghom' in which the actor essayed the role of a rich Syrian Christian. Since then whenever Mammootty has played similar roles, the film has been a huge hit. The script for the latest film has been written by Renjith, who himself is a talented director and a close friend of Mammootty. "This is certainly going to be an interesting film because it is incident-based and right from the start one incident leads to another," said Renjith. The cast of "Nasrani" also includes Lalu Alex, Kalabhavan Mani, Biju Menon, Vijayaraghavan, Captain Raju and K.P.A.C. Lalitha. The film is slated for release in August during the Onam festival and is expected to give Mohanlal's forthcoming film "Alibhai" a tough competition.

Munnar demolition drive: Mammootty's land inspected
Munnar (Kerala), Malayalam superstar Mammootty's landholding near Munnar Tuesday came under the scanner of a special team tasked to evict encroachers from the popular hill station.

Mohanlal celebrates birthday with new film, fans
Malayalam superstar Mohanlal Monday celebrated his 47th birthday in style with the launch of his new film "Alibhai" apart from cutting a cake with his family and thousands of fans.Over 2,000 of the actor's fans had turned up at the Kinfra Film and Video Park campus, on the outskirts of the state capital, where he owns a studio. Mohanlal's mother and wife were also present.
Mammooty to play royal monarch
Malayalam superstar Mammooty is all set to don royal robes in his next film "Pazhassi Raja".
He plays the title role of the 18th century king who fought the British in the jungles of Wayanad in Kerala. The film is being directed by Hariharan.
Gopika changes 30 dresses in one song!
Actress Gopika claims to have outdone other actresses by displaying 30 costumes in a single song sequence in her forthcoming Tamil film "Vellitthirai".

Malayalam films have become commercial products: Kamal
Thiruvananthapuram, Malayalam films have now become commercial products and need to be vigorously marketed to get the audience, believes ace Malayalam film director Kamal. "It was a different scenario not long ago when film-goers came on their own. The role of a film director is over the moment the film is released, but now we have to shout from the rooftops and appear on TV channels asking the audience to come and see the film. A Malayalam film now has become like any product and has to be vigorously marketed," Kamal told reporters here Saturday.
Into the 16th year as director, Kamal Friday saw his 38th film 'Goal' released."My new film is totally different from my last film 'Karutha Pakshigal'. 'Goal' follows the current trend of a film made for youngsters and so compromises have been made to make it palatable to the changing times," he said."Karutha Pakshikal", starring superstar Mammootty, was about a Tamil migrant who ekes out a living pressing clothes in Kerala. It was a thoroughly serious film."I don't think I have the same level of satisfaction for 'Goal' as compared to aesthetically superior 'Karutha Pakshigal'. Both are totally different and since I have to cater to all sections, compromises have to be made," said Kamal.Football is the central theme of "Goal" and has quite a few young actors making their debut. Shot in the picturesque hill station in Ooty, the film revolves round an international school.

Kerala plans golden oldie Prem Nazir's statue
Thiruvananthapuram, A statue of legendary Malayalam film hero Prem Nazir, who broke acting records with his roles in over 700 films, is likely to come up here in a year's time.Along with the bronze statue of Nazir, who passed away in 1989, the Trivandrum Film Fraternity is also planning a theme museum based on some immortal characters essayed by the late actor.Filmmaker Lenin Rajendran and superstar Suresh Gopi told reporters Thursday that sculptor Jeevan Thomas, who had sculpted the statues of S.K. Pottekad and Herman Gundert, will make Nazir's statue."Work on the statue will begin here May 14 and is expected to be completed within a year. Nazir was one of the actors who had dedicated his life to developing Malayalam cinema as an industry," said Gopi.Nazir, a Padma Sree awardee, and actress Sheela hold the unique distinction of acting as a hero-heroine pair in more than a 100 Malayalam films - for which they entered the Guinness Book of Records."The suggestion to install the statue came up before the fraternity a fortnight ago and it was finalised without much discussion. The exact location where it would be installed would be announced in due course after discussions with the Kerala government," said Gopi.A panel comprising producer G. Suresh Kumar, former Chalachitra Academy chairman T.K. Rajiv Kumar, Rakesh and Kalliyoor Sasi has been formed for executing the project.The Trivandrum Film Fraternity was formed in 1995 to promote professionalism in the industry and take up welfare activities for those working in different departments of cinema. It also functions as a forum for holding a dialogue between the industry and the state government.

'Vinodayathra' beats other Vishu releases
By Paresh C. Palicha,

Kochi, With all Vishu releases still going good, the surprise winner is director Sathyan Anthikad's "Vinodayathra".

The top five Malayalam films are:

1. "Vinodayathra" - Dileep appears as the protagonist in a Sathyan Anthikad film for the first time and the team clicks. The film has Meera Jasmine as the female lead. The right balance of humour and sentiment has worked well for the veteran director.

2. "Big B" - Amal Neerad, the young cameraman-turned-director, who has worked with the likes of Ram Gopal Varma, has succeeded in making a slick action thriller with Mammootty in the main lead.

3. "Chotta Mumbai" - Director Anwar Rasheed's second outing after "Rajamanickam" is an unpretentious entertainer with Mohanlal in the lead. Scriptwriter Benny P. Nayarambalam deserves equal credit for the success of the film.

4. "Athisayan" - Director Vinayan tries to cash in on the vacation period with a fantasy film targeting kids. The film has ensemble cast that consists of big names like Jackie Shroff, Jayasurya, Mukesh and Kavya Madhavan.

5. "Panthayakozhi" - This film tries to project young Narain as a star attraction, but has to settle for the fifth position.

Malayalam film stars join hands for fund-raiser film
Almost all leading Malayalam film stars will come together to act in a film, officially launched Monday and being made by the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) to raise funds for the association's activities.The yet untitled film, which was planned last year itself, will be produced by actor Dileep and a major portion of the box office collections would go to AMMA, said ace comedian Innocent, who is also president of AMMA.
Kajol's heart is set on Malayalam 'Heartbeats'
Bollywood actress Kajol is all set to play a lead role in a Malayalam film tentatively titled "Heartbeats". In 1996, she hit it off with the Tamil audiences with her first south Indian love story "Minsarakanavu". The film, which also had dancing wizard Prabhu Deva and Arvind Swamy, was noted for Kajol's sprightly performance as well as its song sequences. The film was remade in Hindi as "Sapnay".
Cameras to roll inside parliament for film on A.K. Gopalan
Three decades after the death of A.K. Gopalan Nambiar, one of the leading lights of the Indian communist movement, his life and the long years he spent as a parliamentarian will be captured on celluloid as shooting begins inside parliament's precincts.National award-winning director Shaji N. Karun has got permission from Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to shoot some aspects of the life of Gopalan, who was popularly known as AKG, in the Indian parliament building for his short film titled "AKG".

Kerala hums songs from Vishu films
By Paresh C. Palicha,

Kochi, Songs from films released during Vishu make it to this list, with "Thala" from "Chotta Mumbai" topping the charts.

The top five Malyalam songs are:

1. "Thala" - Film: "Chotta Mumbai"; Music Director: Rahul Raj; Lyrics: Sarath Varma; Singers: Sankar Mahadevan, Arjun Sasi, Sangeeth and Rahul Raj. This is a song full of zest from a fun-filled film.

2. "Kaiyetha" - Film: "Vinodayathra"; Music Director: Ilayaraja; Lyrics: Sarath Varma; Singer: Manjari. We get soulful music whenever director Sathyan Anthikkad and maestro Ilayaraja team up, and this song continues the trend.

3. "Sankathinu" - Film: "Panthayakozhi"; Music Director: Alex Paul; Lyrics: Sarath Varma; Singers: Vineeth Sreenivasan and Ramesh Babu. This is a philosophical, but 'danceable' song.

4. "Mandarapoo mooli" - Film: "Vinodayathra"; Music Director: Ilaiyaraja: Lyrics: Sarath Varma; Singers: Swetha and Madhu Balakrishanan. This well-picturised romantic song on Dileep and Meera Jasmine was bound to be a hit with listeners and it is.

5. "Muttathe mulle" - Film: "Maayavi"; Music Director: Alex Paul; Lyrics: Sarath Varma; Singers: K.J. Yesudas and Manjari. This song still remains on the charts, but not on the top any more.

Malayalam screenplays turn up as books
Thiruvananthapuram, More and more Malayalam film screenplays are now coming out as books, with publishers admitting that the business of turning movie plots into novels is a roaring one.
"Film appreciation has become a hot subject for students on the verge of entering the film and television industry. We ourselves have in the recent past come out with a dozen such books," N.E. Balakrishnan, chief of the TBS Publishers and Distributors of Poorna Publications, told reporters here Tuesday.

'Vinodayathra' offers an enjoyable ride despite pitfalls - Review
Film: "Vinodayathra"; Cast: Dileep, Mukesh, Meera Jasmine, Murali and Nedumudi Venu; Director: Sathyan Anthikkad; Music: Ilayaraja; Producer: M.M. Hamsa
Mammootty's 'Maayavi' a mega Malayalam hit
By Paresh C. Palicha,

Kochi, "Maayavi" continues to rake in the moolah in these pre-Vishu days and tops the fortnight's list of Malayalam films. The lack of serious competition is helping the film further.

The top five Malayalam films are:

1. "Maayavi" - This is one of the biggest Mammootty hits in recent times. Directed by Shafi, the film has stayed on top for months.

2. "Payum Puli" - Actor Kalabhavan Mani's 'masala' fest directed by Mohan Kupleri occupies the second place in this list.

3. "The Speed Track" - Dileep's sports saga made by a new director Jayasurya continues to be in the race.

4. "November Rain" - This is a film on the underworld made by an ambitious team of youngsters headed by director Vinu Joseph.

5. "Anandabhairavi" - Veteran director Jayaraj returns with the offbeat theme of a kathakali artiste and his relationship with his prodigiously talented son. Sai Kumar has won the second best actor state award for his performance in this film.
Kerala politico's son to wed actor's daughter
Rumours of a romance have been doing the rounds for some time, but it is official now -- Malayalam cinema's comedy king Jagathy Sreekumar's daughter and leading politico P.C. George's son are likely to get married soon. Dismissing reports that his son Shone and Sreekumar's daughter Parvathy have already registered their marriage, Kerala Congress-Secular leader George says his political adversaries had been spreading "canards".

Mammootty's 'Maayavi' rules Malayalam box office
Mammootty's "Maayavi" still rules the box office and is number one on this list of top five Malayalam films:

1. "Maayavi" - The Mammootty film directed by Shafi is the first real blockbuster of the year.

2. "The Speed Track" - The much-delayed Dileep film is getting its due at the box office and introduces a new director, Jayasurya, to Malayalam cinema.

3. "Detective" - Another debutant director, Jithu Joseph, gives a much-needed hit to actor Suresh Gopi with the film.

4. "Avan Chandiyude Makan" - Veteran director Thulasidas has roped in Prithviraj in this family entertainer scripted by Babu Janardhanan and succeeded.
Mammooty, Jasmine together onscreen first time
Thiruvananthapuram, Malayalam superstar Mammootty and talented actress Meera Jasmine will be seen together onscreen for the first time in director Shyamaprasad's "Ore Kadal". Mammootty, who's currently shooting for the film in Chennai, said he is quite excited about the project. "I play the role of Dr. Nathan, an eccentric economic scientist who is a drunkard but is intellectually superior. The problem is that he does not believe in relationships, be it love or even a good friendship," Mammootty told over telephone. He added: "No, this is not an off-beat film like Shyamaprasad's earlier films. In fact this is a more serious film."
Mohanlal is brand ambassador for Kerala AIDS campaign
Thiruvananthapuram, Malayalam superstar Mohanlal, who attracted much flak in Kerala for a liquor advertisement, is the state's goodwill ambassador for an AIDS awareness campaign."As an actor, it is my responsibility to take part in such programmes and I decided to become the goodwill ambassador," said the superstar at a function to felicitate his new role Monday.
"Celebrating Kerala Cinema" at US festival
Washington, Noted director Adoor Gopalakrishnan's masterpiece depicting the life and times of famed Kathakali dancer Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair marked the opening of a Kerala Film Festival here.The screening of the Malayalam film with English subtitles at the Smithsonian 'Freer and Sackler Gallery' Friday was followed by a Kathakali performance by Anupama Dinesh Kumar and Seekala Varma. The film includes fascinating backstage views into performers' lives and magical footage of Kathakali performances.The "Celebrating Kerala Cinema" festival from March 2-18 presents six films from the state's distinguished cinematic tradition and marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the south Indian state.Other films being screened are Anup Kurian's moving, tragi-comic love story, "Manasarovar"; Govindan Arivindan's sensitive blend of the political and the personal, "Vasthuhara; T.V. Chandran's moving film about the caste-transcending friendship, "Ponthan Mada"; P.N. Menon's tale of tragic love "Olavum Teeravum"; and M.T. Vasudevan's intensely primal cinematic fable "Nair Nirmalayam".The series has been co-sponsored by Varghese and Rani George in collaboration with the Asia Society Washington Centre in association with the Embassy of India.On the eve of the festival, Raminder Singh Jassal, deputy chief of the Indian mission, hosted a dinner attended by a cross-section of American and Indian American communities.

'Maayavi' overtakes 'Inspector Garud' at box office
Kochi, Mammootty starrer "Maayavi" gets to the top, toppling "Inspector Garud". Suresh Gopi's "Detective" is the only new entry this fortnight.

The top five Malayalam films are:

1. "Maayavi" - Mammootty comes up with yet another entertainer under the directorial baton of Shafi, proving that he can make both 'the masses and the classes' happy.

2. "Inspector Garud" - A typical Dileep-brand film. His friend Johny Antony has directed it.

3. "Detective" - Suresh Gopi, who plays a cop and a politician, is at home in both the roles. Directed by newcomer Jithu Joseph, the thriller is expected to do well in the coming days.
Mammootty has miraculous escape on shoot
Kochi, Malayalam superstar Mammootty Tuesday had a miraculous escape during shooting of an action scene of his latest blockbuster "Big B" when a flying metal piece from an exploding car missed him by inches.Mammootty told that he was shooting for a scene where a car was blown up by a petrol bomb. "A portion of the exploding car flew inches away from my face. God is great. After the incident we saw it replayed on the video and only then we knew the gravity of the situation. It was a narrow escape," said Mammootty.

Awards are like appetizers, says Mammootty
New Delhi, Popular Malayalam film star Mammootty, who has given a brilliant performance in his recent "Kayyoppu" (signature), says that awards are like appetizers that give momentary satisfaction, but one yearns for them again after a while. "Awards are like appetizers or meals. You are satisfied when you have them. But you always need more. I expect an award every year," Mammootty, who has won three National Awards, told in an interview.Mammootty was in the national capital last week, along with filmmaker Ranjith, for a special screening of "Kayyoppu". The film attempts to explain the trauma of innocent victims of terror through the story of a struggling, introvert but genius writer, played by the superstar.The movie, which looks intensely personal in the first half, culminates into a relatively universal issue - terrorism.

Row over Kerala film awards gets murkier
New Delhi, The controversy over the Kerala state film awards does not seem to die down as a noted filmmaker Thursday alleged that some jury members had no knowledge of cinema.
"It is highly unfortunate that the state awards were decided by a jury in which some of the members did not know anything about cinema or its technology," Ranjith, who was in the national capital for exhibiting his latest movie, the Mammootty-starred "Kayyoppu" ('signature'), told reporters. The state film awards, announced last week, had surprised many as young star Prithviraj was chosen for the best actor prize, beating many brilliant performances by
reigning superstars.

Priyadarshan's new Hindi film in controversy
Thiruvananthapuram,  Veteran director Priyadarshan's next Bollywood venture faces controversy as the author of the original Malayamam film, on which the new project is based, has said the story was being changed without his permission. Madhu Muttom, who wrote the story for "Manichithrathazhu", told reporters here Thursday that Priyadarshan had not taken his consent while basing his new project on the award-winning Malayalam film. "This story of 'Manichithrathazhu' is mine. Isn't it only proper that if this story is going to be used, they should at least speak to me? It is not proper to mutilate my story. I am raising this issue not from a monetary aspect but from the point of a writer who is the creator," Muttom told "Manichithrathazhu" was a super-hit in 1992-93 and shot the lead pair of Mohanlal and Shobana to dizzying heights.
Sukumari questions Padma Shri award
Thiruvanathapuran, Veteran south Indian actress S. Sukumari, who received the Padma Shri award in 2003, is questioning the utility of the honour conferred on her. "I don't understand why I was given the award and of what use it is. By showing this award I can't get even a seat in a train. But someone may give me a seat if I say I am actress Sukumari," she told media.


Padmapriya defends ageing Malayalam superstars
Thiruvananthapuram, Young southern Indian actress Padmapriya who has acted with three of Kerala's 40-plus superstars - Mammootty, Mohanlal and Suresh Gopi - says age is not an impediment for actors. "These superstars handle their characters so well and they are sensible and sensitive actors. Every fruit has its own flavour and an apple cannot replace an orange," the actress told reporters here. "Amitabh Bachachan is past 65 and still the most sought after star in Bollywood. This is true in Hollywood and the Malayalam film industry," she added.
Mammootty bags best actor award
Thiruvananthapuram, Malayalam superstar Mammootty was Monday named best actor at the Atlas Film Critics Awards here for his poignant performances in "Kaioppu" and "Karuthapakshigal". "Karuthapakshigal", in which Mammootty plays a Tamil migrant worker eking out a living by ironing clothes, went on to bag six more awards. It was adjudged the best film
for the year 2006 and Kamal got the best director award for it. Padmapriya was adjudged best actress for her role in "Karuthapakshigal" and "Yes Your Honour". Mammootty said he was delighted. Asked if this would set the stage for his fourth National Award, Mammootty said: "I hope so. I have done my job." Manarakayam Baby, secretary of Atlas Film Critics, said that many of their award winners had gone on to win the coveted National Award. The awards, sponsored by Middle East-based jeweller Atlas Ramachandran, are to be given away April 22 at Kozhikode.

Mammootty's Kathaparayumbol :
Mammootty endorsing social issues through his films, After nearly three decades of work in commercial films, Malayalam superstar Mammootty has now started endorsing social issues through his films and is even forgoing remuneration at times. "Kathaparayumbol" is being produced by veteran film stars Sreenivasan and Mukesh. "We went to his home and discussed the project and Mammootty instantly agreed to work in it. When we tried to discuss his remuneration, he said, 'Don't worry, I will take money only if it is going to bring in the audience'," Sreenivasan, who has written the story, script and dialogues of the movie, said here. "Yes, the film is unique and its one major attraction is the return of two-time National Award winning actress Shobhana to Malayalam films," said Sreenivasan. Veteran comedians Jagathy Sreekumar and Innocent will also play a crucial role in the film. Debutant director Mohan will direct the film.

Malayalam film stars march against piracy
Thiruvananthapuram, Thousands of members of the Malayalam film industry, including superstars like Mammootty and Mohanlal, marched to the state secretariat Wednesday in appreciation of the government's crackdown against piracy. Top actors Suresh Gopi, Jayaram and Dileep, apart from several actresses, participated in the march and asked that authorities continue the drive. They were joined by over 2,000 members of various film industry associations, representing producers, distributors and technicians.

Mammootty's Malayalam film Big B

I am missing the National Award: Mammootty
Thiruvananthapuram, Malayalam superstar Mammootty confesses that he misses receiving the coveted National Award, which he has already been honoured with three times earlier."Isn't it some time now since I have won it? And of late, I am missing it," Mammootty told IANS from the sets of his upcoming film "Big B". The versatile actor hopes that two of his recent films - "Palunku" and "Kaioppu" - help get some awards."Both 'Palunku' and 'Kaioppu', which are currently running in theatres, carry a socially relevant theme. They are doing good business though they might not be drawing huge crowds. While "Palunku" is directed by Blessy, "Kaioppu" has been made by Ranjith.

Malayalam filmmaker Blessy eyes new frontiers
Thiruvananthapuram, Upcoming Malayalam filmmaker Blessy, who has made it big with family dramas, says he is a creator and is looking for new frontiers. "I am moving out to new frontiers because I am a creator. My next film, a blend of comedy, black magic and romance, would be shot entirely in Kolkata," Blessy told reporters here after his latest film 'Palunku' was screened for the media. Produced by Thampi Antony, a US-settled actor, the new film would have Dileep and Meera Jasmine in lead roles. 'Palunku', the third film of Blessy released during the Christmas last year, has not done well at the box office as expected, compared to his all-time hits like 'Kazcha' and 'Thanmatra'.

Chief minister roped in to promote film?
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, a man usually busy attending party meetings, was seen in a movie hall here Friday night, watching a Malayalam film along with its director. The grapevine is that 'Palunku', directed by Blessy, whose previous two films 'Kazcha' and 'Thanmatra' were roaring box office hits, has not been able to draw crowds. The director has, however, refused to comment whether he brought the chief minister to the theatre for publicity.
The film is about the chief minister's pet subjects of farmer suicides and harassment of women.
I have become selective, says Murali
Thiruvananthapuram, National award winning Malayalam film actor Murali says he will be seen fewer times on the silver screen henceforth because he has become selective on roles. "I really can't digest several of the films which are being made today because it is really testing the patience of many. So I decided I will be selective," Murali

Kerala traders protest raids on video libraries
Thiruvananthapuram, Traders across Kerala downed their shutters Tuesday to protest against police raids on video libraries to check video piracy.The shutdown, called by the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi, the biggest trader's body in the state, saw all shops and trading establishments in the state closed except hotels and medical stores. Trouble began brewing in December since Inspector General of Police Rishi Raj Singh, the officer in charge of piracy, landed up at the office of Riyan Studio at Kochi that is owned by the wife of Singh's colleague and another inspector general, Tomin J. Thachenkary. Singh's visit saw him being relieved of the post. But Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan intervened and Singh was put back in his job. From then on, the officer has been strictly rounding up all errant video shop owners. "We are not against the police rounding up offenders but against the irresponsible raids and arrest of shop owners. We feel this is being done to please the north Indian video lobby that is trying to enter Kerala in a big way," said T. Naseruddin, president of the trader's bod

Mohanlal starrer 'Baba Kalyani' is on top

Mammootty, Mohanlal reign in 2006
Thiruvananthapuram, Mammootty and Mohanlal, the two superstars of the Malayalam film industry, continued their reign in 2006 with several hits to their name. While Mammootty had seven releases, Mohanlal had six of the total 64 films this year. Three of Mohanlal's movies were rated as the year's best. But the film that became the biggest hit was "Classmates", which had neither of the two stars. The movie by Lal Jose revolved around college life and brought together young actors like Prithviraj, Jayasurya and Indrajith. According to box office reports, "Classmates" raked in a record Rs.100 million.


Yes your Honour review

'Yes, Your Honour' pleads for junior lawyers (REVIEW)
Film: "Yes, Your Honour"; Cast: Sreenivasan, Padmapriya, Innocent, Jagathy Sreekumar, Sai Kumar; Director: V.M. Vinu; Music: Deepak Dev; Producer: P.V. Gangadharan


Karutha Pakshikal review : Mammootty excels in 'Karutha Pakshikal' (REVIEW)

Film: "Karutha Pakshikal"; Cast: Mammootty, Padmapriya, Meena and Baby Malavika; Director: Kamal; Music: Mohan Sithara


Mohanlal starrer 'Baba Kalyani' is the winner
Santosh Sivan goes global in 2007
Thiruvananthapuram, Filmmaker Santosh Sivan has an exciting year ahead of him as he has several prestigious international projects, including one on AIDS, lined up for 2007. "First I have a film on AIDS for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Mira Nair, Kamal Hassan, Vishal Bharadwaj and myself will shoot four 12-minutes films on AIDS," Sivan told IANS in an interview.
Apart from that, the National Award winning director will be busy with his first movie for BBC Films based on Afghanistan war. "It is a fiction and is given a working title - 'Wedding Party'. Right now, work on script is on. The shooting will begin in 2007," said Sivan, who was at his home here to attend the fourth death anniversary of his mother. And then he has "World According to Gopalakrishnan", which has been close to his heart for a long time. The film, parts of which have already been shot in three countries, will be made in Malayalam and English.


Prithviraj Pakal and Sreenivasan Yes Your Honour

Kerala capital gears up for international film fest
Thiruvananthapuram, The International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK 2006), beginning here Dec 8, promises to be a week-long treat for cinema buffs with 143 films from different parts of the globe set to be screened. IFFK, which is into its 11th year, will see as many as 15 films compete for the Golden Pheasant Award for the best film, including movies from Asia, Africa and Latin American countries. The festival will be launched in an innovative yet traditional way. Two bullock carts will be flagged off on the evening of Dec 7. They will go through the city streets announcing that IFFK 2006 has arrived. The festival, known for it maximum audience participation, hopes to increase its viewership base even more this year. As the first step, organisers have already begun screening films shown in past IFFKs at select schools in the city. "Children should be educated to appreciate good films too. This has already begun and has won wide applause," V.K. Joseph, vice chairman of the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy that organises IFFK.
Mammootty believes in reinventing his characters
Thiruvananthapuram, Ace Malayalam actor Mammootty said he was able to play different roles over the years as he continuously reinvented his characters. Mammootty's forthcoming films include "Palunku" directed by Blessy, "Orae Kadal" by Shyamaprasad, Renjith's "Kaioppu" and "Pazhassi Raja" by Hariharan. The actor says most of these films would fit into the mould of emotional cinema.


Karutha Pakshikal and Vasthavam malayalam movies

'Watch films with mind, heart not intellect'
Thiruvananthapuram, Ace film director Kamal has said that filmgoers should approach a film with mind and heart and not with intellect. He said this to reporters here, Sunday after his latest and 37th film "Karutha Pakshikal" was screened. "This is a film where I am happy to say that I have not made any comprises unlike popular films of mine because this tells the tale of poor and the downtrodden. It is here that the average filmgoer should approach the film with his heart and mind," said Kamal. Admitting that he was apprehensive about the film because it is a serious film, he said he is more comfortable after a week of its release because high opinions of the film
have started pouring in. Mammootty teams up with Kamal in the film after their last successful outing in "Raapakal".


I am not worried about my image: Sreenivasan

Ace Malayalam film star Sreenivasan, Sunday said that he is not unduly worried about his image or his market value when it comes to selection of roles. "Since I don't have an image to be worried about, I am not concerned about it when it comes to selection of my roles. You should know that there are heroes here who are unduly worried about each role they portray," said Sreenivasan while interacting with reporters after his latest film "Yes Your Honour" was screened here.

I gel well with mature actors: Padmapriya

Thiruvananthapuram, Darling of the Malayalam filmgoers, Padmapriya, Sunday said she gels well with mature actors like Mammootty and Mohanlal. "I feel they are more mature and it is the directors who decide the cast when it comes to a film and I have no problem acting with superstars," said Padmapriya while interacting with reporters here, after her latest Malayalam film "Yes Your Honour" was screened. Padmapriya, in her early twenties, has played the lead opposite to ageing superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal, who are more than twice her age.

Malayalam comedian Innocent launches website

Kochi (Kerala), Innocent, a popular comedian of Malayalam cinema, Sunday launched his own website as a galaxy of stars led by Mohanlal applauded him. The site,, was formally launched by veteran filmmaker Sathyan Anthikkadu in the presence of film personalities, including actors like Dileep, Sidhique, Nedumudi Venu, Mukesh and Bindu Paniker.
Innocent said he was very excited to have his website which would bring him closer to his fans and help him keep in touch with them through mails and chat. " is the ideal medium for me to nurture relationships and widen my fan base while also showcasing my work to a global audience," said the star comedian who is also the president of the Association Malayalam Movie Actors.


Director Priyadarshan on a roll (INTERVIEW)
By Sanu George,

Thiruvananthapuram, Ace director Priyadarshan, who started his career with Malayalam films, has four mega projects in hand and is likely to tie up with an international film company.

Priyadarshan held talks also with Walt Disney on a possible film collaboration during his recent US visit, but was rather upset with its attitude. "I was called by them because they found out that I make the best comedy films in Asia. But I realised that there was an attitudinal impediment between us. I just can't digest the way they look down on us," Priyadarshan told IANS in an interview.

On the deal with an international film company, he said: "See I am getting old and I have to secure my future. I am finalising my talks with the foreign film company. Since I have a non-disclosure clause with them, I am unable to divulge any details regarding it at the moment." The director has his hands full with four mega projects lined up.

His upcoming "Bhagam Bhag" is a multi-starrer that includes Akshay Kumar, Govinda, Suniel Shetty, Jackie Shroff, Paresh Rawal and Lara Dutta. It is slated for release
Dec 22.

"This film is shot in London and it sees the return of actor-turned-politician Govinda after a gap of five years," said the director who was here recently.

Priyadarshan's next is "Dhol" starring Tusshar Kapoor, Sharman Joshi and Tanushree Dutta. It goes on floor Nov 17 in Pune.

"This is a thriller-comedy where four boys cook up a story to hook up a girl by getting her sympathy. But to their dismay, it turns out be a true story of people who are in hot
pursuit of these four boys," he said.

Also in the pipeline is the Hindi version of blockbuster Malayalam film "Manichithrathazhu" which was recently made into Tamil.

"Then I have a project with Amitabh Bachchan which is about an assassination. It is similar to 'The Day of The Jackal'. Bachchan and I have discussed this film and it is in the scripting stage. Apart from this, there is a film for Shah Rukh Khan's production house."

The director is also making a Tamil film "Kanchipuram" which is not commercial in nature.

"This is a 90-minute film on the weavers of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu and is set in the period between 1942 and 1957. I have to finish it before August 2007. The film stars actor Prakash Raj apart from other Tamil theatre actors," Priyadarshan added.

Malayalam cinema too much dependent on superstars: Lohithadas
Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 12  Heavy dependence on a few superstars does not augur well for the Malayalam film industry, ace director Lohithadas said Sunday.

"Current day films here are woven to suit the image of a few superstars and that isn't good for the industry. It is happening only in the Malayalam industry. This happens because of the commercial aspects of film making here," said the director while interacting with reporters, after his latest film "Chakaramuthu" was screened.

"I wanted to try out new faces but producers are not willing to take the risk. But in my latest film barring the lead pair of Dileep and Kavya Madhavan, I have tried out new faces and they have done a good job," added the director.

The Malayalam film industry for the past two decades is heavily dependant on superstars Mammootty and Mohanalal. And with Suresh Gopi making a comeback, he too appears to have regained his lost ground.

The only superstar who has come up in recent years has been Dileep.

"In my next film 'Chembattu' which would be shot in north Kerala, I am casting a new hero and today wherever I go I am looking for 'that' actor. The heroine for the film is Meera Jasmine," said Lohithadas who is also an accomplished scriptwriter.

"Acting is not a great thing, because every minute everyone is acting. The only problem arises when people face the crowd and lights," said the director.

Reacting to the controversy when his name was linked to Jasmine, which made waves in the state, he said: "Of course, it hurt us both very badly, but I did not care much and soon it passed off without any problems. It was nothing but gossip."
A hesitant Mohanlal enjoys safe chopper ride
Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 11 Malayalam film star Mohanlal was initially quite apprehensive, but finally managed to enjoy a helicopter ride Saturday - a day when Kerala newspapers carried photographs of an aircraft that had to land in a paddy field.

The ace actor arrived around 4 p.m. after his helicopter landed at the helipad of the agricultural ground at Vellayani on the outskirts of the city to take part in the first anniversary celebrations of Flash, a tabloid from the stables of Kerala Kaumudi Saturday evening.

"Of course he was a bit worried. Last evening and today morning he made sure that some of us go to the temple and do the offering of breaking a few coconuts. That was done by us," Suresh Krishna, a close aide of the actor, told IANS.

The newspapers and TV news channels here had reported the miraculous escape of the five naval personnel after their aircraft landed Friday in a paddy field near Kottayam following a snag.

Lt. Col. S.B. Nair, who flew Mohanlal's helicopter, said that the actor was fully composed and really enjoyed the flight which left Palakkad at 2.20 a.m.

"He told us that he was extremely comfortable and enjoyed the helicopter ride," said Nair.

In 1980, the Malayalam film industry had lost one of its superstars in a helicopter accident when action hero Jayan was acting a stunt scene for "Kolilakam" in an airfield in Tamil Nadu.


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Adoor's films showcased in Oman
Dubai, Nov 7  To celebrate the golden jubilee of the formation of Kerala, a film festival showcasing select works of noted south Indian filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan was inaugurated in Muscat.

The "Adoor Film Fest" was inaugurated Monday by Indian High Commissioner to Oman Ashok Kumar Attri.

"Adoor Gopalakrishnan certainly does not need any introduction in the Malayali community in particular and Indian film in general," he said. The five films being featured are classic works of Adoor and display his extraordinary talent in film direction, he said.

The festival is being organised by Muscat's Indian Social Club (ISC) and is supported by the Indian mission, according to Oman Tribune.

Abraham Mathew, convener, ISC Malayalam wing, said the film festival was being organised as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of ISC Malayalam wing and the golden jubilee of the formation of the state of Kerala.

There is a huge population of Indians in the Middle East, most coming from Kerala and other south Indian states.
Media house looks to filmdom for promotion
Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 8 Kerala's leading media house Kerala Kaumadi, headquartered in the capital city, has roped in film stars to celebrate the first anniversary
of its mid-day tabloid Flash on Saturday.

To make it a grand affair in true filmy style it has roped in film personalities of two generations, one led by veteran superstar Mohanlal and his classmates who all made it big
in the Malayalam film industry and the other consisting of the present lot of film stars who starred in the block buster movie 'Classmates', now running to packed houses.

And the presence of thespian actor Madhu, one of the last film personalities of yet another generation, is expected to bring back memories of the yesteryears.

"At the function we would honour two of the greatest film personalities in the Malayalam film industry, ace director Priyadarshan and veteran comedian Jagathi Sreekumar,"
said B.C.Jojo, executive editor of Kerala Kaumadi, to reporters here, last night.

Priyadarshan would see his classmates, superstar Mohanlal, veteran cameraman S.Kumar, director Ashok Kumar and block buster producer G.Suresh Kumar, all on the
stage where the entire cast of the film 'Classmates' would be present too.

They include Prithiviraj, Indrajith (both sons of former actor P. Sukumaran) Jayasurya and Kavya Madhavan and Navya Nair, the two leading ladies of the Malayalam film
industry now.

"You see, film stars in Kerala are always close to the heart of the Keralite. Like that, 'Flash' is also close to the hearts of many. So we decided that the presence of the film
stars would be the best way to celebrate the occasion," said Jojo.

Flash launched its first edition here last year and the media house has in the last six months launched seven editions.
Pothen Vava review  :

'Pothen Vava review' - a case of wasted potential
By Paresh C. Palicha, Indo-Asian News Service

Film: "Pothen Vava"; Cast: Mammootty, Gopika, Usha Uthup and Nedumudi Venu; Director: Joshiy; Producer: Lal; Music: Alex Paul

Mammootty and Joshiy team up for "Pothen Vava" about a person brought up without a proper name and religion.

Usha Uthup, the original diva of Indipop, plays an important role and is an added USP of the film penned by Benny P. Nayaramblam.

It offers a heady mix for sure. But how much kick do we get out of it? Yes, you get high initially with Usha showing an energy reminiscent of Philomina's character in the "Godfather".

This is followed by Mammootty's grand second entry (the first one happened before the flashback) and incessant flow of witty dialogues, which builds Vava's character.

You stay excited as the film proceeds to tell a promising story.

It is about Vava (Mammootty) born to a Christian mother (Usha Uthup) and a Nampoothiri (Nedumudi Venu) father. They were divorced when he was just a baby. The court gave the baby to the mother and said he would have the right to choose his religion when he is mature enough.

The choice does not seem to happen and Vava continues his nameless, religion-less existence, till one dramatic event forces him to become Christian.

But his mother puts down the condition that Vava should seek his father's permission before taking the final plunge. Till this the going is great. The downward spiral begins post-intermission when Vava chases down his father, who has now become a renowned Carnatic singer.

The hero saves his father after a life-threatening road accident. It turns out to have been an attempt on the singer's life for his property and suddenly you find yourself face to face with a theme typical of the Sai Kumar-Babu Raj team.

This film could have been outstanding had it not diverged from its initial course and continued as in "Kunjikoonan" and "Chandupottu" (both scripted by Benny P. Nayarambalam). But the filmmaker chose the tried and tested route, leading to the most contrived climax in recent times.

Mammootty does a good job, but when the film becomes packaged material we can only feel sorry for him. Though he tries hard to retain the spontaneity and sparkle of the first half, the situation lets him down.

Why do our heroes have to be Tharvadi Themmadis, why not ordinary folks as they were in the past?

Usha as Mariamma Vakil is also good, but her presence is not utilised fully. The initial push she gives to the film slowly loses its force. Gopika as Gladys, the former assistant of Mariamma, exudes charm.

"Pothen Vava" is a film of wasted potential.
Malayalam singer Radhakrishnan to perform in Dubai
Thiruvananthapuram, Ace composer and light music exponent M.G. Radhakrishnan will be performing in Dubai on Nov 11 along with artists like Venugopal and Ravi Shankar.

"I have planned a totally different kind of event. It will not be the normal film based stage programmes staged in the Middle East. It will be a purely musical evening with no frills and devoid of dance and fancy lighting," said Radhakrishnan.

The event would be staged at the Indian consulate hall in Dubai. The songs being featured in the evening are those composed by the veteran himself.

"We are reaching Dubai on Nov 7. Those who would sing include accomplished singers like Venugopal, Ravi Shankar, Radhika Tilak and Unni Bhaskar," said the 66-year-old music veteran.

Radhakrishnan is considered a master in the light music arena. In the 1960s and 1970s, his music lessons on All India Radio here were a hit and aired for several years.

He was also a popular playback singer in the Malayalam film industry and later went on to compose music.

Playback singer M.G. Sreekumar is his younger brother.
Tearful farewell to actress Srividya

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 20 Friends and well-wishers of veteran south Indian actress Srividya bid her a tearful final farewell here Friday.

Srividya passed away at a private hospital Thursday evening after suffering from cancer. She was 53. The actress was accorded a state funeral by the Kerala government.

Many of her colleagues were in a sombre mood, trying hard to hold back their tears.

Malayalam superstar Mammootty said his association with Srividya as an actor was one that had no barriers. "Except for playing the role of my daughter, she has played all roles - as my wife, lover and mother. This is a big loss for the industry," said Mammootty.

Veteran actress Sukumari said Srividya was like a daughter to her.

"We lived nearby for a long time and she was often in my house. I went and met her five days ago and we talked for a long time. She pleaded not to make her laugh because her stomach would pain. I never knew this would happen so fast," said Sukumari.

Maneka, a former Malayalam actress, said Srividya had gone without fulfilling one of her dreams. "She wanted to set up a dance and music school, and this dream of hers will now remain unfulfilled," she said.

Apart from being an actress, Srividya was known as a dancer and a singer as well. She also worked in a few television serials.

Born in Tamil Nadu in 1953, Srividya wore the grease paint in nearly 900 south Indian films. Daughter of veteran Carnatic classical singer M. L. Vasanthakumari, she acted in over 300 Malayalam films, and played the female lead with all the big names of the film industry - from Sathyan to Mammootty.

Srividya also acted in a few Hindi films too. She began her illustrious film career at the age of 13.

Her body was taken from her residence here early Friday to the VJT Hall, where Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, along with several fans, paid his last respects.

Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy had visited her residence earlier.

"She will be missed by everyone, irrespective of their age, because she was a hugely talented actor," said Chandy.

Mammootty is South Indian Bank's brand ambassador
Kochi,  In what is believed to be the first instance in the banking history in south India, superstar Mammootty was Monday roped in by Kerala-based South Indian Bank as its brand ambassador.

The actor signed a contract with the bank for three years.

"I am really happy because this is the first time in south India that a bank has appointed a brand ambassador. The contract is for three years," Mammootty told IANS after the contract.

He, however, did not disclose the contracted amount.

"I accepted the offer as South Indian Bank is currently poised for huge growth and has got sound finances," said Mammootty, who is at present endorsing Kerala government's IT project Akshaya.

South Indian Bank has 250 branches across the country.

'Kaioppu' role close to my heart: Mammootty (INTERVIEW)
By Sanu George,

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 8 Malayalam superstar Mammootty is excited about his new film "Kaioppu" (Signature), in which he plays a role close to his heart.

"This is a story that has never been told before. I consider the role close to my heart because it is unique," Mammootty, 54, told IANS.

"I play Balachandran who works as a clerk in a fertiliser company, is a bachelor and a voracious reader. He is working on a book but gets a writer's block," he said of his role.

The plot takes a turn when he gets to know a 12-year-old girl on the lookout for financial assistance for her ailment.

His concern for the girl, though he never sees her, is the film's main story. Also in the cast is Khushboo, who walks out of a bad marriage and into Balachandran's radar.

"There is not a single combination shot with her (Khushboo) and all the interaction we have is through the telephone after we establish contact afresh," said the three-times national award-winning actor.

What finally happens after Balachandran gets over the writer's block is the real suspense of the film.

Director Renjith said: "This story was on my mind for long and since I knew Mammootty's busy schedule, I just did not have the courage to ask if he had the dates.

"But when he heard the storyline, all he asked was how many days would the central character's shooting require. When I said just 10 days, he said 'done' and that was how I got him."

The shooting, in Kochi and Kozhikode, began last month and is likely to end Wednesday.

"The film is without any commercial ingredients, including lyrics. This is a down to earth film and I am fortunate that the entire crew of the film has cooperated with me in every aspect, including the remuneration part," added Renjith.

I'm overwhelmed by the love showered on me: Mammootty (INTERVIEW)
By Sanu George,

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 1 - Malayalam superstar Mammootty, who has been acting for over 25 years, says he is overwhelmed by the love he's received from people and hopes to play many more roles before hanging his boots.

"The love and liking that people have for me has bowled me over and I am simply overwhelmed," Mammootty told IANS in an interview.

The actor, who has more than 300 films to his credit, says he is not at all afraid of growing old.

"You and me, including the universe, are getting older by the day. It is just a feeling and I am not at all afraid."

Mammootty hopes to do many more films and play different kinds of characters. He already has several movies lined up in his kitty.

"My hands are full with many projects with leading directors like Renjith, Hariharan, and Blessy," said the superstar who is now shooting for "Pothan Vava" at the Central Prison premises here.

The actor confesses to being a bad investor. He prefers his wife handling his money.

"I am a bad investor and over the years I have realised that banks are the best bet. Now my wife handles my money."

Excerpts from the interview:

Q: What has been most satisfying for you?

A: It is simple, because lots and lots of people like me. The love and liking that people have for me has bowled me over and I am simply overwhelmed.

Q: Are you happy with your achievements?

A: These days, what I achieved in 25 years can be achieved in a year's time, so I don't think I have done anything great.

Q: What is the reason behind your success?

A: Hard work and only hard work has paid off for me. Being a very small industry, hard work is a must. It has worked wonders for me most of the time.

Q: How emotional are you?

A: I am very emotional and I get really upset when any of my films flop. I also get hurt over silly things. That is the way I am, I can't help it.

Q: How is your latest release "Bhargavacharitham Moonnam Khandam" doing?

A: It's bombed. It was a black comedy and was not received well.

Q: So what next?

A: Will do a 'white comedy' (laughs)

Q: How is the Malayalam industry doing these days?

A: The industry is doing well and the digital revolution will soon become the order of the day. There has been a remarkable improvement in content also ... all this would certainly add colour to our industry.

Q: What is the future of Malayalam cinema, according to you?

A: More meaningful cinema is being made and that is the reason why you see a rejuvenated Malayalam film industry. But more films aimed at youth are needed.

Q: What are your future projects?

A: My hands are full with many projects with leading directors like Renjith, Hariharan, and Blessy ... to name a few.

Q: What sort of characters do you portray in these films?

A: Each one of them is a different character. It includes a Tamil laundry worker, a spoilt brat, a writer and many interesting characters.

Q: What do you do with all your money?

A: I am a bad investor and over the years I have realised that banks are the best bet. First of all, where is the time to work on your investments? Now my wife handles my money.

Q: Any chance of becoming a producer?

A: There are others to do that job.

Q: What about direction?

A: May be...
Mammooty has a busy day in 'jail'

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 29 Ace superstar Mammooty had a busy day Friday shooting in the premises of the Thiruvananthapuram Central Prison, here.

Mammooty was shooting for his new film "Pothanvava" which is being directed by veteran filmmaker Joshi. Mammooty plays the male lead in this film, which also stars popular pop singer Usha Uthup.

Speaking to IANS in between shots the actor said he plays the role of a spoiled brat.

"I am enjoying as I always do on all sets. This film is different in more ways than one," said the actor.

During breaks Mammooty obliged a large number of policemen by posing with them.

"See this is the problem with cellphones with camera," he joked to a policeman.

Later, he obliged the state director general of police by agreeing to meet the prisoners.

"Yes, I would go inside and meet the prisoners. But I don't think you would be allowed," Mammooty chuckled.

Gopika plays the female lead. The cast includes Nedumudi Venu, Rajan P. Dev, Sphadikam George, Bijukkuttan, Maniyan Pilla Raju, Kunjan, Sai Kumar, Augustine, Kalabhavan Rahman, Narayanankutty, Ponnamma Babu and Nisha.

The script for the film is by Benny P. Nayarambalam. Sanjeev Shanker is the cinematographer.

'Ente Khalbile' Malayalam song of the season
By Paresh C. Palicha,

Kochi, Sep 20  There is no change in the list of top Malayalam songs this week. "Classmates" continues to rule the charts.

The top five Malayalam songs are:

1. "Ente Khalbile" - Film: "Classmates"; Music: Alex Paul; Lyrics: Sarath Varma; Singers: Sujatha and Vineeth Sreenivasan. This song continues to occupy the top slot. The music is growing on the audience as the film's popularity soars.

2. "Chandirane" - Film: "Mahasamudram"; Music: M. Jayachandran; Lyrics: Kaithapram; Singer: Alex. A dance number is a permanent feature of Mohanlal starrers and this song continues the tradition.

3. "Kathirunna" - Film: "Classmates"; Music: Alex Paul; Lyrics: Sarath Varma; Singers: Devanand, Jyotsna and Soniya. This is a romantic song that is also a vital narrative link - a rare combination these days. Full marks to director Lal Jose for making this happen.

4. "Kando Kando - Film: "Mahasamudram"; Music: M. Jayachandran; Lyrics: Kaithapram; Singers: G. Venugopal and K.S. Chitra. This is a romantic song featuring Mohanlal and Laila with the sea in the backdrop that is recaptured in the lyric.

5. "Mugile Mugile" - Film: "Keerthi Chakra". Music: Joshua Sridhar; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthencherry; Singer: M.G. Sreekumar. This song is yet another success for the Mohanlal-Sreekumar team.


'Classmates' wins Onam competition
By Paresh C. Palicha,

Kochi, Sep 20 The Onam season was disappointing for the Malayalam film industry as most films failed to live up to expectations and hype. Only "Classmates", made with a bunch of youngsters, achieved success at the box office.

The top five Malayalam films are:

1. "Classmates" - A campus film directed by Lal Jose has become the talk of the town, especially because of the good performances by youngsters like Prithviraj, Jayasurya, Indrajith and others.

2. "Keerthi Chakra" - This film has overtaken Onam releases and is on second position on this list. Directed by Major Ravi, the film has completed 50 days. Mohanlal, who plays an army officer fighting with terrorists in Kashmir, has won over the audience with his performance.

3. "Mahasamudram" - Mohanlal as fisherman held much promise but in the end it turned out to be like any other of his characters. Directed by debutant S. Janardhanan, the film drops to number three from number one.

4. "Don" - Dileep, who hoped to establish himself as an action hero with the film, is disappointed because director Shaji Kailas failed to recreate his old magic.

5. "Pathaka" - Suresh Gopi stars in yet another political thriller directed by K. Madhu. But the film has failed to create a stir and is on this list just by default.

Malayalam films still dominated by superstars: K. Madhu

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 10 (IANS) The Malayalam film industry continues to be dominated by superstars like Mammootty, Mohanlal and Suresh Gopi for over two decades because they are still doing their job well, says ace director K. Madhu.

"The question of replacing them at the moment does not arise because they are being accepted by the audience. Moreover, not long ago, the trio were joined by Jayaram and Dileep," Madhu told reporters here Saturday after the screening of his latest film "Pathaka" starring Gopi.

Both Mammootty and Mohanlal entered the industry almost simultaneously in the early 1980's and since then they have been leading the industry here.

Suresh Gopi joined them in the 'superstars' category in the late 80's itself. While both Mammootty and Mohanlal have completed 500 films, Gopi is yet to achieve that.

Madhu is best known for his three successful sequels to "CBI Diary Kurripu", released way back in the late 1980's, and he is now planning the fourth one.

"I am now planning the next in the series of 'CBI Diary Kurripu' and Mammootty who played the CBI sleuth in the four previous films will don the role of the CBI cop yet again. This is slated for early next year," said Madhu.

He added: "I decided to go in for Mammootty because he has been hugely popular and has created an image for himself as a successful CBI sleuth. Youths who watched my last sequel, watched the first 'CBI Dairy Kurripu' sitting in the lap of their parents. Times have changed but the audience still wants more films of this genre."

Success is never made, it happens: Suresh Gopi

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 9 Veteran superstar Suresh Gopi who made a successful comeback to Malayalam films last year through "Bharatchandran IPS" said success is never made, instead it happens.

Gopi returned to cinema after a gap of more than three years and since then all his films, according to him made money for the producers.

"I have returned to the big league. My policy is to keep going," Gopi told reporters after the screening of his latest film "Pathaka", directed by K. Madhu.

After "Bhartchandran IPS", his films "Tiger", "Lanka" and "Chinthamani Kolla Case" did bring in money, but they did not win the popularity of his comeback film.

"Now my hands are full and I have taken advance for nine new projects which include leading directors like Joshi, Madhu, I.V. Sasi, Jayaraj and Lenin Rajendran," said the superstar.

He added he is a completely changed person after the break and is very cautious making his next move in the industry.

"Pathaka" is a political thriller laced with several incidents, which made headlines in Kerala politics in the last few years. But surprisingly the movie failed to have a great opening. The film was released early this month.
'Mahasamudram' tops Onam releases
By Paresh C. Palicha, Indo-Asian News Service

Kochi, Sep 6 (IANS) It is Onam time and all major films have made it to the theatre. This list reflects the festive mood in the Malayalam film industry.

The top five Malayalam films are:

1. "Mahasamudram" - Top Malayalam actor Mohanlal's Onam offering for his fans sees him playing a fisherman for the first time. Directed by S. Janardhanan, the film may
not have gone down well with critics, but that has not stopped it from capturing the top spot on the list.

2. "Don" - Actor Dileep's long-time wish to work with director Shaji Kailas has come true with this film. Now it remains to be seen whether they can create magic at the box
office and get the producer's cash register jingling.

3. "Classmates" - Director Lal Jose brings together a bunch of youngsters -- Prithviraj, Jayasurya, Indrajith and others in a novel campus film.

4. "Keerthi Chakra" - This Mohanlal starrer may have moved to smaller theatres, but the audiences are still queuing up at the ticket counters.

5. "Bhargavacharitham Moonam Khandam" - Actor Mammootty's paring with writer-actor Sreenivasan may not have got the desired results, but that does not stop it from
being on this list.
'Ente Khalbile' top Malayalam song of fortnight
By Paresh C. Palicha,

Kochi, Sep 6  The songs from "Classmates" and "Mahasamudram" dominate the list this fortnight.

The top five Malayalam songs are:

1. "Ente Khalbile" - Film: "Classmates"; Music: Alex Paul; Lyrics: Sarath Varma; Singers: Sujatha and Vineeth Sreenivasan. A song with Mappila flavour tops the list. This
is the latest addition to the hit list of Vineeth Sreenivasan.

2. "Chandirane" - Film: "Mahasamudram"; Music: M. Jayachandran; Lyrics: Kaithapram; Singer: Alex. This is a song to show off both Mohanlal and Rahman's dancing
prowess, and it succeeds.

3. "Kathirunna" - Film: "Classmates"; Music: Alex Paul; Lyrics: Sarath Varma; Singers: Devanand, Jyotsna and Soniya. Director Lal Jose is known for his innovative song
picturisation and this song has his stamp.

4. "Kando kando" - Film: "Mahasamudram"; Music: M. Jayachandran; Lyrics: Kaithapram; Singers: G. Venugopal and K.S. Chitra. M. Jayachandran makes a comeback to
this list after a long gap and proves his versatility with this album.

5. "Mugile mugile" - Film: "Keerthi Chakra"; Music: Joshua Sridhar; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthencherry; Singer: M.G. Sreekumar. This song prolongs its stay on this list.

'Thakida Thakida' is top Malayalam song
By Paresh C. Palicha,

Kochi, Aug 23 (IANS) Songs from "Aanachandam" are dominating the Malayalam chartbusters list with "Thakida Thakida" holding top position.

The top five Malayalam songs are:

1. "Thakida Thakida" - Film: "Aanachandam". Music: Jaison J. Nair. Lyrics: P.C. Arvindan; Singer: M.G. Sreekumar. This is the kind of song that is Sreekumar's forte and it deservingly tops the list.

2. "Mugile Mugile" - Film: "Keerthichakra"; Music: Joshua Sridhar; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthencherry; Singer: M.G. Sreekumar. The popularity of the film has helped the song retain its place in this list.

3. "Guruvayoor Unnikrishnan" - Film: "Aanachandam"; Music: Jaison; J. Nair; Lyrics: P.C. Arvindan; Singer: Madhu Balakrishnan. This is a typically melodious song that goes with the film's theme.

4. "Snehikkan" - Film: "Kalabham"; Music: Raveendran; Lyrics: S. Rameshan Nair; Singers: K.J. Yesudas and Manjari Hari. Two Raveendran compositions figure in the list - a posthumous tribute from the audience to the composer.

5. "Kalabham tharam" - Film: "Vadakkumnathan"; Music: Raveendran; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthencherry; Singers: K.S. Chitra and Biju Narayanan. The song has made a big contribution to the film's phenomenal success.
Rs.9 bn for Kerala's film, video park
Indo-Asian News Service

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 22 (IANS) About Rs.9 billion (Rs 900 crores) will be pumped into the KINFRA Film and Video Park, nearing completion at Kazhakootam on the outskirts of the state capital, in the next three years.

Spread over 75 acres the park is being promoted by the state-owned Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA).

"Four units are already working. We have invested Rs.1 billion in the project so far," K. Sudhakaran, project manager of the park, told IANS.

In operation is the Prasad Lab where close to 90 percent of all post-production work of the Malayalam film industry is done. Another unit that has begun work is Vismaya Max studio owned by superstar Mohanlal. His studio offers indoor and outdoor shooting locales, live shooting and editing facility and a recording suite.

"Three units, all in various stages of construction, are expected to become functional soon and six more have been booked. It includes a studio by film personality Murali Nair, who is planning to shift his studio here from London," said Sudhakaran.

About 25 acres have been set aside for developing a special economic zone (SEZ) in the park. Clearance of this is expected later this month.

"To develop a special economic zone there has to be one million sq ft building space that has to be ready in three years. We already have 150,000 sq ft air-conditioned space ready for occupation. Here we intend to provide a minimum space of 5,000 sq ft to each entrepreneur at a likely monthly rent of Rs.18 to Rs.20 per sq ft," said Sudhakaran.

This leaves another five acres, which can be given to a maximum of five units.

An acre for a 90-year lease at a cost of Rs.2.5 million is the charge that the park levies from each independent unit.

"As of now 150 people work in the four units and when fully developed, 5,000 people would be employed," Sudhakaran added.

Among those who already have booked their space include film personalities Suresh Gopi, producer Suresh Kumar, a compact disc unit now based in New Delhi and a person who works at the Ramoji Rao Film City in Hyderabad.
'Keerthichakra' adds another feather in Mohanlal's cap
By Paresh C. Palicha, Indo-Asian News Service

Kochi, Aug 23 (IANS) There is hardly any change in this list from the last fortnight with only one new release - "Red Salute".

The top five Malayalam films are:

1. "Keerthichakra" - The audience is going gaga over this Mohanlal starrer that deals with terrorism in Kashmir. Directed by Major Ravi, the film adds yet another feather to the super star's cap.

2. "Aanachandam" - Actor Jayaram's love for elephants inspired him to work in director Jayaraj's film and it has turned out to be a safe bet for him.

3. "Chess" - Actor Dileep's film continues to hold on to its position in this list.

4. "Chako Randaman" - Actor Kalabhavan Mani has two films on this list. This one is an action-oriented family drama with Mani playing a triple role representing three generations.

5. "Red Salute" - Another film starring Kalabhavan Mani in which he plays a working class hero.

Kerala film on Kashmir the fortnight's topper

The Onam season, considered one of the most prosperous times for the Malayalam film industry, is round the corner and there is a flurry of activity, as new films are being released to get the early advantage and "Keerthi Chakra" is the topper of the new crop.

The top five Malayalam films are:

1. "Keerthi Chakra" - This was one of the most anticipated films of the year. Directed by Major Ravi, the film stars Mohanlal in the main lead. With terrorism in Kashmir as its backdrop, "Keerthi Chakra" has got a good opening.

2. "Aanachandam" - This may turn to be a make-or-break film for both director Jayaraaj and actor Jayaram, who are going through a lean phase. This comic film targeting the family audience may turn out to be lucky for them.

3. "Chess" - Actor Dileep's revenge saga continues to hold audiences' interest.

4. "Chako Randaman" - This is a mass entertainer with Kalabhavan Mani in a triple role. The classes may chide him but Mani always does his thing and stays in the reckoning.

'Mukile, mukile' most popular Malayalam song

 New songs from "Keerthi Chakra" and "Kalabham" make it to the top five list this fortnight.

The top five Malayalam songs are:

1. "Mukile mukile" - Film: "Keerthi Chakra"; Music: Joshua Sridhar; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthencherry; Singer: M.G. Sreekumar. This song has been playing on the channels for a while now and is on everyone's lips.

2. "Snehikkan" - Film: "Kalabham"; Music: Raveendran; Lyrics: S. Rameshan Nair; Singers: K.J. Yesudas and Manjari Hari. The recently released film may not have made it to the list of top five films, but this song, composed by the late Raveendran, is enthralling music lovers.

3. "Kaveri nadiye" - Film: "Keerthi Chakra"; Music: Joshua Sridhar; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthencherry; Singers: Karthik and Asha Menon. The songs of this film may not have helped the narrative, but they are here on individual strength.


Malayalam Chartbuster Music K J Yesudas and Chitra

"Chantham", a song from the film "Chess", makes it to the top of the list of Malayalam charbusters. Otherwise, it is "Vadakkumnathan" all the way.

The top five Malayalam songs are:

1. "Chantham" - Film: "Chess"; Music: Berni-Ignatius; Lyrics: Sarath Vayalar; Singers: K.J. Yesudas and K.S. Chitra. The Berni-Ignatius duo makes a good comeback with this song in their silver jubilee year in the industry.

3. "Aattinkarayorathe" - Film: "Rasathantram"; Music: Ilayaraja; Lyrics:

Gireesh Puthencherry; Singer: Manjari. The film has completed 100 days and the song helps in sustaining its popularity.

4. "Gange" - Film: "Vadakkumnathan"; Music: Raveendran; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthencherry; Singer: K.J. Yesudas. Yesudas and the late Raveendran shared a very strong
musical bond. This is one of the last glimpses of it.

'Chess' checkmates 'Rasathantram'

Some excitement was expected in the Malayalam film industry after dull business thanks to the month-long football World Cup. But it seems the
audience will have to wait for the Onam season, which begins in late August, for new films. Till then they will have to make do with the old stuff.

The top five Malayalam films are:

1. "Chess" - Once in a while actor Dileep makes an effort to do something really different. This is one of those occasions. And the film deservedly holds the top position on
this list.

3. "Vadakkumnathan" - Taking advantage of the prolonged dull period at the box office, this film holds on to its position. These are lucky days for Mohanlal it seems.

4. "Prajapathi" - Director Ranjith's bad phase continues. Hopes were high from this film starring Mammootty, but he could not deliver.

5. "Aswaroodan" - The less said about this film the better. Director Jayaraj tried to do the routine fare with Suresh Gopi with dismal results. The film is on the top five list just
by default.


Is Mohanlal endorsing new whisky?
Thiruvananthapuram, Ace superstar Mohanlal has confirmed that he has been roped in for an advertisement by a Karnataka distillery that produces whisky.The actor confirmed to IANS that he was endorsing a product of the company but played it safe by saying the ad would be a subtle one and would not directly promote whisky. Reports had said Mohanlal has been given a fat cheque of Rs.10 million for endorsing a mineral water product of the same company, but the actor said this was not the case."What I am doing is something different. So the news that has appeared has fallen flat. I am doing something that is well within the rules of law," said the actor.
Direct alcohol ads are not allowed in India and are usually promoted through other products of the same company.Said Mohanlal: "Aren't you aware that several stars do such ads.

( Read full news )


Prajapathi and Vadakkumnathan in Top : 
Football spells lull for Malayalam films
Kochi, The football World Cup has brought with it a lull for Malayalam movies, with box-office collections dropping drastically.

Even a big release like "Prajapathi" starring Mammootty could only get an average opening. But that in no way stops it from topping this list:

1. "Prajapathi": Ranjith directs Mammootty in his usual flamboyant style. Mammootty's towering presence makes it worth a watch.

2. "Vadakkumnathan": Music by late Raveendran and Mohanlal's acting help this film sustain itself in theatres.

4. "Balram Vs Tharadas": The same can be said for this film with Mammootty in a double role.

5. "Kisan": The fact that this small film directed by veteran Sibi Malayil was able to drag itself into a second week at the theatres gives it a place in the list.( Read full news )
'V' for 'Vadakkumnathan' in Kerala audio market
Kochi, The music of "Vadakkumnathan" is still holding on to the number one spot, but two songs from "Prajapathi" also make an appearance in this list. Here go the top five Malayalam songs:

1. "Kalabham Tharam": Film: "Vadakkumnathan". Music: Raveendran. Lyrics: Gireesh Puthencherry. Singers: K.S. Chitra and Biju Narayanan. Music director Raveendran may be smiling down from the heavens at the success of the soulful music of this film.

2. "Prajapathi": Film: "Prajapathi". Music: Thej Mervin. Lyrics: Gireesh Puthencherry. Singer: M.G. Sreekumar. If you need a song to blare in the background whenever a superstar makes an appearance on screen, Sreekumar is the man.

4. "Oru Killi Pattu Mulave": Film: "Vadakkumnathan". Music: Raveendran. Lyrics: Gireesh Puthencherry. Singers: K.J. Yesudas and K.S. Chitra. This romantic song has an old world charm.

5. "Oru Pennkidaavu": Film: "Prajapathi". Music: Thej Mervin. Lyrics: Gireesh Puthencherry. Singers: Sujatha and Jassie Gift. A typical danceable song to attract the crowds to the theatres, its success will be gauged in the coming days.
( Read full news )

Sabarimala priest demands inquiry into actress episode 
Thiruvananthapuram, Even as the Sabarimala temple authorities are readying for a ritual to restore its sanctity after an actress was reported to have entered it, the chief priest of the famed Kerala shrine said the allegation may be baseless. Kantaru Maheswaran Thantri, whose family members have been the designated temple priest for years, Wednesday demanded an inquiry into the claim that Kannada actress and producer Jaimala had entered the sanctum sanctorum in 1987 and touched the idol of Lord Ayyappa, flouting tradition. A controversy was triggered when astrologer Parapanangadi Unnikrishna Panicker said the deity had been violated as Jaimala had entered it.

( Read full news )

Prajapathi Review

Familiar Mammootty-Ranjith fare in 'Prajapathi'
Film: "Prajapathi"; Cast: Mammootty, Aditi Rao and Nedumudi Venu; Music director: Tej Mervin; Director: Ranjith; Producer: Siraj Valiyaveetil.

Mammootty and director Ranjith come together in "Prajapathi", after their successful outing with "Black". "Prajapathi" is a repeat of Ranjith's older films, as you see bits and pieces of his successful films - as a writer first and director later. However, the cast, the treatment of characters and the Ranjith stamp keep the viewer riveted with expectations that something extraordinary will happen. The story is about Davarmathom Narayanan (Mammootty), the virtual ruler of a small hamlet that has kept all the vices of the modern world at bay. The plot reminds us of recent Mohanlal-starrer "Naran", in which the hero uses his muscle power to make the whole village toe his line. Here, Narayanan is more democratic in his approach and calls a panchayat to punish people. The penalty is exile from the village for a period depending on the gravity of the crime. There is also a family angle. Narayanan kills his father, for being cruel to his mother, at the age of 13 and serves sentence in a juvenile home. But, even before the interval, he is cleared of the crime.His uncle (Nedumudi Venu) and cousins (Siddique and co) are his sworn enemies for obvious reasons - wealth and property. 
( Read full news )

I am selective about roles, co-stars: Innocent
Thiruvananthapuram, After nearly three successful decades in filmdom and more than 450 Malayalam films, ace comedian and character artiste Innocent says he now wants to take it easy and be more choosy about his roles. "I do not see acting as a job. I want to be selective as I want some free time to spend with my two grandchildren, who are now my passion," said the veteran actor on the sidelines of the shooting of his latest film "Mahasamudram" at a football stadium here.He said he was also careful about the co-stars he worked with as he wanted to enjoy each moment on the sets.Looking back on his years in the Malayalam film industry, Innocent said he had always wanted to be an actor and he was satisfied with the way his career shaped up as he had achieved more than he had dreamed of. "I started with a remuneration of Rs.15 but over the years I have acted with lots of stars including former Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalitha," said the 58-year-old actor who hails from Irinjalakuda in Thrissur district. The turning point in his career, he said, was when he got a much-needed break in the film "Ramoji Rao Speaking" in 1989. The film, he said, made him famous. Narrating an incident, he said: "I was a regular customer at a toddy shop near my home. Immediately after that film was released, I was at the toddy shop one day. After some time I heard a commotion and when I came out, I was surprised to see a massive crowd. Then I knew my time had come and after that I never visited that shop." Innocent, who is president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) for the past six years, said his colleagues were asking him to continue for a third term. Elections in the association are due later this month. 
( Read full news )


Mammootty's 'Prajapathi' faces World Cup challenge
Thiruvananthapuram, As the World Cup fever grips Kerala, Malayalam superstar Mammootty is worried that his latest film "Prajapathi" to be released amid football's greatest show would lose out to the immense popularity of football icons like Ronaldo and Beckham. Moreover, Mammootty's rival Mohanlal is playing lead role in "Mahasamudram" which has got a football-based storyline.But the film's director, Ranjith, has come up with a novel idea to see that the film does not go unnoticed. "It is not because Mohanlal is currently playing the role of a football star in 'Mahasamudram' that I decided to ask Mammootty to wear jerseys of countries like Brazil, England, Argentina and Holland. I did it instead to arouse feelings among Mammootty's fans especially in north Kerala where football is a passion," said Ranjith ( Read full news )

Mohanlal to act in film on Pakistani citizens in Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram, Ace actor Mohanlal will play the lead role in "Pardeshi", a film which tells the tale of nearly 100 Pakistani passport holders living in Malappuram district of Kerala."The film will be directed by former legislator P.T. Kunhumohammed and also star leading actors like Srinivasan, Vijayaraghavan, Reshmi Gopalaswamy and Sweta Mohan," said producer Antony Perumbavoor. "Pardeshi" tells the story of these hapless citizens who are living in Malappuram under constant fear of being extradited to Pakistan.
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Mammootty denies reports of Rajya Sabha nomination by CPI-M
Thiruvananthapuram, (IANS) Malayalam cinema superstar Mammootty has denied that the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) would field him for one of the three Rajya Sabha seats from Kerala."I deny these news reports because till date I have not been contacted by the CPI-M. It is not true at all because if that was the case they would have asked me," Mammootty told IANS over telephone from a shooting location in Kochi. Asked whether he would be interested if the CPI-M made an offer, the actor said: "Interest is different." With a strength of 98 seats in the 140-member assembly, the CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) can win two seats and the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) one. The latter has 42 legislators. The election will be held June 26.
Mammootty is known to be close to the CPI-M. He is the chairman of Kairali television channel in which the CPI-M has a stake. 
Mohanlal makes 'Vadakkumnathan' watchable
Film: "Vadakkumnathan"; Cast: Mohanlal, Padmapriya and Murli; Director: Shajoon Kariyal; Producer: Johny Sagariga Film Company; Music director: Raveendran 

At last the Mohanlal starrer "Vadakkumnathan" has made it to the theatres. Directed by Shajoon Kariyal, the film was lying in the cans for quite some time. 
Ace Malayalam actor Oduvil Unnikrishnan passes away
Kozhikode Ace Malayalam character actor Oduvil Unnikrishnan died Saturday morning at a private hospital here. He had been ailing for a while. Lovingly called "Unniettan" by members of the Kerala film fraternity, Oduvil, 62, is survived by his wife and two children. 
He will be cremated Sunday at his hometown near Palakkad. His last film "Rasathanthram", starring superstar Mohanlal and directed by his close friend Satyan Anthikad, is currently running to packed houses in the state. Starting his career as a theatre artist in the late 1960s, he went on to grace Malayalam films for nearly three decades, acting in more than 100 films. Oduvil won the hearts of cine-goers through his subtle style of acting and his impressive dialogue delivery. A highly respected figure, he was known for his simplicity. He was awarded the Kerala state award for his brilliant portrayal of the character 'Kaliappan' in director Adoor Gopalakrishnan's award winning film "Nizhalkuthu'" in 2002. "His demise is certainly an irreparable loss to the entire film industry here. His acting in my film 'Nizhalkuthu' as an executioner was simply superb. He was a great actor," said Adoor. Mohanlal, who acted with the departed actor for the last time in "Rasathanthram", said he was loved by one and all because of his pleasing manners. 
"There is no need to say that he was a great actor. He was one who portrayed all the characters with a lot of subtlety. He will certainly be missed by all," said Mohanlal. 
'Rasathanthram' rules Malayalam box office
Kochi, The Malayalam film industry has not got over the Vishu euphoria. "Vadakkumnathan", starring Mohanlal, has been a significant post-Vishu release but "Rasathanthram" still rules at the box office. 

The top five Malayalam films are:

1. "Rasathanthram" - This Mohanlal and Meera Jasime starrer directed by Sathyan Anthikkad has regained its top position. The rustic environs have the family audiences queuing up outside ticket windows.

2. "Balram Vs Tharadas" - This is an ambitious project with Mammootty in a double role under the baton of veteran director I.V. Sasi. The film topped the charts for a couple of weeks.

3. "Vadakkumnathan" - Mohanlal's performance and the late Raveendran's music are the strong points of the film scripted by lyricist Gireesh Puthenchery and directed by Shajoon Kariyal.

5. "Thuruppu Gulan" - Mammootty, by his own admission, plays a superfluous character targeting the vacation crowds in the film. Directed by Johnny Antony, the film seems to have succeeded in its mission. 
'Vadakkumnathan' songs top Malayalam charts
Kochi, Songs of "Vadakkumnathan", composed by the late Raveendran, dominate the Malayalam charts this fortnight. The top five songs are:

1. "Kalabham Tharam" - Film: "Vadakkumnathan"; Music: Raveendran; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthenchery; Singers: K.S. Chitra and Biju Narayanan. Based on traditional classical tunes, the album was a hit when it came out and now the release of the film has revived its popularity. "Kalabham Tharam" is picturised on Kavya Madhavan and Vineeth.

2. "Aattinkarayorathe" - Film: "Rasathanthram"; Music: Ilayaraja; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthenchery; Singer: Manjari. The popularity of this song refuses to diminish.

3. "Oru killi pattu mulave" - Film: "Vadakkumnathan". Music: Raveendran; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthenchery; Singers: K.J. Yesudas and K.S. Chitra. A romantic song picturised on Mohanlal and Padmapriya appeals to music lovers because it goes well with the theme of the film.

4. "Matthapoo" - Film: "Balram Vs Tharadas"; Music: Jassie Gift; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthenchery; Singers: Afsal, Rimy Tomy, Anwar and Jassie Gift. Jassie Gift proves that with his brand of music he can hit bull's eye anytime.

5. "Varavelkkumo" - Film: "Pachakuthira"; Music: Ilayaraja; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthenchery; Singers: Madhu Balakrishnan and Jyotsna. This romantic number is the sole representative of the film on the charts.
Malayalam actors' association to produce film
Kochi The Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (known as 'Amma') will produce a Malayalam film, the association announced here Thursday. The project will be led by upcoming star Dileep, who promised to give Rs.10 million to Amma to get the rights of the film.
"I decided to take up this venture because we at Amma need a lot of money and since stage programmes are no longer organised, I thought a film would be a way out. The first round of payments to the directors and others has already been made," Dileep told reporters here. Amma has asked ace film director Joshi to direct its first film. "The proposed film will star leading actors and actresses of the industry, and the shooting will begin after the monsoon ends," president of Amma and Malayalam comedian Innocent told IANS.
He said since Amma could not handle the project on its own, the production was entrusted to Dileep, who owned a production house.
"Dileep will meet the huge cost of production. Above that, he will also pay us Rs.10 million, which we will keep as Amma's corpus fund. Today, he gave us an advance of Rs.1 million. And all those who are selected by Joshi to act in the film will act without any charges," said Innocent.
Kerela embraces 'The Da Vinci Code' with house-full signs
Thiruvananthapuram, The controversial film "The Da Vinci Code" that opened in Kerala theatres Friday drew large audiences even as the Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council (KCBC) urged its faithful to register their protest against the movie. "Yesterday there was a premiere of the film and the two shows today have been full houses. And for the coming days till Sunday all balcony seats are reserved. With the controversy brewing, we feel the crowds should come in," said the manager of a movie house where the film is being screened. Last week, KCBC president Cyril Mar Baselios Catholicos asked its faithful to openly express their protest against the novel and the film through the mass media and other means, but not to resort to violent methods. He said both the film and the novel are malicious that insulted the Christian faith and were made to mint money. The film has been released in 10 cinema halls across the state and what is significant is that it has not been released in central Kerala where a majority of the state's Christians live. 
Instead it has been released at two centres in the Muslim-dominated Malappuram district at Tirur and Perinthalmanna. Christians constitute 23 percent of Kerela's population. Last week, the Kerala High Court declined to prohibit the screening of "The Da Vinci Code" in the state after a petition was rejected seeking a ban on the film. George Onakoor, a veteran Malayalam professor, said he is not going to compare the Bible with the film. "I see it as a good piece of work and since I don't want to compare it with the Bible, it is a non-issue," said Onakoor after seeing the premiere of the film. 
Mohanlal to star in Ibsen adaptation
Indo-Asian News Service

Thiruvananthapuram,  Malayalam superstar Mohanlal is all set to play the title role in an adaptation of a famous work of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen.

"Akashagopuram" (Castles in the air), directed by veteran filmmaker K.P. Kumaran, is based on Ibsen's "Master Builder".

"It is going to be a film with a lot of difference. This character is unlike the characters that I normally portray. It has got lust, romance, greed and anxiety and it is a subtle film. It is one character which has a philosophical approach and I am really excited to bag the role," Mohanlal told reporters here Tuesday. 

"This is a film which will appeal across the boundaries and one which will be a visual treat to watch. In fact, this is one which is a metaphor on the life and times of Ibsen himself," said director Kumaran. 

"I am really excited about this film because I love Kerala and it is my first venture outside of Bollywood," said producer Taizoon F. Khorakiwala.

"We expect to release it during Christmas and also take the movie to the Berlin Film Festival to be held in January next year. We would also take it to the 'art house circuits' in the US and Europe," added Khorakiwala.

Ibsen is generally acknowledged as the founder of modern prose drama who moved away from the romantic style and brought daily problems and ideas on to the stage. 

Dubai-based company and jewellery firm launches star hunt
Indo-Asian News Service

Kochi (Kerala) Dubai-based Magic Reel, a production oriented advertisement firm, and Joy Alukkas Jewellery have begun a unique talent search to select a heroine and two heroes for ace director Kamal's new film titled "Miss India".

Kamal said that since being a film with lot of glamour he wanted to get a wider choice to select the heroine and the two heroes. 

"The film tells the tale of a highly ambitious Malayali girl who after a lot of trial and tribulations goes on to don the Miss India crown. Also included in the film are ace actors Jagathy Sreekumar and Innocent. It is basically a film with lot of glamour but well within limits of decency and is a one which is a heroine oriented film," said Kamal whose last release "Pacchakuthira" is running to packed houses in theatres in the state. 

The new film is being produced by Mumbai-based Kaladharan, who is in the Merchant Navy.

Mathew Francis of the Joy Alukkas group said that the group decided to associate with the film because the selected heroine would be its brand ambassador for a period of one year. 

"We will have one of our representatives in the panel who would select the heroine," said Francis.

Sameer Hamza, director of Magic Reel, said that this is probably the first time that the Malayalam film industry has decided to have a talent search of this dimension. 

"Registration can be done only online by logging on to from the 27th of this month till the 30th of June. All those interested to register have to pay a registration fee of Rs. 1,000. We decided to put a fee because we want only those who are really interested," Hamza told IANS. 

He also added that once the candidates are short-listed there would be an audition test for which the date would be announced. 

"We want more Keralites settled in the United States to apply and from tomorrow onwards promos of this would be aired on leading television channels," added Hamza. 

Kerala director finishes diaspora film for State Department
Thiruvananthapuram, Award winning Kerala director T. Rajeevnath has just finished shooting his documentary "Indian Diaspora in the US" that was produced by the State Department and the US-based First Serve International. 

The 120-minute film, which documents the success story of Indians who have made it big in the US, will have four episodes.

"I have a big job in hand because I shot 46 hours and now have to edit it to 120 minutes. I have interviewed 36 Indians who are big names in the US," Rajeevnath told IANS.

He returned home earlier this week after travelling 28,800 km through the US in 25 days and interviewing 36 Indians.

The list of those who feature in the film include UN under secretary general Shashi Tharoor, most expensive plastic surgeon in US Raj Kanodia, spiritual guru Deepak Chopra, tennis ace Vijay Amritraj, management wizard Bikram Choudhary, IT giant Kanwal Rekhi, writer Bharathi Mukerji, musician Zakir Hussain, journalist Fareed Zacharia and economist Jagdish Bhagwati. 

Also featured are Didar S. Bains, a Punjabi who is called the peach king of the world, and filmmaker Mira Nair. 

"The post production work of the film would be done here and the film is expected to be ready for release in July," said Rajeevnath. 

The documentary is to be telecast in India by Doordarshan and in the US by PBS as well Discovery Channel.

Jessie Gift back with Katrina number
Kochi, Composer Jassie Gift is back with a bang. His song "Mathapoo" from "Balram Vs Tharadas" " featuring Katrina Kaif tops the list this fortnight.

The top five Malayalam songs are:

1. "Mathapoo" - Film: "Balram Vs Tharadas"; Music: Jassie Gift; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthencherry; Singers: Afsal, Rimy Tomy, Anwar and Jassie Gift. This song has the Jassie Gift stamp all over it. Katrina Kaif shakes a leg along with actor Arun and singers Afsal and Rimy Tomy.

2. "Aattinkarayorathe" - Film: "Rasathantram"; Music: Ilayaraja; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthencherry; Singer: Manjari. This can termed as the best song picturised on Meera Jasmine in Malayalam so far. Its popularity is unabated.

3. "Varavelkkumo" - Film: 'Pachakuthira'; Music: Ilayaraja; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthencherry; Singers: Madhu, Balakrishnan and Jyotsna. Shot in a dream sequence, the song is making waves.
'Mammootty vs Mammootty' makes it to the top
Kochi, Mammootty's recently released "Balram vs Tharadas" is the most successful film of the fortnight.

The top five Malayalam films are:

1. "Balram vs Tharadas" - Mammootty's double role as characters from two of his successful films pitted against each other has made this film a winner. Directed by veteran I.V. Sasi, the film is perhaps the most expensive to be made in Malayalam.

3. "Thuruppu Gulan" - Mammootty's comedy caper directed by Johnny Antony is popular with children. Even the publicity material of the film has targeted the young ones only.

4. "Pachakuthira" - This Dilip starrer is also meant for kids. Directed by Dileep's mentor Kamal, the film has him playing a mentally challenged person, and his antics are going down well with the kids.

Unnithan takes on Marxist veteran
Indo-Asian News Service

Tellicherry (Kerala), April 27 (IANS) Congress politician-turned-film star Raj Mohan Unnithan has taken on veteran Marxist Koderi Balakrishnan in assembly elections here and both are confident of winning.

Unnithan came into politics as K. Karunakaran's spokesperson in 2003 following squabbling in Kerala's ruling Congress party. 

He rose to fame as an actor after he caught filmmaker Shaji Kailas' eye and was cast with actor Suresh Gopi in "The Tiger".

Balakrishnan is a known face of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and has won from Tellicherry in 1982, 1987 and 2001. 

"You wait and see. This time too I will win with the highest margin ever," Balakrishnan told IANS. 

Although Balakrishnan is a local compared to Unnithan who lives in Thiruvananthapuram, the latter was lustily cheered when he shared the dais with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

It is the actor's first electoral battle and he is confident he will make it to the Kerala assembly. Tellicherry goes to the polls May 3.

Rasathantram Review
Film: "Rasathantram": Cast: Mohanlal, Meera Jasmine, Bharath Gopi and Innocent; Director: Satyan Anthikad; Producer: Antony Perumbavoor; Music: Ilayaraja Director Satyan Anthikad and superstar Mohanlal team up after a long gap of 12 years in "Rasathantram". It also marks the coming together of Mohanlal and Meera Jasmine. Being the Vishu release of the superstar who is teaming up with a director with whom he has had an enviable record, expectations from the Mohanlal starrer were sky-high. The film does not belie expectations. The director has done a fine job by casting Mohanlal in a common man's character. The star plays a carpenter with characteristic skill. The adage 'old wine in a new bottle' may be apt to describe the film with a plot that is not daringly unconventional but one which is packaged refreshingly. Prem Chandran Asari is a vintage Mohanlal character etched in our memory. He is a kind-hearted do-gooder whose destiny is shaped by circumstances beyond his control. But he still has the capability of spreading laughter and happiness. The storyline is simple - Prem Chandran saves a slave girl of Tamil descent, Kanmani (Meera Jasmine). Circumstances force her to dress up as a man leading to hilarious situations and commotions, though predictable, till the end of the first half.
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Thuruppu Gulan, Pachakuthira malayalam films
'Rasathantram' leads Kerala's festival releases
Kochi, New Malayalam films that hit theatres in the wake last week's Vishu festival have shuffled the top slots this fortnight. 

The top five Malayalam films are:

1. "Rasathantram" - Mohanlal and Meera Jasmine are paired together for the first time in Satyan Anthikad's film and the magic they bring to the screen makes it a sure winner at the box office.

2. "Thuruppu Gulan" - Johnny Antony directs Mammootty in this comic caper. It is still early to say whether this film will repeat the success of "Rajamanikiyam", but the first couple of days have seen good crowds in the theatres.

3. "Pachakuthira" - Dileep plays a double role in the film directed by his mentor Kamal. The highlight of this successful film is Dileep donning the role of a mentally challenged person with a getup that renders him unrecognisable.

Ilayaraja rules Malayalam music albums
Kochi, Revellers at this year's Vishu festival tuned in mostly to music maestro Ilaiyaraja's songs in Kerala.

The top five Malayalam songs are:

1. "Aattinkarayorathe" - Film: "Rasathantram"; music: Ilayaraja; lyrics: Gireesh Puthencherry; singer: Manjari. This ranks as one of the most fabulously shot songs in Malayalam cinema in the recent times. The sequence has Meera Jasmine at her effervescent best.

2. "Oru thothavadi" - Film: "Pachakuthira"; music: Ilayaraja; lyrics: Gireesh Puthencherry; singers: Vijay Yesudas and Jyotsna. A fast-paced number with beats, this will prove to be a sure shot hit with the youth in the coming days.

3. "Thevaram nokkunnunde" - Film: "Rasathantram; music: Ilayaraja; lyrics: Gireesh Puthencherry; singer: Vineeth Sreenivasan. The success of the song proves that Vineeth's unconventional voice suits everyone. Here, he gives voice to veteran Mohanlal.
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Let any party win, say Mammootty and Suresh Gopi
Thiruvananthapuram, Malayalam film stars Suresh Gopi and Mammootty are reluctant to air their views about the elections to choose a new assembly in Kerala, saying their opinions could spark political reactions. Both the actors indicated it would matter little to them who won the polls, but Gopi was more forthright. "Sorry, friend, a reaction from me would certainly spark reactions from many other places. Let anyone win," Gopi told IANS over telephone from a film shoot at Kothamangalam near Kochi. "It is not going to change my fortunes because I have to eke out a living by donning the grease paint," Gopi said, adding he would be unable to vote because he would be shooting during the balloting. "I have to shoot the climax of 'Pathaka' on April 22 at Kochi and I have to be at the Mookambika temple the next day. I just won't be able to cast my vote in the capital city," he said. 
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Madhuchandralekha Review

Urvashi shines in predictable 'Madhuchandralekha'

Film: "Madhuchandralekha"; Cast: Jayaram, Urvashi and Mamta Mohandas; Director: Rajasenan; Producer: Samad Mankada; Music: M. Jayachandran

Rajasenan's "Madhuchandralekha" brings together hit yesteryear pair Jayaram and Urvashi.

The premise of the film is well publicised and predictable. Madhu aka Madhavan (Jayaram) is a successful playback singer. Chandramathi (Urvashi) is his illiterate, rustic, betel-chewing wife with a bad habit of spitting in wrong places, and they have four children. It can be described as incompatible matrimony but still a happy one. 

Madhu loves his wife even though they are out of sync because she has brought him luck. Here enters Lekha (Mamta Mohandas), a sophisticated urban model-cum-singer, who finds a place in the hearts of all the family members.

Chandramathi thinks Lekha will be the perfect wife for her husband and a good mother for her children. How she goes about her plans of uniting Madhu and Lekha forms the rest of the story.

The humour, which is supposed to be the thread holding the film together, is inconsistent. One moment it is good and the next moment it is substandard. 

It all begins well with a clean shaven Jayaram teaching music to a group of girls in a village that includes the out-of-tune Chandramathi. The pacing in the first half an hour is good with Kalsala Babu playing the narrator.
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Suresh Gopi's films dominate pre-Vishu fares
Kochi, With Vishu festival nearing, there is a spur of activity in the Malayalam film industry with quite a few releases lined up for the occasion. 

The top five films are:

1. "Chintamani Kolacase" - Suresh Gopi and Shaji Kailas team up again to make a murder mystery. Suresh Gopi plays a shrewd lawyer who solves the death of a medico in a ragging incident.
3. "Rashtram" - It seems Suresh Gopi is the flavour of the season in the Malayalam film industry with two back-to-back releases within a week. This is a typical Gopi film directed by Anil C. Menon who has now entered the big league.

4. "Madhuchandralekha" - Urvashi and Jayaram come together in this film directed by veteran Rajasenan. But the film leaves you with mixed feelings.

5. "Vargam" - Prithviraj was heavily banking on the film to boost his career but the result is not as satisfactory as expected.
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Vargam Review
Prithviraj arrives with 'Vargam'

Film: "Vargam"; Cast: Prithviraj, Renuka Menon, Vijaya Raghavan, Devan and Rajan P. Dev; Director: M. Padmakumar; Producer: Malayalam Movie Makers; Music Director: Thej

Prithviraj arrives at last with "Vargam". He has been a newcomer for far too long but should be able to drop the tag with this film, directed by M. Padmakumar, which he carries on his shoulders with aplomb. The story revolves around Solomon Joseph (Prithviraj), a corrupt cop. He makes money, leads a lonely but merry life, taking on the bigwigs who are not in his good books. One such big shot is Ummachan (Devan) with big political ambitions. His competitor Vavachan (Vijaya Raghavan) is Solomon's benefactor and the tussle between them is prolonged and turns into a fight for one-upmanship. Prithviraj's performance is a revelation and the audiences remain glued to their seats. The proceedings take a break when Solomon gets a punishment transfer for mistakenly killing Ummachan's younger sibling Dennis in the lockup. The next part of the story takes place in the dry surroundings of Kasaragod. From here on, the film drags. In Kasaragod also Solomon does not leave his old ways and befriends the local bigwig and smuggler Arakkal Aboobakar Haji (Captain Raju).

I had planned 'Vargam' to be about a soldier: Vargam director
Kochi, Malayalam director M. Padmakumar says he had initially planned a film about a soldier instead of a corrupt police officer for his latest hit "Vargam". "When you are scripting a story, you start with an idea but may have to drop it when you find stumbling blocks in the narrative," said Padmakumar. "Vargam", a slick action-packed family entertainer, has received acclaim for Prithviraj's performance as the corrupt cop. The director said he was confident about the character as the Malayalam audience had always accepted leading actors in negative roles. Was it difficult to convince Prithviraj? "No, no, he was more confident than me. He was involved in the project from the very beginning. Sometimes, he used to encourage me also," Padmakumar told 

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Cop films dominate Malayalam screen
Kochi, This fortnight three new films have entered the Malayalam top five list, which includes two cop movies. They have got a good opening but it is too early to gauge their success. 

1. "Vargam" - Prithviraj tries the police act again and this time around he seems to have got lucky. Director M. Padmakumar's characterisation has won him the day.

2. "Kilukkam Kilukilukkam" - The sequel to Priyadarshan's classic "Kilukkam", directed by newcomer Sandhya Mohan, featuring Kunchako Boban, Jayasurya and Kavya Madhavan, has box-office potential. 

4. "Ravanan" - Kalabhavan Mani, who plays a cop again under Jojo Verghese's direction, has received a mixed response from the audience. 

5. "Lanka" - A film that disappointed Suresh Gopi's fans, it is on the list by default.
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Two songs from 'Kilukkam...' among Malayalam toppers
Kochi, The songs from "Kilukkam Kilukilukkam", which is a sequel to Priyadarshan's classic "Kilukkam", are ruling the list. The top five Malayalam songs are:

1. "Oottipattanam" - Film: "Kilukkam Kilukilukkam"; Music: Deepak Dev; Lyrics: Shibu Chakravarty; Singers: M.G. Sreekumar and Chithra - The song is similar to the one used in the original and the similarity has worked in its favour.

2. "Sundari onnu" - Film: "Lion"; Music: Deepak Dev; Lyrics: Kaithapram; Singers: Udit Narayan and Shwetha - Deepak Dev has been dominating the list for quite some time and it seems he will continue to do so.

3. "Pattonnu paadan" - Film: "Kilukkam Kilukilukkam"; Music: Deepak Dev; Lyrics: Shibu Chakravarty; Singers: Ranjith, Benny, Smitha and Arjun - The ensemble song is the second track from the film to enter the list.

5. "Chirimanimulla" - Film: "Lion"; Music: Deepak Dev; Lyrics: Kaithapram; Singers: Afsal and Jyotsna - The songs of "Lion" are still hot because they are repeatedly played on TV channels.

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Malayalam music maestro Devarajan passes away
Chennai, G. Devrajan, the man who added melody to Kerala's communist movement in the 1950s and remained a forte of Malayalam films for more than four decades, passed away here.
He was not keeping well for some time and was admitted to a hospital here early this month.
He was discharged from the hospital Tuesday. Following some complications, he was rushed to the hospital again, where he was declared dead late Tuesday night. He was 79 and is survived by his wife and a son and a daughter. "Devrajan master can easily be called the inventor of Malayalam film songs. His tunes were often folk based and very much seeped in the ragas made simpler for the layman," said M.G. Sreekumar, reigning Malayalam playback superstar, told IANS. Sreekumar's father Malabar Gopalan Nair, a well-known musician of his time, was a contemporary of Devrajan's father.
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Lanka Review : 'Lanka', a letdown for Suresh Gopi fans
Film: "Lanka"; Cast: Suresh Gopi and Mamata Mohandas; Writer-director: A.K. Sajan; Producer: Santosh Damor; Music: Sreenivas and Rajesh Jayamohan

Suresh Gopi's career, alas, appears to be almost over. Seeing audiences leave the theatre after watching just a fraction of his new film "Lanka" doesn't give rise to optimism about the future of the actor who is desperately trying to regain his lost glory.

Gopi, who had given us some hope with his comeback movie "Bharathchandran IPS", has been on a downward spiral since then.

"Lanka" promised a lot to his fans, but has failed miserably in keeping its promise. Gopi in the role of an Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) veteran with a flirtatious tendency belies all raised expectations within the first 15 minutes.

His is an ill-defined character with villainous traits - a wealthy womanizer settled in Colombo and on the hit list of Sri Lankan Tamil extremists. Gopi, in his unbuttoned shirts and his shorts cannot lure the audience.

The fault lies in director A.K. Sajan's approach.

The film is virtually immobile and static, as if it were a theatrical production. There is no movement in location or the scenes. Everything happens through dialogue, which eventually gets on one's nerves.
( Read full news )

'Thanmatra', 'Achuvintae Amma' bag Ujala-Asianet film awards
Thiruvananthapuram, Popular Malayalam films "Thanmatra" and "Achuvintae Amma" have bagged the top Ujala-Asianet film awards. 
Announcing these here late Saturday, K.P. Mohanan, managing editor of Asianet Television, named "Achuvintae Amma" as the best film. Blessy, who made the Mohanlal starrer "Thanmatra", was named the best director. Mohanlal was named best actor for his performances in "Thanmatra" and "Udayananu Tharam".

Veteran Malayalam actor dies in train
Kochi (Kerala) Veteran Malayalam actor M.S. Tripunithura, famous for his character roles and his deep voice, died in his sleep in a train at Palakkad Wednesday.

'Mayajalakathil' rules the chart
Kochi, A song from "Out Of Syllabus", a film that had a very short life in theatres, has made it to the top of the charts. 

The top five Malayalam songs are:

1. "Mayajalakathil" - Film: "Out Of Syllabus"; Music: Bennet Veetrang; Lyrics: Rafique Ahamed; Singer: Vineeth Sreenivasan. The film may have bombed at the box-office but the audience will remember it for the song.

2. "Sundari Onnu" - Film: "Lion"; Music: Deepak Dev; Lyrics: Kaithapram; Singers: Udit Narayan and Shweta. Music director Deepak Dev and lyricist Kaithapram have become a hit team in recent times. The hit number "Sundari Onnu" is another feather in their cap.

3. "Ozhukukayay" - Film: "Achanurangatha Veedu"; Music: Alex Paul; Lyrics: Vayalar Sharath Chandra Varma; Singers: Reju Joseph and Sujatha. This is a sentimental song with a classical bent, which gives an un-Alex Paul feel.

4. "Chirimanimulla" - Film: "Lion"; Music: Deepak Dev; Lyrics: Kaithapram; Singers: Afsal and Jyotsna. The young singers lend special zest to this song.

Spotlight is on Gopi's 'Lanka'
Kochi, It was a dull fortnight especially after the euphoria of the state awards died down. The films that released during this period did not last in theatres even for a week. So the same list continues with a few minor changes.

The top five Malayalam films are:

1. "Lanka" - Made by young director A.K Sajan, the film stars Suresh Gopi who has tried to do something different and trade circles are gung-ho about it. 

2. "Lion" - Actor Dileep and director Joshy's team seems to have worked out well. This is their second success in a row. The first one was "Runway".

5. "Parayam" - The film, starring Jishnu, Madhu Warrier and Bhavana, has been waiting to hit the screen for quite some time. This is the last film from the director duo Anil-Babu team. They went their separate ways after completing the film. 
( Read full news )
Kerala director makes film on Indian diaspora
New Delhi, Well-known Malayalam director T. Rajeevnath has begun shooting a documentary showcasing the Indian diaspora's success story in the United States. And the first shot was an interview of Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi here. "This was the opening shoot," Rajeevnath, 54, told IANS. "We began shooting at 9.30 a.m. and it was over in an hour." The US State Department and the US-based First Serve International are jointly producing the 90-minute documentary. "It records the success story of several Indians in the US and is about the peaceful co-existence of Indians in the US," said the Kerala-based director. 
( Read full news )

Kerala to achieve e-literacy by 2007
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Saturday said that the state would become 100 percent e-literate by the end of 2007 with at least one member of every household having learnt basic computer applications. Chandy also announced the appointment of popular Malayalam film star Mammootty as the goodwill ambassador for the state government's IT project, "Akshaya". The announcement was made through a live e-conferencing event in which Chandy participated from here while Mammootty did so from Kochi. All the other 13 district headquarters of the state were also connected in the e-conference. "We began the Akshaya project in Malappuram in 2003 and close to 585,000 people have now become e-literate in the district. "In the second phase, seven districts would complete the programme by the end of this year. By the end of 2007, the remaining six districts would complete the project making Kerala 100 percent e-literate," said Chandy.
( Read full news )


'Lion', 'Tanmatra' lead Malayalam films
Kochi, Even as Malayalam film "Lion" tops this fortnight's list, "Tanmatra" - the toast of the Kerala state film awards announced this year - remains firmly in the spotlight.

1. "Lion": Actor Dileep manages to strike a balance between commercial success and critical appreciation. After his effeminate turn in "Chaandupottu" - for which he got a special mention from the awards jury - he dons a macho mantle in this political thriller.

2. "Tanmatra": Bagging five state awards this year, the film got actor Mohanlal the best actor award and Blessy the best director and writer awards.

3. "Achanurangatha Veedu": Adjudged the second best film, this takes Salim Kumar from a sidekick comedian to second best actor. 
( Read full news )
'Lion' tops Malayalam chartbusters
Kochi, The Malayalam music scene remains unchanged for the time being. The scenario may change in the coming days, as couple of music-oriented films will hit the screen.

The top five Malayalam songs are:

1. "Sundari onnu"; Film: "Lion"; Music: Deepak Dev; Lyrics: Kaithapram; Singers: Udit Narayan and Shwetha.

Dileep is supposedly the only actor in the industry who gives importance to locations for song picturisations. And the picturesque New Zealand in the background enhances the appeal of this song. 

2. "Kunninte mele"; Film: "Achanurangatha Veedu"; Music: Alex Paul; Lyrics: Vayalar Sharath Chandra Varma; Singer: Jassie Gift.

This is a typical Jassie Gift song with his unconventional voice.

3. "Chirimanimulla"; Film: "Lion"; Music: Deepak Dev; Lyrics: Kaithapram; Singers: Afsal and Jyotsna.  
( Read full news )
Mammootty roped in as ambassador for IT project
Thiruvananthapuram, Malayalam film star Mammootty has been roped in by the Kerala government as its goodwill ambassador for the IT project Akshaya. 

A statement from the state IT Mission that runs the Akshaya project said as goodwill ambassador, Mammootty will take up the responsibility of spearheading a campaign by appearing in print and visual media advertisements and other publicity materials that will send the message of Akshaya to the grassroots. 

Reacting to his selection, Mammootty said he was happy to be associated with the unique project that aims to change the face of Kerala. 

"If the benefits of IT reach the entire population of Kerala, we can develop to the level of any developed society in the world. The Akshaya project of the Kerala government has started functioning with this aim," said the superstar.

"I am sure that this unique project will make Kerala into a knowledge society based on technology."

Akshaya, which was started in Malappuram district in 2002, completed the first phase of an e-literacy programme by providing computer training to 580,000 people in the district. Kerala has one of the highest literacy rates among the states in India. 
( Read full news )


Paris Hilton in Indian director's 'Mother Teresa'?
Thiruvananthapuram,Well known Malayalam director T. Rajeevnath, scouting for a suitable actress to play the title role in his film on Nobel Peace laureate Mother Teresa, has sent feelers to American actress Paris Hilton. "My agents in California have contacted Paris Hilton," Rajeevnath told IANS. The director said he was impressed when he read a report sometime ago in which the hotel heiress said she had refused to pose nude in Playboy magazine and decided then to shortlist her.

Kerala director to make film on Indian diaspora
Thiruvananthapuram, Film director T. Rajeevnath is to make a documentary showcasing the success stories of the Indian diaspora in America.The first scene of the 90-minute film titled "Desi US" will be shot in Delhi with Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi by February-end, said Rajeevnath, a Kerala resident who has won national and international awards. The documentary will be released by June."This is a film produced by the US State Department and US-based First Serve International. The film tells the success story of several Indians in the US and is about the peaceful co-existence of Indians in the US," Rajeevnath told IANS.
( Read full news )

'Thanmatra' bags key Kerala film awards
Indo-Asian News Service

Thiruvananthapuram, "Thanmatra", the tale of a man affected by Alzheimer's disease, Tuesday swept the Kerala State Film Awards for 2005, bagging the best film, best actor and best director.

Announcing the awards here, Minister for Culture A.P. Anil Kumar said "Thanmatra" had also won the best screenplay and a special mention for debutant Arjun Lal. 

Veteran actor Mohanlal who plays the lead role won the best actor award and filmmaker Blessy won the award for direction and screenplay. 

Blessy, who is in his mid 30s, had shot to stardom with his first film "Kazcha" in 2004 which won several awards that year. "Thanmatra" was his second film. 

"I am really happy that my film has bagged important awards. This is an appreciation for a film with a difference because it has not toed the usual route of a commercial film, even though it is a commercial film," said Blessy. 

"Ananthabhadram", directed by ace cameraman Santosh Sivan, also bagged a few awards.

Sivan was adjudged as the best cameraman while M.G. Radhakrishnan won the best music director award. The honour for editing went to Srikar Prasad, art direction to Sunil Babu and makeup to Patanam Rasheed. 

Navya Nair bagged the best actress award for her roles in "Saira" and "Kanna Marunu". 

( Read full news )


'Lion' songs a roaring success in Kerala
Kochi, Even as songs from the film "Lion" do a roaring business in Kerala, a tune in "Achanurangatha Veedu" marks singer Jassie Gift's lilting comeback to the musical arena.

The top five Malayalam songs are:

1. "Sundari Onnu" - Film: "Lion"; music: Deepak Dev; lyrics: Kaithapram; singers: Udit Narayan and Shwetha. Superstition may be the reason Dileep uses Udit Narayan's voice in most of his films. Shwetha is the daughter of veteran singer Sujatha.

2. "Kunninte Mele" - Film: "Achanurangatha Veedu"; music: Alex Paul; lyrics: Vayalar Sharath Chandra Varma; singer: Jassie Gift. Gift, who disappeared from the scene for a while, makes an emphatic comeback with this song.

3. " - Film: "Tanmantra"; music: Mohan Sithara; "Mele Vellithinkal lyrics: Kaithapram; singers: Karthik and Meenu. The songs of the film are well integrated with the story.

5. "Idaluranu Veena" - Film: "Tanmantra"; music: Mohan Sithara; lyrics: Kaithapram; singer: P. Jayachandran. Music of this film shows how songs can be used to enhance the holistic feel of a film.

'Lion' is king among Malayalam films
Kochi, Wild animals dominate Kerala's cinema theatres this fortnight with "Lion" naturally stealing a march over "Tiger". 

The top five Malayalam films are:

1. "Lion" - This is political thriller from the team of actor Dileep and director Joshiy. An unprecedented opening has taken the film to the top.

3. "Tanmatra" - It is one of the most discussed films of recent times. The tact with which director Blessy has tackled Alzheimer's disease has touched the intelligentsia.

4. "The Tiger" - Suresh Gopi plays a suave cop for the umpteenth time. Only nostalgic appeal has sustained this film.

5. "Achanurangatha Veedu" - Director Lal Jose gets realistic with this film. The story of a converted Christian played by Salim Kumar won kudos for bold experimentation in theme and casting.
( Read full news )
US company ropes in Kerala martial expert for animation game
Thiruvananthapuram, A martial arts exponent from Kerala who fought the legendary Jackie Chan in "The Myth" is all set to work with a leading US-based animation company to produce a computer game."The final agreement will be inked soon and I will be able to give you the name of the company only when that happens," said G. Satyanarayanan.
( Read full news )
Adoor calls for 'good cinema'
Thiruvananthapuram, Renowned filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan, one of the most honoured Indian filmmakers after Satyajit Ray, wants good cinema to be promoted.Born in Kerala, 65-year-old Adoor was conferred the Padma Vibhushan ahead of Republic Day.
"The need of the hour is to promote good cinema and for this it needs to be incorporated in the academic curriculum," Adoor, last year's Dadasaheb Phalke award winner, told reporters here Saturday. According to him, appreciation of good cinema was very important. "The government should ensure that award winning films are screened in theatres and must not just wait for box office receipts. The (state-owned) Film Development Corp has theatres which should screen good films. If that does not happen, good films will continue to languish," he added.  ( Read full news )
Sivan's film sweeps Kerala Film Critics awards
Thiruvananthapuram, National Award winning director Santosh Sivan's latest Malayalam film, "Ananthabhadram", Thursday bagged major awards given away by the Kerala Film Critics Association. 
( Read full news )

'Rajamanikyam' set to create a record
Kochi, The advent of the new year has made little difference to the Malayalam film industry. With no new releases in the past couple of weeks, the films of last year are still holding on.

The top five Malayalam films are:

1. "Rajamanikyam": The biggest hit of last year is leaping towards the 'biggest-ever grosser' status. 

2. "Bus Conductor": Director V.M. Vinu has tried to capitalise on Mammootty's star aura. But the film seems a bit lame compared to other recent releases of the actor.

3. "Tanmatra": Director Blessy has proved that he knows his craft well. He has again defied typical notions of heroism by casting Mohanlal as an average family man in this film.

4. "The Tiger": Suresh Gopi-Shaji Kailas was a deadly combo in the past. The duo's effort to recreate the magic has received mixed response.  
( Read full news )
Stardom is here to stay: Nedumudi Venu
Thiruvananthapuram, Veteran character actor Nedumudi Venu Saturday said that superstars and their lustre overshadowing the rest of the cast in a film was inevitable, adding that other actors would have to play a second fiddle to them.

Interacting with reporters after a preview of his latest film 'Saira', he said, "I am not for competing with the stars because I have my role cut out and I am happy that I still continue to get good roles." 
( Read full news )
'Tanmatra' song tops Malayalam charts
Kochi, "Mele vellithinkal", a song from the most discussed film of recent times, "Tanmatra", stays on the top of the Malayalam music charts this fortnight.

The top five Malayalam albums are:

1. "Mele vellithinkal"; Film: "Tanmatra"; Music: Mohan Sithara; Lyrics: Kaithapram; Singers: Karthik and Meenu - The song goes well with Mohanlal's character, who plays an Alzheimer's patient in the film.

2. "Manathe"; Film: "Bus Conductor"; Music: M. Jayachandran; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthenchery; Singers: Madhu Balakrishnan and Rimy Tony - Mammootty shakes a leg with Jayasurya, Harisri Asokan and others as if trying to prove his detractors wrong.

3. "Idaluranu veena"; Film: "Tanmatra"; Music: Mohan Sithara; Lyrics: Kaithapram; Singer: P. Jayachandran - Blessy's genius comes through even in the songs of this film.

4. "Pinakkamano"; Film: "Anandabhadram"; Music: M.G. Radhakrishnan; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthenchery; Singers: M.G. Sreekumar and Manjari - The song holds its position for its old-world charm. 
( Read full news )

Kerala actor denies talk of political career
Thiruvananthapuram, Veteran Kerala actor Innocent Sunday denied speculations that he would join politics and contest forthcoming assembly polls. Innocent began his film career in the early 1980s as a film producer, and later switched to acting, appearing in close to 400 Malayalam movies. Meanwhile, speculation is rife that another actor, Cochin Haneefa, might enter the electoral arena. He reportedly was contacted by top LDF leaders to contest against Industries Minister V.K. Ebrahim Kunju from Mattanchery in Kochi. 
( Read full news )

'Tanmatra' tunes top Malayalam charts
Kochi, Two songs from "Tanmatra" and one each from "Bus Conductor" and "Anandabhadram" rule the charts.
The top five Malayalam albums are:

1. "Mele Vellithinkal"; Film: "Tanmatra"; Music: Mohan Sithara; Lyrics: Kaithapram; Singers: Karthik and Meenu. 
The song depicting filial bonds in the nuclear family set-up gives the crux of the movie.
2. "Manathe"; Film: "Bus Conductor"; Music: M. Jayachandran; Lyrics: Gireesh Puthenchery; Singers: Madhu Balakrishnan and Rimy Tomy. 
( Read full news )
'Rajamanickam' makes Mammootty top Malayalam star
Santosh Sivan's first Hollywood film being shot in Kerala

Malayalam film : Mammootty's Bus Conductor review

A bumpy ride with Mammootty in 'Bus Conductor'
Film: "Bus Conductor"; Director: V.M. Vinu; Producer: P. Rajan; Music director: M. Jayachandran; Scriptwriter: T. A. Razak; Cast: Mammootty, Innocent, Nikhita, Jayasurya and Bhavana. Old wine in a new bottle may be a cliché, but it would suffice to summarise "Bus Conductor" -- Mammootty's New Year gift to his diehard fans. ( Read full news )

Mammootty reigns supreme as Malayalam cinema gets fillip

Thanmatra Review : Mohanlal's Thanmatra

'Tanmatra' is for connoisseurs
Film: "Tanmatra"; Writer-director: Blessy; Producer: Raju Mathew; Music director: Mohan Sithara; Cast: Mohanlal, Meera Vasudev, Arjun and Nedumudi Venu
( Read full news )
Congress leader looks upon films as alternative career

'Pinakamano' is catchiest Malayalam tune
'Rajamanickam' reins box office 
Santosh Sivan to shoot Hollywood film in Kerala
Malayali feature film shot in two hours, 14 minutes 
Film eyes record with 10-hour shoot 
Chinese film emerges winner at Kerala film fest 
Another controversy brewing in Malayalam films 
Rs.170 million film centre to come up in Kerala

'Rajamanikyam' rules Malayalam screen
'Pinakamano' top Malayalam tune

Middle East based jeweller to sponsor film awards
'Boyy Friennd' is a mishmash of formulas - Review
Malayalam TV serial shot in South Africa to be aired soon

Mammootty's comic role puts 'Rajamanickam' on top 
Numerology hits Malayalam cinema 
Sivan tries the supernatural in 'Ananthabhadram' - Review 
Mohanlal returns to Hindi cinema with 'Sholay'( Read full news
Good response to Ramzan audios in Kerala
Going beyond the two Ms of Malayalam cinema 
By George! Look who's acting in Malayalam film

Yet another Malayalam sequel getting ready  

'Chaandupottu' scriptwriter in focus

'Omanappuzha' tops Malayalam songs chart

No change in top five Malayalam films

Kerala firm ties with US company for animation series

Malayalam cinema begins hawking products on screen

'Chaandupottu', 'Naran' top Malayalam audio charts

Onam films rule the box office

National Geographic's nod to Kerala filmmaker

Malayalam film industry on revival path

Mammootty redeems 'Nerariyan CBI'

Malayalam films on comeback trail: Mohanlal

Shaji gives a role to Congress rebel leader

Mammootty fortnight for Malayalam cinema

'Chaandupottu', 'Naran' rule Malayalam charts

'Naran' boosts Mohanlal's fortunes

Malayalam films basking in Onam glory




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