Friday, April 11, 2014

An Ever Delightful Malayalam Hero.

     The quality of Malayalam Cinema stands high, not only because of its vital roots of creative brilliance,sprouting its exalting themes and unique style of narration, but also due to the wholesome contribution of a commanding line of heroes, at every point of time.The post independent years witnessed the magnificent show of mighty heroes like Prem Nazir,Sathyan,Jeyan, Sugumaran, Madhu and Barath Gopi.During the Nineteen Seventies, there emerged another batch of greatly talented heroes like Mammootty, Mohanlal,Suresh Gopi,Jeyaram and Mukesh. Within a decade or so, there was a stream of next generation heroes like Dileep, Jaya Soorya, Prithviraj, Indrajit,and Kunchacko Boban. Of these, the first name has established a specially appealing impact, through a distinct style of acting.
     Neither well built with macho norms like Mammootty,nor fascinatingly vibrant like Mohanlal, neither charming like Jeyaram,nor tall and smart like Prithviraj,but combining the best in every one of them,and gracefully adding pep and dynamism to character portrayal,Dileep stands out as a special Malayalam hero,fit to become a member of every Malayalee family.He could be called the most endearing hero of Malayalam Cinema.Who among all Malayalam heroes,has given the best of comedy core like Dileep?While Suresh Gopi would certainly find himself uncomfortable on the comedy track, Mammootty's breezy reflection of the comedy feel, could be beautifully realized by his casual ease of character portrayal, in films like Pranchiettan and the Saint,Kammath& Kammath and Thapanna,Jayaram's  humour path takes credit for his timing of jokes and facial expressions causing laughter explosions.
     Mohanlal's versatility never excludes the humour side {like Kamalahasan in Tamil}and he does it effortlessly through his characteristic style of dialogue delivery. Mukesh is another hero capable of generating vibrant comedy moments. Prthviraj is generally serious in role play, but in the recent years,he has also been sincerely comedy prone{like Vijay in Tamil}.But no Malayalam hero has so far grasped the fundamentals of different types of comedy, like Dileep. He has at his beck and call, the mood changing magic of acting.He can put together physical comedy, contextual comedy and comedy of witticisms and perform with utmost credibility, in providing comedy of the ISI brand.
    What makes most of Dileep's films a delightful watch, is the compactness in fitting the character to the original design.It is this element of compactness in the evolution of the protagonist of each of his movies, that enriches the overall quality of its final outcome.He not only has a middle level body frame but is also a middle level hero, without any assumptions, but with a high degree of perception of the magnitude of a character and its maximum impact on the minds of the audience. He never deviates from the main task of entertaining the film watchers, to the best of his ability.He is one hero, who knows the opportunities to perform well,without ever bypassing the yardsticks of the character's journey, along the stipulated story line and he does this, by a perfect understanding of the dimensions of the character.But he finally fixes the character for its journey, on the Dileep track.It is a broad gauge track, with an even mix of all the entertaining ingredients like comedy, sentiment,action and aesthetics.This is why, even in a story of sobre romance like Chandran Udhikkunna Dhikkil,he could envisage a seamless blend of the Dileep comedy special,to a tale of love disappointment that calls for sorrowful reminiscences.He could not miss his comedy mark even in family dramas like Vinodha Yatra and Kariyasthan.
    The biggest asset of Dileep is his light mindedness and cheering profile.In this particular aspect he could be compared to the Tamil director-cum-actor,K.Bagyaraj,whose geniality and bonhomie in character presentation, made him a special category of hero.Incidentally,it was K.Bagyaraj who led the jury that conferred Kerala State's Best Actor award for Dileep's performance in 'Vellaripraavinde Changadhi'.One could pretty much see a beaming sense of well being, in all the characters portrayed by Dileep.You can not call this levity.But he is an exuberant actor and he can never hit you like a storm and upset your mood. Throughout the time of watching his film,he will make you feel his presence, as some one closer to you,sitting beside you, at the time of movie watch and goading you to enjoy the film without missing any portion of it.He will not tie you to the film with a firm grip, like Mammootty or hug you every now and then, like Mohanlal, through a dialogue pattern, shuttling between emotional heaviness and soothing sedation of humour.The presence of Dileep is mostly within you and beside you, throughout the movie's length and breadth.
    Every hero has their mark of individuality and ability to perform in a manner that would bring them a kind of invincible identity in the long run.More than the award winning potential of an actor, it is the continued flair for maintaining, an inspiring and endearing role play, that guarantees a historical place for a hero, in the film industry.A good hero should make the audience feel that he is there at all times and can not be written off.What is the use of getting a few awards and then disappearing from the scene?Heroes like MGR and Sivaji Ganesan are still there in the thoughts of the Tamil audience.They have found an immortal place in the annals of Tamil film history. Energetic and exemplary heroes like Rajinikanth,Kamalahasan,Mohanlal and Mammootty not only have the capacity for winning  awards, but can also make a long career without dent.But a hero who always makes the audience happy by his endearing presence, besides getting awards, is definitely different.It is in this respect Dileep is distinct.
     I would have watched more than one third of his films that include all his best.Of these,Meesa Madhavan,Paappy Appachan, Paandippada and the latest Kammath&Kammath will be my all time favourites.I admire his impressive role performance in films like Spanish Masala, Ishtam, Vinodha Yatra,Vettam and Kalyana Raman.Some of his action films like Bodyguard, Runway, Chess,July4 the multi- hero film Twenty Twenty and Lion are well marked for speed and tempo in narration. Though his performance in Chaandupottu has fetched him an award I somehow did not like the film.Nor was I inspired to continue watching the film Sound Thoma. May be I do not want to see a hero capable of  a self ridiculing mode,to be seen in a further unpleasant or ridiculous form.
    I would not rate him as a conventional romantic hero{His Spanish Masala is an exception].To me he is an action hero, with an inbuilt grit to generate grace,grandeur and dynamism, incorporating several layers into a single character and unfolding them one after the other, for a broad spectrum of histrionics.This is how he succeeded in clinching his delivery points, in several action films and action -oriented family dramas.His dancing core,fighting style and capacity to adapt dialogue, perfectly to the emotional context, make him an all rounder, as far as the action genre is concerned. The most significant and indisputable fact is, his position as the hero of many commercially viable projects on screen. Dileep must be the favoured hero of directors like Lal Jose,Joshy,Priyadarshan and Rafi Mecartin. He has also worked under other eminent directors like Kamal,Sibi Malayil, Lohitha Das,Siddique,Thomson K.Thomas, Rajasenan,Vinayan and so on.He has done a movie for Fazil too.He has been convincing, as the younger sibling of Mammooty{Kammath& Kammath} Mohanlal{Twenty Twenty}and the dauntless Tamil hero Vijayakanth {Rajjiyam}.Most of his contemporary heroines have been his perfect pairs of whom, Kavya Madhavan needs a special mention.
    It is in the police uniform,Dileep has not yet made an impressive show like Mammootty,Suresh Gopi and Prithviraj. His CID Moosa was just a comedy parade as a private detective.The other film 'Inspector Garud' that came later, was not a straight police story and the diversions and deviations in the narration of events, failed to make a focus both on the main character and the theme. However, having  done one hundred films within a fairly short period,Dileep is bound to reach newer heights not only in numbers but also in grasping enviable levels of quality performance, without losing his strong base of being a lovely and lovable hero.His felicitous and breezy mode of character delineation, will continue to push him up the cinema ladder.His action and comedy parameters, will remain fresh for a display of unseen proportions, presenting a periodically updated version, of this Malayalam hero of myriad shades.In all Celluloid parameters,Dileep is an ever delightful hero, on the Malayalam big screen.

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