Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Why is Mohanlal special for Malayalam Cinema.


  


   From the days of Prem Nazir and Madhu,Malayalam cinema has grown to Himalayan heights, due to various factors such as its unique creative parameters,theme and content of story line, narrative thrust and the extraordinary acting calibre of a long line of actors of whom the heroes of Mollywood could be said to have enhanced the beauty of the language by their verbal wield.

  The Malayalam language with its varied dialects and slangs especially those of  the Chalakkudi/ Thrissur brand and that of North Malabar brand,has periodically got into the tongues of the heroes,for a fair and foul play.Of all the heroes,Mohanlal is a monumental substance of Malayalam cinema,purely on account the power of his tongue,over his mother tongue.

  Mohanlal may not have the stoutly built physique of Mammootty,to don the role of a dare devil,dynamic police officer.{He has of course beautifully essayed cop roles many times}He may not have that much of the comedy flair of Jeyaram or Dilip.But he is the most fascinating hero in a splendid way,to play any role with consummate ease and felicity.Getting introduced into the Malayalam big screen by Fazil,as a greedy thug in Manjil Vrinja Pookal, he has ever been the breeze and storm of the soil of Kerala,in celluloid mode.

  Give him pages and pages of dialogues;he will forcefully and exuberantly deliver it as he did in the film Praja or put him in a wheel chair,as it was done in Pranayam.He would breathe through his mother tongue with agony and ecsatasy. When it comes to comedy,he will create a ruckus with his mother tongue as he beautifully meddled with both the language and his co artistes like Sreenivasan and Mukesh in several films. The robust run of his vocal cords through the pathways of the language,has certainly been an amazing audio visual treat,in films like Ayal Kadha Ezhuthukayanu.

   Mohanlal is not only capable of rendering melodious songs like "Attumanal Payayil" in 'Run Baby Run' but also has a mesmerising rhythm in his tongue to be tuned to any scene of action. The beauty is,he could do it like a honeyed piece of banana or a sushi stuff,falling like a delicacy into the mouths of the respective taste lobby.All heroes deliver their roles.So does Mohanlal. But the difference is more in the dance of his tongue,than in his physical promotion.His tongue could wriggle like a snake or firm up like a rock.It may not vibrate to the level of an Amitab or a Rajinikanth.But it could travel straight on a track,like an armed soldier or roll in a zig zag way,like a drunkard  or a wavering nomad,but always excel in its articulation,in a special way that no other hero could do.

   In a stardom bound world of Indian cinema,film makers like Bhadran,Shaji Kailas and Joshy made Mohankal a mass hero,by extracting his muscle and mind power through quite a number of films.Films like Spatigam,Olympian Anthony Adam, Aaraam Thamburan, Naattu Raajavu, Thandavam, Narasimham,Baba Kalyani, Praja,Twenty Twenty,Christian Brothers etc would belong to this category.Almost all these films projected the heroic substance more than the hero's stuff. 

   Whereas directors like I.V.Sasi, Fazil,Priyadarshan,Sibi Malayil,Renjith,Siddique,B.Unni Krishnan,Bharadhan,Jeethu Joseph and a few others extracted the brilliance of  Mohanlal's vocal cords to spread its feathers marking a fabulous touch for every feather,with a different feel. Through films like Devasuram,Life is Beautiful,Madambi, Midhunam,Balettan, Chithram, Kilukkam,Kilichundan Mambazham, Oppam,Summer in Bethelehem,Rasathandhiram, Thenmavin Kombath,Chadhurangam,Drishyam and the latest ones like Big Brother, Lucifer and Drishyam 2,Mohan Lal has meatily consolidated the charm and grace of his vocal cords,to reach our ears as the base for a galaxy of emotions,without giving room for a straight entry,but through numerous corridors of sound tracks and rest in our memory,as multiple voices hailing from a single source.

  Mohanlal is special for Malayalam cinema,because his voice is special for the Malayalam language.It is a voice claiming proximity to our soul,by calibrating emotional charcteristics of contextual human behaviour,related to love and animosity, concern and indifference,humour and pathos,anger and poise,nonsense and sense, arrogance and modesty,courtesy and contempt,decency and thuggery,teasing and easing and many more.

   Even as he physically reaches the person he wants to,Mohanlal's voice will precede his reach,as it did,longing for his mother's lap in Madambi or falling into the arms of his wife in Life is Beautiful.His voice can peep and penetrate,melt and mould,hurt and heal,surpass and surrender, mesmerise and manipulate,insinuate and adore and above all stoop to conquer.More than the actor in Mohanlal,it is his voice which is a tactful manipulator,quietly transforming his every performance into a unique asset,not only for him,but also for Malayalam Cinema.Quoting the words of Christopher Marlowe's Dr.Faustus differently,

                  Was this the voice

            That launched a thousand trips

    And churned the topping tastes of all?

                   Sweet Mohanlal ,

       Make Malayalam films immortal 

          With your tongue in its bliss!.

{Note:- And here are the original words of Dr.Faustus}.

             "Was this the face

        That launched a thousand ships

      And burned the topless towers of Illium

              Sweet Helen,

     Make me immortal with a Kiss"

  *Wishing Mohanlal and all members of Malayalam cinema a Happy Vishu*.

P.Chandrasekaran.

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