Mohanlal is one of the greatest actors alive in the Malayalam film industry. He has given some wonderful performances since he started his career in 1978. He has starred in more than 325 movies and most of them have been blockbusters. His flicks are admired so much that filmmakers from other languages also wish to remake these films. Even after over 40 years in the industry, he continues to be the most sought-after actor.
On the occasion of Mohanlal’s 61st birthday, we list out his five performances that thrilled, moved or comforted the audience.
1. Kireedam: This 1989 drama was a Shakespearean-like tragedy which was written by AK Lohithadas and directed by Sibi Malayil. It was a tale of unforeseen circumstances that thwarted the dreams of a police officer, played by Thilakan, and his son, played by Mohanlal. The latter’s portrayal of a young man’s agony was so marvellous that he won the National Award for his performance.
2. Iruvar: Mohanlal rarely moves out of Malayalam cinema but when he does, he makes sure the rest of India takes note of his performance. Mani Ratnam’s Tamil classic was based on the friendship between MGR and Karunanidhi. Mohanlal’s stunning portrayal of a movie star-turned chief minister remains one of his best to date.
3. Vanaprastham: This 1999 hit was released two years after Iruvar and he yet again delivered a poignant performance. The film was based on a destitute Kathakali artiste. He not only acted in it but also produced the film. His versatile performance fetched him a state award and his third National Award. Not only this, but he also earned the respect of Kalamandalam Gopi, a legendary Kathak dancer.
4. Sadayam: This is a hard-hitting film that makes the audience strangely empathise with Mohanlal’s character and his sense of justice. He plays the role of a mentally disturbed painter who goes on to become a death row convict. Watching this film, it can be definitely said he is an actor par excellence.
5. Chithram: This 1988 film was such a box office hit that it was remade in several other languages later, including Hindi, Telugu, Kannada and Tamil. However, none of the adaptations was able to replicate the brilliance of the original case. Mohanlal’s character was so versatile in the flick that the audience was able to laugh and cry in equal measures.