Happy birthday Mohanlal! Malayalam cinema’s ‘complete actor’ turns 60 today, wishes pour in from celebs, fans

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Updated: May 21, 2020 3:25:59 PM

Growing up in the 80s outside India, Mohanlal's popularity with movie going audiences is something that I have directly experienced and that too, not just in the Gulf or the US, but even in African countries.

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Happy birthday Mohanlal! Or maybe as Malayalis say, “Happy birthday Laletta”! It goes without saying that Mohanlal is a much loved actor. From Shashi Tharoor, Kamal Haasan, Jairam, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Manju Warrier to KS Chitra, how else do Malayali celebs who are also his die-hard fans wish Indian cinema’s legendary actor a very happy birthday? Indeed, the Malayalam cinema’s ‘complete actor’, who has made his audiences laugh, cry and empathise with every aspect of the protagonist he represents across decades, continues to conquer hearts, thereby demonstrating the power of great acting as an artist’s most powerful tool in the creative medium.

Mohanlal’s popularity in Africa

Growing up in the 80s outside India, Mohanlal’s popularity with movie going audiences is something that I have directly experienced and that too, not just in the Gulf or the US, but even in African countries. Outside India, it was very difficult for Malayalis to get access to films. It goes without saying that Mohanlal films which used to be released back then in the videotape format were a huge hit and one had to wait in ‘queue’ for one’s turn to get to watch his comic flicks! Tamil friends, irrespective of age, gender or even knowing Malayalam well, would not mind joining in to watch this actor who could make them laugh with his mannerisms that make characters more flawed and comical, yet so much more human.

Funny as it may sound, for Malayalis living in Africa, an ‘unspoken’ waiting register was kept for those who were waiting to watch Lal movies when it finally reached in the form of video tapes. Remember, these video tapes would reach Africa several months after the film’s theatre release. Nevertheless, the wait added to the excitement of settling down to watch a Mohanlal film that would make us breathe freely and feel like ‘true Malayalis’ in a remote land.

Mohanlal – The complete actor: Why Malayalis love Mohanlal films?

Nearly every Malayali I know would laugh, cry and get their daily dose of inspiration through the medium of entertainment that Mohanlal brought to life on their screens. Not for him was the sophisticated, classic, heroic roles – that was defining the 80s heroes. He did the unthinkable, pushed boundaries to make villains look sexy on screen and he made villains outstanding and comic characters heartwarming. Simply put, Mohanlal is an actor who has taken acting to another level through every character that he has portrayed in his roles, challenging every stereotype that earlier existed.

Irrespective of whether his films were box office hits or not, Mohanlal’s transformation to become the character that he portrayed marks him as an artist in true essence.

Breaking the mould of perceived heroes became Mohanlal’s trademark and unique signature style. Whether it is dubbing, taking up very risky action sequences or singing in Malayalam even though he is not a trained singer, here’s a fearless, break-the-stereotype artist who has proven beyond doubt that there is nothing to fear in exploring the creative medium but fear itself!

Mohanlal – The Complete Actor

Watching the different shades of this brilliant artist, one cannot but be bowled over by his subtle mastery in subdued performances such as in ‘Vanaprastham’ and ‘Pakshey’, blending in with his effortless comic dialogues that leaves everyone in splits!

For fans of Malayalam cinema’s legendary actor, today marks a special occasion to shower the ‘King’ of Malayalam cinema, as his die-hard fans often call him, with the abundance of good health and success that one wishes for one’s most loved ones. From his first movie in Malayalam cinema to the most recent films, Mohanlal has enthralled audiences in a way that can be best described as ‘personal.’

Happy birthday Laletta: Manju Warrier’s heartwarming tribute

In Manju Warrier’s Facebook post on the occasion of Mohanlal turning 60, she makes a tribute that is sure to ignite joy in the hearts of fans. The post written by Manju Warrier is sure to resonate with every Mohanlal fan, who would be able to feel an instant connection with every word. For an artist, age is a mere fleeting number, of which roles and its diffferent shades mark the true essence.

Just as one cannot step into the same river twice and emerge with the same feeling, every significant role that Mohanlal has portrayed has grown to have many more finer nuances and shades of cinematic interpretation. Perhaps this captures a gist of Manju Warrier’s tribute to Malayalam cinema’s most loved actor in the most heartwarming way.

The language of love is universal and therein lies the sheer brilliance and genius of the craft that Mohanlal, the complete actor par excellence, has managed to gain mastery over.

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