New Delhi: When 20-year-old Mohanlal Vishwanath Nair entered the Malayalam film industry in 1980 little could he have known that it just the beginning of a long and illustrious association with movie buffs throughout the country.
Today, as the megastar celebrates his birthday we give you a lowdown at some truly unforgettable movies which make him a force to be reckoned with.
Manichitrathazhu: Directed by noted filmmaker Fazil, this psychological-thriller is regarded as one of the greatest Malayalam films of all time. Boasting of a powerful climax, the movie bagged a National award. Over the years, it has been remade in Hindi ('Bhool Bhulaiyaa'), Tamil ('Chandramukhi'), Kannada ( 'Apthamitra') and Bengali ('Rajmohol'). Interestingly, all versions have done well at the box office.
Bharatham: Boasting of some melodious semi-classical carnatic music, this Sibi Malayil-directed film was a reinterpretation of the Mahabharat. Playing the titular role, 'Lalettan' delivered a graceful performance which was included in the 'Forbes' magazine’s list of 25 unforgettable performances in Indian cinema, Interestingly, the film was produced by the actor himself.
Kalapani: Loosely based on the biographies of some prominent political figures from the Indian freedom struggle, this Priyadarshan-directed film is perhaps best remembered for its powerful dialogues and gripping screenplay. Shot in Malayalam, the movie was later on dubbed into Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Also featuring Tabu, Amrish Puri and Prabhu in significant roles, 'Kalapani' received rave reviews upon release, bagging as many as three National awards.
Iruvar: After making quite a name for himself in Malayalam cinema Mohanlal ventured into Tamil films by playing the lead role in this Mani Ratnam-directed project. Revolving around the nexus between politics and cinema in Tamil Nadu, the movie was appreciated by critics and audiences alike. Mohanlal in particular was praised for delivering a restrained performance, earning a mention in the 'TIME' magazine. Interestingly, his character was modeled on MG Ramachandaran.
Company: Marking Mohanlal’s Bollywood debut, this Ram Gopal Varma-directed project offered a dark and disturbing look into the underworld. Essaying the role of a cop, 'Lalettan' created waves amongst movie lovers, thanks to his unconventional dialogue delivery and flawless body language. This helped him bag a Filmfare nomination.
Kandahar: Bringing together two living legends Amitabh Bachchan and Mohanlal, this Major Ravi-directed venture revolved around a plane hijacking incident. Despite failing at the box office, the movie managed to garner some critical acclaim, thanks to its daring storyline. Interestingly, Ravi ended up bagging a National award for his meticulous portrayal of a sensitive issue.
Unnaipol Oruvan: A remake of 'A Wednesday', this Tamil film featured Mohanlal and Kamal Haasan in lead roles. Revolving around a commoner who plants bombs in Chennai, this thriller proved to be a huge hit at the box office and garnered positive reviews.
Narasimham: Boasting of some catchy MG Radhakrishnan-composed tunes, this masala film set the box office on fire, redefining Malayalam cinema in the process. Interestingly, this Shaija Kailas-directed movie, which also featured Mammooty in a guest role, went a long a way in popularizing the 'Narasimham mundu' amongst the youth.