MAMMOOTTY Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Mammootty, whose real name is Muhammed Kutty, is a Malayalam film actor.


Mammootty was born in Chempu, a village near Vaikom in the Kottayam district of Kerala in the year 1953. He has acted in more than three hundred movies, most of them in malayalam. . He is considered as a superstar in the malayalam film industry, along with Mohanlal. He has a very large fan following in South India.


Mammootty is considered to be one of the greatest Method Actors in India along with Nasirudeen Shah and Om Puri. His stellar performances backed by four National Awards for Best Actor is a virtual proof of his Acting Prowess. Like Ben Kingsley and Marlon Brando, it is said that Mammootty rehearses and studies a character before he actually enacts it on the screen. The True Genre of a Method Actor, it is a Folklore tale in Malayalam Film Circles that the ultimate depiction of a film character is that of “Chanthu” portrayed by Mammootty in Hariharan’s “Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha” which bagged him his first National Award for the Best Actor.


Mammootty’s masculine looks, baritone voice and thick moustache underline his qualities of manliness. In South-India, most men grow moustaches with pride as a proclamation of masculinity. With four National awards, five State awards and five Filmfare awards for best acting, his acting prowess has won him wider appreciation and recognition than his looks.


Although a lawyer by qualification, Mammootty always wanted to be an actor. His entry into filmdom was rather late. As bad luck would have it, his first film, Devalokam(’World of Gods’), never saw the light of the day. None other than the colossal figure in Malayalam cinema M. T. Vasudevan Nair discovered him and it was veteran director K. G. George who brought up Mammootty as an actor. Initially, K G George’s films like Yavanika(’Curtain’), and Valarthumrigangal(’Pets’), and Vilkanunde Swapnangal(’Dreams for sale’) made him noticeable.


Mammootty’s career graph is dotted with highs and lows. His career saw a spectacular rise after the release of Joshi’s New Delhi. This film was based on the story, “Almighty” by Irving Wallace. It heralded the arrival of Mammootty the super star. His performance as a victimized journalist, who systematically took revenge on politicians who beguiled him, caught the imagination of many in the film world. Thereafter he acted in a series of super hits, only to remain low for sometime afterwards.


Apart from the heroic roles he enacted in pure commercial films, Mammootty was fortunate to have got the chances to portray the meaty roles of M T Vasudevan Nair’s characters. M T’s films like Aalkootathil Thaniye(’Alone in the crowd’) catapulted him to new realms of stardom. His controlled acting and presentation of M T’s dialogues, which were always pregnant with meaning, gave Malayalam cinema a new concept of hero.


Then came his Oru CBI Diary kurippe(’A CBI diary entry’), which some observers of malayalam films say was a landmark. It brought to fore a new concept of villainy, fresh presentation of politicians and above all a refreshing idea of hero. Without even a single song or dance number, Oru CBI Diary kurippe went on to create box-office history in Kerala. For all these, a large portion of credit goes to Mammootty for his enactment of the role of an upright CBI officer and his immaculate ways of unfolding the secrets of a murder shrouded in mystery. His theatrical representation of a Tamil Brahmin CBI(Mammootty being a muslim by birth and belief) officer became a topic of household discussion in Kerala. The film carved itself a niche in the heart of Keralites, so that two more films (Jaagratha (1989) and Sethurama Iyer CBI (2004)) starring Mammootty as Sethurama Iyer, the CBI officer, were recieved very well. A fourth film with the same character, Nerariyan C.B.I (2005) is set to release immediately. This in itself is a record of sorts in the Malayalam film industry, with four movies with the same lead character (a la James Bond).


Mammootty touched higher pinnacles of his career in Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha(roughly translated as ‘A northern folklore’), again a M T creation. His depiction of a ‘Chekavan’(Usually a person of a warrior clan who would fight for a king or other nobles of the land) of distinguished valor but vilified by circumstances won him the top honors of the country, National Award for best acting. His histrionics matched the literary genius of M T. After his first national award, he made it almost a habit of winning the National award.


It was his acting talent, coupled with his willingness to go to any extent to rationally portray the roles, that helped enabled him to act in both offbeat and commercial movies and other in art movies, and yet not fall flat. Mammootty became almost a regular face in Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s films. He starred in three of his latest movies, Anantharam(’Thenceforth’), Mathilukkal(’Walls’) and Vidheyan(’The Subservient one’). The easiness with which he illustrated on screen the protagonist in Mathilukkal won him National award for best acting once more. It was again in an art movie, Ponthan Mada, which won him the National award for a third time.


In between, he had crossed the boundaries of Malayalam cinema and acted in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi movies. Though he proved a success in Tamil after Mani Ratnam’s Dalapati and continues to shine in Tamil films, his maiden Hindi film, Dhartiputra went unnoticed. But his national presence was once again felt after Jabbar Patel’s Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar. So realistic was his performance that it was reported thousands who watched the shooting of the film were in tears. No wonder, he again bagged the coveted Rajat Kamal for best acting.


Howsoever, he has been critisized for his inability to do comedies. Also, his dancing skills are considered poor by even his most freverent fans. But the emotions and the depth that he gives to his characters make him a well revered actor.