5 reasons north Indians should watch Mohanlal's Oppam

The Malayalam superstar in a Priyan film is always a treat to watch.

 |  4-minute read |   22-07-2016
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Mohanlal, the three-time National Award-winning actor, the superstar from Kerala, is a sensation, rather a celebration for Keralites. If I say no day in the life of a "Mallu" passes without mentioning him or any of his movies or a joke or a dialogue, I won't be exaggerating. Such is his fan base and his aura.

Acclaimed director Priyadarshan is his classmate from college. The number of iconic movies this collaboration has given Malayalam cinema is a proof of both their talent and camaraderie. Lal in Priyan movies is eagerly awaited and always a treat to watch.

If I were to name the best works of Priyadarshan, all of it would be his works with Mohanlal - Poochakkoru Mookkuthi, Mazha Peyyunnu Maddalam Kottunnu, Thalavattam, Vellanakalude Nadu, Chithram, Vandanam, Kilukkam, Minnaram, Oru Yathramozhi, Abhimanyu, Mithunam, T. P. Balagopalan M.A., Thenmavin Kombath, Minnaram, Kala Pani, Chandralekha, Aram + Aram = Kinnaram, Advaitham, No. 20 Madras Mail, Aryan, Boeing Boeing, Mukunthetta Sumitra Vilikkunnu - the list is endless.

The kick the audience got from this collaboration is that on top of being laugh riots, all of these movies could be considered good cinema.

When these two big names in the Malayalam cinema industry come together, and that too backed by an incredible trailer, it is only normal for Keralites to go crazy.

With Oppam, Mohanlal-Priyadarshan combo is back to making a low-budget film and history tells us such projects meant a concrete script and would become massive hits. Here are five reasons north Indians should look out for Oppam, and watch it: 

1. Mohanlal plays a visually-challenged man 

Mohanlal is arguably the only superstar in India who excels character acting. Kamal Hassan fans would vouch for him, though. Despite Lal not undergoing drastic physical transformations like an Aamir Khan or a Christian Bale, you can see him living as the character.

Him playing a visually-challenged man, which he has done only in Rajiv Anchal's 1997 movie Guru (which was also India's official entry to the Oscars), is something to look forward to.  

2. Priyadarshan directing a thriller 

Comedy has been Priyan's genre for long. The only time he ventured into making a thriller was back in 1990 with the movie No.20 Madras Mail, and boy, that was one hell of a ride.

With Mohanlal as the lead, and Mammootty playing himself in a pivotal role, the movie had everything - humungous starcast, a solid script, comedy, action, suspense - you name it. A thriller from Priyan, 26 years after No. 20 Madras Mail, makes Oppam a must watch.  

3. Nedumudi Venu 

Yes. One of the most versatile actors the world has ever seen, Nedumudi Venu can play any character. He's acted as Mohanlal's friend and he's played Lal's father multiple times. A constant presence in Priyadarshan movies, Venu is one main reason I'd go to watch Oppam.

North Indians, usually ignorant about movies from the south and busy typecasting south Indian movies as Rajinikanth movies, should make it a point to see this man owning each second of his screentime. Venu, now 68 years young, has been delivering mindboggling performances back-to-back even at this age. 

4. The trailer 

The trailer released hours ago and has already gone viral on social media. Why wouldn't it? Premam director Alphone Puthren has edited the trailer for Priyan, and has been successful at inducing curiosity about the storyline.

Mohanlal's chemistry with the little girl, possibly his daughter, is charming, it is evident that there is a villain, a serial killer from the look of it, Mohanlal is shown dragged by the cops and we can't help but wonder why, Lal - visually-challenged - is pointing at someone at a possible identification parade, and literally last but not the least, the way the trailer ends, all will drive fans into a frenzy. 


5) Emerging trend in Malayalam cinema 

In 2011, when a movie named Traffic directed by late Rajesh Pillai (remade in Hindi) released, Malayalam cinema was said to be reborn.

Malayalam cinema even got classified into before/after Traffic and this wave of new-age cinema has been sweeping Keralites off their feat over and over again.

Cinema that deals with complex societal issues, dark, gory, realistic movies, light-hearted romcoms, all of these were only when backed by a thoughtfully written script and the result was out there.

Malayalam cinema got umpteen blockbusters in a short span of six years, not mindless entertainers but good cinema.

Well-written, well shot, well packaged, thought-provoking entertainers.  

With Mohanlal's production house Ashirvad Cinemas deciding to bring out a low-budget film, one directed by Priyadarshan, who is now more of a Bollywood director, and Lal acting in it, they should have a reason behind it.

And I hope that reason is their belief in the script, and their own talent.


Vivek Surendran Vivek Surendran @ivivek_nambiar

The writer is an engineer turned marketer turned journalist who believes that powerful words can change the world. When not at work, could be found travelling, exploring the world through a DSLR.

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