Thursday, February 4, 2010

A genius called Sreenivasan

If someone were to talk about the superstars of Malayalam cinema, only two big names come to mind. Mohanlal and Mammootty. But there is another actor who may not be as glamorous as these two, and yet a superstar in his own right. He is short, dark, does not look anything like someone who should be in front of the camera. Apart from being a brilliant actor, he is also an amazing story writer, screenwriter producer and director. And when you see his movies, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

He is Sreenivasan.

The supporting actor or the comedian or the funny con man, whichever role he plays, he is impressive. Sometimes he is right there getting punched, embarrassed, making silly faces and dancing with his two left feet. And sometimes he just touches the heart with his deep, thought provoking movies and stories that are unforgettable. What amazes me most is the way he humors himself. Several movies written and acted by Sreenivasan are masterpieces but I cannot resist mentioning two particular movies that showcase his witty side. One is Vadakku Noki Yanthram in which he plays a husband who is so conscious of his average looks that he suspects his wife of having an affair and how he ends up looking totally idiotic in front of his wife and family. This movie won him the state award. Another movie worth mentioning is Paavam Paavam Rajakumaran- my personal favorite. This movie is about a simple, stingy bachelor –played by Sreenivasan, who shares his rented house with 3 other guys and how these guys cheat him into falling in love with a girl. Hilarious and at the same time a powerful performance by Sreenivasan. He doesn’t mind debasing and humiliating himself on screen to get his thoughts through. Which actor would risk that these days?

A serious comedian and film maker who is not here for glamour and not here for minting money. He is here for a sole and a responsible purpose- to entertain. And he is a genius at it.

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