• Thursday, June 13, 2024


Birthday Special: 10 must-watch films starring Mohanlal

Mohanlal is hailed as one of the best actors in Malayalam cinema.

Mohanlal in a still from the film Drishyam

By: Mohnish Singh

Mohanlal, often hailed as one of the best actors in Malayalam cinema, boasts an illustrious career spanning over four decades with numerous iconic roles. As the superstar turns 64 today, we celebrate his storied career by highlighting ten of his most iconic films. Each of these movies showcases his versatility and enduring appeal.

1. Manichitrathazhu (1993)

In this psychological thriller from director Fazil, Mohanlal plays Dr. Sunny Joseph, a psychiatrist tasked with unravelling the mystery behind the protagonist’s split personality. His performance was both nuanced and memorable, making the film a classic in Indian cinema.

2. Drishyam (2013)

A suspense thriller where Mohanlal plays Georgekutty, a simple man who goes to great lengths to protect his family. The film was a massive critical and commercial success and is one of the highest-grossing Malayalam films of all time. Mohanlal’s nuanced performance received widespread praise. A sequel to the film released in 2021 and achieved the same success at the box office. The third installment of the franchise is currently in production.

3. Devasuram (1993)

In this cult classic directed by I.V. Sasi, Mohanlal plays the role of a flawed yet charismatic feudal lord, Mangalassery Neelakandan. The character’s transformation from an arrogant man to a more empathetic person is portrayed brilliantly by the actor, making the film a perennial fan favorite.

4. Nadodikattu (1987)

A comedic gem where Mohanlal stars alongside Sreenivasan as two unemployed men who stumble into a series of misadventures. The film’s humour and satire remain relevant, and it’s still beloved by audiences.

5. Bharatham (1991)

Mohanlal’s portrayal of Gopinathan, a talented musician dealing with personal and familial challenges, earned him a National Film Award for Best Actor. Directed by Sibi Malayil, the film is a touching exploration of sibling relationships and personal struggles.

6. Vanaprastham (1999)

In this Indo-French film directed by Shaji N. Karun, Mohanlal plays a Kathakali dancer. The film tells the story of Kathakali artist Kunjikuttan and explores themes of identity and societal expectations. Vanaprastham premiered at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival. Mohanlal’s performance was critically acclaimed, earning the film numerous awards and accolades.

7. Iruvar (1997)

In Mani Ratnam’s political drama, Mohanlal plays Anandan, a character inspired by the Tamil actor-politician M.G. Ramachandran. His nuanced portrayal of a charismatic and complex figure is widely praised for its depth and authenticity​.

8. Thanmathra (2005)

Mohanlal delivers a heart-wrenching performance as a man diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The film is a poignant depiction of the impact of the disease on both the individual and his family. It earned the actor numerous accolades for his sensitive and powerful performance​.

9. Spadikam (1995)

This action drama, directed by Bhadran, sees Mohanlal as Aadu Thoma, a rebellious son dealing with a tyrannical father. The film’s intense action sequences and emotional depth, along with Mohanlal’s dynamic performance, have​ made it a timeless classic.

10. Kaalapani (1996)

Set against the backdrop of the Indian freedom struggle, Mohanlal portrays Govardhan, a wrongfully imprisoned freedom fighter. Directed by Priyadarshan, the film is noted for its historical accuracy and Mohanlal’s powerful performance. The film’s epic scale is also highly regarded.

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