Friday, September 30, 2011

Best Actor

Director: Martin Prakkat
Cast: Mammootty, Lal, Nedumudi Venu, Sruthi Ramakrishnan
Year: 2010
Language: Malayalam

A really weak title for such a good movie! I think malayalam directors should stop using English titles for their movies. The titles they choose (Best Actor, Loud Speaker, In Ghost House Inn, Notebook) tell you nothing about the movie, and can often keep you from watching an otherwise good movie. I almost didn't watch this movie because of the title.

Best Actor is about a struggling actor named Mohan (Mammootty) whose dream is to act in movies. His dream is the primary driving force in his life. He visits directors' homes on weekends and holidays to beg for a "chance". They all politely advise him on what it takes to be a good actor, and then send him on his way saying, "We'll call if there's anything that suits you." Tired of all the rejections, he takes a drastic step with hopes of getting a role in a new movie
-- he joins a group of gangsters in Kochi in order to learn their lifestyle and mannerisms up close. The gangsters he joins are a hapless lot, who get more beatings than they give. This gives rise to a lot of comic scenes.

Mammootty's acting is just perfect. He is putting on an acting workshop here. Mohan is a simpleton with a fool's dream and Mammootty portrays him perfectly and with ease. There are many scenes where Mohan's self respect gets trampled on. His face shows the depth of his despair and helplessness and it makes your heart ache. I don't think there's another leading actor in malayalam today who can pull that off as well as Mammootty.  The youngsters have a lot to learn from him.

I have to mention something about the music. Bijibal is showing a lot of promise as a new generation music director. I just loved the song, "Swapnam Oru Chakku (സ്വപ്നം ഒരു ചാക്ക്)". It is both traditional and modern at the same time, and the lyrics capture the essence of the movie perfectly.

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