The Top Malayalam Actors of 2011
The interesting experiments in Malayalam cinema that were witnessed this year point to a change in the offing. And that could be crucial for an industry known for its realistic portrayals and hard-hitting themes.
The year 2011 saw some fine performances from several actors. We choose five that stood apart from the rest.
Film: Adaminte Makan Abu
The film has won several prestigious awards and recognition at various film festivals, including the National Award for Best Actor for Salim Kumar.
He gave an awe-inspiring performance as the 75-year-old Abu who has lived a hard life without complaining and now is desperate to go on the Haj pilgrimage with his wife (Zarina Wahab).
We've voted the film among this year's top five and Salim Kumar's brilliant portrayal of Abu is one of the reasons.
Image: A scene from Adaminte Makan Abu
Film: Indian Rupee
Thilakan has been creating magic on screen for some time now. He was back in the limelight after a break and showed why he is really special in Ranjith's Indian Rupee.
Prithviraj played the lead, but it was Thilakan's portrayal of the wily old Achutha Menon that stole the show. With this role, he proved, yet again, that he is a formidable force in Malayalam cinema even after all these years.
Image: A scene from Indian Rupee
Mohanlal is known to be a versatile actor who can capture the imagination of audiences in any kind of role. Even so, playing a character that can hardly move any part of his body in Blessy's Pranayam was a challenge, and he rose to the occasion magnificently.
The film also has Anupam Kher and Jayaprada in the lead, but Mohanlal's ability to emote, his mannerisms and immaculate dialogue delivery made the film memorable.
Image: A scene from Pranayam
In V K Prakash' Beautiful, Jayasurya plays a character called Stephen Louis, a paraplegic, who can move only his head. And yet, he loves life and lives it to the fullest, always with a smile on his face. He may be confined to his bed, but that doesn't stop him from flirting a little.
In perhaps his best role to date, Jayasurya has surprised all with his mature performance.
Image: A scene from Beautiful
Film: Salt N' Pepper
He was known as a baddie, and then Aashiq Abu's Salt N' Pepper happened and changed his life. Baburaj was incredibly funny as the soft-spoken cook in this well-crafted film with an unusual theme.
The role could have gone to any of the established comedians, but fortunately the director chose Baburaj and viewers have him to thank for that.
Baburaj really finds his feet in this role and it has changed his image after nearly two decades in showbiz.
Image: A scene from Salt N' Pepper