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Mammootty succeeds, Mohanlal falters

Poornima, Vijayalaxmi | June 28, 2003 15:37 IST

When Mammootty and Mohanlal's films -- Chronic Bachelor and Kilichundan Mambazham, respectively -- were about to release, they were described as make-or-break films for the two actors who have ruled the Malayalam film industry for the last two decades.

Mohanlal and MammoottyIt is now two months since the release of the films. And it appears they are having the last laugh, especially Mammootty.

Though Mohanlal's Kilichundan Mambazham had an unprecedented initial, Mammootty's Chronic Bachelor (directed by Siddique of the Siddique-Lal combination) finally scored and has been declared a big hit.

Kilichundan Mambazham drew huge crowds only in the first few weeks because this film marked the coming together of Mohanlal, Priyadarshan and Srinivasan after a long time. People were curious.

But Mohanlal's rotund appearance seems to have finally worked against the film. He just couldn't carry off with conviction the role of a man trying to win back his love. The man who was once the king of comedy was seen labouring to make people laugh. The Moplah dialect of the film, prevalent in the northern part of Kerala, was also not understood by the majority of the audience.

Meanwhile, though Dileep's release Thilakkam did very well, his next two films Sadananthante Samayam and Gramphone failed miserably at the box office. Talk is that Dileep, a mimicry artist, has exhausted the numbers in his mimicry book. He desperately needs his next production, CID Moosa, to be a hit.

On the other hand, no one expected Lohitadas's small budget film Kasturiman, starring Kunchako Boban and Meera Jasmine to do well at the box office. But its storyline and believable characters attracted the family audience, especially women. Through sheer word-of-mouth publicity, the film has succeeded.

Sarath Kumar celebrates

Sarath KumarA Vikram film succeeding at the box office is not surprising. His Tamil film Saami must be the biggest hit of this year after his own earlier hit Dhool, but Sarath Kumar's Arasu (opposite Simran) is not very far behind.

Sarath Kumar, who had earlier given massive hits like Naattamai, hasn't had a hit in recent times. But his Arasu is still going strong not only in the rural centres, but in urban theatres too. His latest film, Paarai, is also said to be doing reasonably well.

Paarai is a remake of an old Malayalam film starring Mammootty as a rough lorry driver with a soft heart. As a result, Sarath Kumar will be quite busy till the next Lok Sabha election.

Why Venky wants to feel good

VenkateshVaasu (Venkatesh, Bhoomika) and Gemini (Venkatesh, Namita) failed to impress the Telugu audiences.

Now, Venkatesh will be back with a feel-good movie. "It will be a clean family entertainer," said the actor at the audio release function of his next release Vasantham.

Venkatesh has delivered hits like Kalisundam Raa, Nuvvu Naaku Nachavu and Jeyam Manadera. The film also marks the debut of Tamil film director Vikraman in Telugu. It is said to be the Telugu version of the director's under-production Tamil film Priyamana Thozhi.

The music has been scored by S A Rajkumar. Aarti Agarwal and Kalyani play the female leads. Vasantham, says Rajkumar, "will be the biggest musical hit in my career".

It remains to be seen whether the score of this film will surpass his earlier musical hits like Nuvvu Vasthavani and Raja. The film releases on July 10.

Bhagyaraj's Telugu debut

Seasoned Tamil actor-director K Bhagyaraj will debut in Telugu with a special appearance in director Uma Maheswar Rao's love story Avunaa.

BhagyashreeHe describes his role as mature; Bhagyashree, of Maine Pyar Kiya, is paired opposite him.

Bhagyaraj is very popular in Telugu since most of his Tamil hits have been either dubbed or remade in Telugu. While Enga Chinna Rasa and Chinna Veedu were dubbed hits, Moodu Mullu, Radha Kalyanam and Abbayigaru were remakes of the Tamil hits Mundanai Mudichi, Andha 7 Natkal and Enga Chinna Rasa, respectively.

Bhagyaraj admits, "My dream to make a Telugu film has remain unfulfilled. Like I have in Tamil, I would like to direct stars in Telugu too."

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