Mammootty @70: An inspiration to the young and old
Mammootty, a doyen of the Malayalam film industry, a name capable of evoking emotions of its own turns 70 on September 7. He has proved that age is nothing but a numbered tag that people put on themselves. His charisma as he celebrates his 70th birthday remains unchanged from the time he first stepped into the field of cinema. It was on August 6 that Malayalis celebrated the superstar’s 50-year landmark in the film industry.
Mammootty manages to breathe life into the characters that he does, as varied as they may be, and as complicated and eccentric as they get. He marks his signature with flawless professionalism and a sort of surreal authenticity, making his roles stand out from the rest. He has proved over and over that versatility is not a trait that is forced, but something that comes naturally.
Many new faces have entered and left the Malayalam film industry in the past 50 years since he entered the cinema scene, but Mammukka’s stardom shines through. His earthy nature and honest character are what puts him on the top even after all these years in the industry.
Savithri Rajeevan, poet and one of the leading female writers in Malayalam spoke to mathrubhumi.com about the actor.
“Mammootty has always been an inspiration for the young and old generations alike. Growing old is something that people often fear. For some people, old age may mean staring into a wide expanse of idleness. The greatest feat of Mammootty is that such perceptions do not torment his mind. He remains young both mind and body wise and his creativity in balancing them both is something that people often look up to.”
A. Sethumadhavan, Malayalam fiction writer said: “We all know Mammootty, we watch his movies and adore him for the characters that he portrays and love him for his acting.”
K S Sethumadhavan, renowned director of the 1971 film 'Anubhavangal Paalichakal' which was Mammootty's debut film, had talked to Mathrubhumi on the occasion of Mammootty's golden jubilee landmark in the film industry. "I was shooting the movie 'Anubavangal Palichakal' in Kerala. It was an outdoor shoot, so there were a lot of people gathered around the set. A young man from the crowd came forward and asked me for a chance in the movie. I asked him his name and he replied 'Mammootty'. I asked him what his educational qualification was and he told me that he was a lawyer by profession.
I was surprised, so I asked him why he wanted to act in the movie. He told me that he was interested in acting. So I decided to give him a chance as a junior artist and asked my people to run a shot. He did well. I have worked with him in three other movies- 'Aarorumariyathe', 'Avidathepole Ivideyum' and 'Ariyatha Veethikal'.
He is a good actor and exhibits fine acting skills. I am very impressed with his habits, especially his food habits and how he takes care of his body. Another thing I greatly admire about his character is his devotion towards his wife, how much he respects her and how much he cares for his family. I wish him and his family good health, long life, prosperity, wisdom and peace," he added.