Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mammootty, the Person and Actor

While going through the website of Mammootty I came across some rare photographs , which prompted me to write this piece. His very first film was DEVALOKAM Directed by M.T.Vasudevan Nair and Produced by Janasakthi films.The film remained incomplete and never saw the light of the day. The shooting location was Palakkad and at that time P. I. Muhammad Kutty was a lawyer working at Manjeri. He was called in by M.T. to do a supporting role in the film . The lead role was done by Sabu, son of Shobana Parameswaran Nair's brother. Kannada actress Jayamala was in the female lead.

A still from DEVALOKAM
Muhammed Kutty and Jayamala leading a procession

On the set of DEVALOKAM
(L-R) Purushan Kadalundi ( Asst Director), Sreedharan Master ( Still Photographer), Sabu ( Male Lead actor) & Muhammed Kutty ( Second Lead Actor)

Since the film Devalokam stopped half way, M.T. wanted to give Muhammed Kutty one more chance in the film written by him and directed by M.Azad, VILKANUNDU SWAPNANGAL. In a confrontation scene Muhammed Kutty proved himself as an actor with much potential against a stellar performance by Sukumaran. In the film his voice was not used but instead Sreenivasan had dubbed for him!


Sukumaran, Sudheer and Mammootty in

During the shooting of VILKANUNDU SWAPNANGAL, Sreenivasan and Mammootty became closer and their friendship continues till today. When K.G.George directed the film MELA, he was looking for a new comer with smart and handsome personality as a daredevil motorcycle jumper. Sreenivasan suggested Mammooty's name while we were shooting at the Raymon circus at Ernakulam. When called for interview he told George that he can ride a bike though he had previously ridden only scooters. When the time came for shooting the motorcycle stunt jumping the truth came out! But we managed those scenes by putting on a helmet and switched places with the real stunt jumper from the circus.

MELA was a real learning experience for him as he had to enact a song sequence and also do fight scenes too! At that time there was no stunt master and when a scuffle scene between him and the circus manager (played by his friend Sharraff) was being shot, myself and K.G.George composed the action scene. I showed Mammootty , one move which he rehearsed with Sharraff, but unfortunately did not time it well and Sharraff got hit on his nose. There was some bleeding as well and ice packs were applied and the shooting continued. After the incident a scared off Sharraff left his film dreams behind and went to the Gulf to seek his fortune. But MELA was a turning point and people took notice of him and he was flooded with offers from reputed directors.

With Raghu in MELA

K.G.George, Myself & Art Director Sundaram with the Small Actors in MELA

Having done the Cinematography of all the above three films I too became good friends with him and had been associated in some of his land mark films such as Sandhyakku Virinja Poovu, Yavanika, Padayottam, Oru Vadakkan Veera Gaadha, and now Yuga Purushan. Though he appears to have a hard exterior he always had a soft corner for people who loved him. I can vouch for this from my personal experience.

It was during the shooting of Sandhyakku Virinja Poovu in 1982 at Kottayam, that I got engaged to be married. The function was held at Kollam and he drove me all the way from Kottayam in his car accompanied by his wife Sulfath and baby daughter Surumi. Below are some of the photographs taken at that time. Together we attended the function and returned back to Kottayam to resume the shooting of the film. Such was his concern towards his friends!

Waiting for the Ceremony to start

Making fun of me!

Having the traditional Lunch

Mammootty with wife and Surumi

To end up, here is a photo from my collection taken when Mammootty had to shave off his moustache for make up purposes while acting the older character role in Padayottam!
Without Moustache! During PADAYOTTAM


  1. Super blog ...very interesting,

  2. Rare and nice pics. Awaiting more such anecdotes from you..

  3. Sreenivasan dubbed for Mammootty in Vilkkanudu Swapnagal? Very unlikely, if you hear the dialogues delivered by Madhavankutty in this 1980 film. It's surely not Mammootty's, but it doesn't sound like Sreenivasan's either.
    T K Sreevalsan, Delhi

    1. Even Sreenivasan's voice sounded different at that time !

    2. I tend to go with Sreevalsan. I am familiar with the voice of Sreenivasan from his Mannu and Mela days. Unless he did extreme mimicry that could not be his voice.

  4. How simple he is ... Thanks for sharing

  5. srinivasan s dialogue rendering style is very distinguish and unique. He could portray even the words with the real political tinge. he is really great

  6. Can I copy the images posted here? I wish to use these photos in my proposed wikipedia article entitled Devalokam (film).

    1. Dear Joseph,
      You are welcome to post the images in Wikipedia article about Devalokam

  7. MAMMUTTY had a very small role in the film VILKKANUNDU SWAPNANGAL... I saw the movie in 1980...but now am not in a position to remember the voice of that character.......Many thanks for RAMACHANDRA BABU for sharing these unique experiences...

  8. MAMMUTTY had a very small role in the film VILKKANUNDU SWAPNANGAL... I saw the movie in 1980...but now am not in a position to remember the voice of that character.......Many thanks for RAMACHANDRA BABU for sharing these unique experiences...