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Malayalam film’s ‘who’s who’ in UAE tribute show

Sajila Saseendran / 5 April 2013

For Malayalam movie buffs, every festive season sees the clash of megastars Mammootty and Mohanlal at the box office. But this evening, the legendary actors will be battling it out in real life as the entire Malayalam film fraternity assembles for a first of its kind international show at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Borrowing their characters’ names from super hit movies of yesteryear, Mohanlal and Mammootty will fight it out as Mangalassery Neelakandan and Hitler Madhavan respectively. About 70 prominent actors will form their teams and present a variety of performances packed with song, dance, action and comedy.

Edavela Babu, Mammootty, T. K. Rajeevkumar, Nedumudi Venu and Mohanlal with other Amma officials at the Press conference. — Supplied photo

Their tens of thousands of fans in the UAE may hope for the victory of their favourite superstar, but the ultimate winner of the show will be a group of artists in distress. And the honour will go to 100 years of Indian cinema.

The nearly five-hour show titled Mazhavillazhakil Amma is jointly organised by Mazhavil Manorama TV channel and Amma (Association of Malayalam Movie Artists). The proceeds from the show will provide financial support to needy artists, the organisers and the superstars announced at a press conference in Dubai on Thursday.

Speaking to Khaleej Times after the press conference, acclaimed director T.K. Rajeev Kumar, who is directing the show, said it was a challenge for him to bring in a concept that gave adequate prominence to 65 major actors from the Malayalam film industry.

“So, we decided to showcase a fictional village with a temple and an old theatre set in it.” There will be a simultaneous showcase of festival celebrations at the temple and movie sequences at the theatre. At the time of performance in the theatre, the stars will be shown as real actors and at the time of the festival, they will play the roles in the village and present the performances with their groups.

“Going through the journey of 100 years of Indian cinema, we are paying tribute to all south Indian film industries and Bollywood. However, the focus will be on the Malayalam industry,” Kumar said.

The actors are sentimentally attached to the aim of the show and have more positive energy due to the element of charity involved in it, he said.

A highlight of the show will be Mohanlal dancing to the tunes of South Korean pop idol Psy’s Gangnam Style number. The show will also pay special homage to veteran actress Sukumari who passed away last month. Live performances by the “who’s who of the Malayalam film industry” will be topped up with comedy skits directed by popular filmmaker Priyadarshan.

More than 200 artists including leading stars Jayaram, Dileep, Kavya Madhavan and Bhavana have reached the UAE on a chartered flight.

Vineeth, Kunchako Boban, Fahadh Faasil, Indrajith, Narain, Asif Ali, Manoj K Jayan, Mukesh, Jayasurya, Nedumudi Venu, Lalu Alex, Devan, Maniyanpilla Raju, Kalabhavan Mani, Suraj Venjaranmoodu, Harisree Ashokan, Tini Tom, Bhama, Mythili, Ananya, Bindu Panicker, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy and Meera Nandan are some of the other stars gracing the stage today.




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