Murali on his World Tour
by Elizabeth Menon

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The inimitable charismatic actor of Malayalam screens, captivating the audience with his profoundly deep voice and oratory!

Some say that Murali is the re incarnation of ‘Sathyan’: who else could one think of, when Murali appears on our screens with such splendour! He can speak volumes with just one look and that twinkle in his eyes bewitch the audience, even before he gets into the acting mode -- One doesn’t see any ‘Acting’, as he just lives the part -- Sankaranunni in ‘Thaalolam’, Bapputty in ‘Aadhaaram’ are two of many such examples. He is a man of many talents -- writer and a poet well-versed in Shakespearean plays with a penchant for politics in spite of having deep religious convictions and of course his narrative style, when it comes to poetry. It is amazing how he can recite the works of ‘Changampuzha; or Kumaran Asaan from memory, captivating the listener! He has an in depth knowledge of literature, world politics and humanitarian causes; this multitude of talents may not be known to many of his admirers, as he is very unassuming.

Murali's visit to UK was unfortunately very short as he had other commitments at the time. His love for Shakespearean drama brought him to UK this time and one hopes that Malayalees here will be fortunate enough to spend some time with this enigmatic actor during his next visit. He was on a working holiday in the United States recently, travelling from Florida to California, visiting places such as New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Los Angeles. As a very busy schedule awaited him when he returned home, he utilised his time working on different projects. During his American tour, the audiences were spell bound by his oratory and his ability to mesmerise the crowd with just few words; they were bewitched, to say the least. Murali needs only a few words, where most mortals need thousands.

T Hariharan introduced Murali to the Malayalam screens in ‘Panchagni’ as a villain, though his debut film was ‘Njattadi’ which never saw the light of day! He was an instant success in Kerala, and the Malayalees took him to their heart; ‘Panchagni Murali’ was a household name after the release of this film. A series of films of high caliber followed his debut appearance and this handsome, charismatic actor brought a new meaning to our screen heroes. It is no secret that he became the craze among the thinking women of Kerala! He made it very clear to his audience that he is one actor who would feel at home, acting as a hero and in any other role that is challenging.

He once said that our screen heroes are such good characters that may even put God of creation to shame! His talent is such that a wide variety of challenging roles live through him to eternity. He has acted in around 140 films and most of his characters are memorable; ‘Neeeyethra Dhanya’, Dhanam, Aadharam, Karunyam, Thalolam, oolladakkam, kilukkam, venkalam, Arthana, Bharatham, Aakashadoothu, Irattakuttikaluede Achen, Chamayam are few of the films that showed this versatile actor at his best, while Susanna, Chillaksharangal and Kannadikkadavathu are waiting to be released.

Murali does not see cinema as the beginning and end to his career. He has written books, poetry and has hopes to diversify into directing films sometime in the future. It is a surprise then, that he finds time to take an active part in politics and visit places of interest. Shakespearean drama plays a great part in his life. His role in ‘Lankalakshmi’, directed by Narendraprasad is considered one of his best performances on stage. His new book ‘Murali muthal Murali vare’ is an in depth recollection of his life as an actor, both on the stage and on the silver screen. (It is published by Sahitya Pravarthaka Co-Operative Society Ltd, Kottayam and distributed by National BookStall.) Malayalam cinema and Kairali are truly enriched by Murali and his multifaceted talents. I have no doubt that ‘Murali muthal Murali vare’, will be on the best seller list in Kerala, very soon; this enchanting book will be a priceless addition to anyone’s collection.

His latest venture is the new ‘Kairali Channel’; he is one of the directors and his aim is to bring out the best in different cultures, in every which way One can think of. One can expect to see a lively new approach to every situation, moving with the times bringing world cinema, politics and culture amidst our home grown richness, to the ordinary people of Kerala. One can only hope that Murali will reach to colossal heights in his quest for perfection in all he does.

© E Menon



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