Happy Birthday Mohanlal
As the saying goes “You’re only as old as you feel.” This old adage is very true when it comes to superstar Mohanlal, who on Sunday turned a year older. At 57, one of India’s finest actors continues to push the boundaries of storytelling, acting, action and film budget in the Indian film industry. Mohanlal started pursuing his acting career at a young age with minor roles in the Malayalam film industry. Today, he is one of the most dominant personalities in southern cinema with more than 300 films to his credit. From a supporting 20-year-old actor in 1980s, the superstar has come a very long way and created several milestones in his decorated career. But, here are a few achievements that he accomplished in the past year. Did you know, Mohanlal had a new film release every 15 days between 1982 and 1988?
The first member of Rs 100-crore club in Malayalam cinema
It won’t be wrong to say, Pulimurugan was the Malayalam film industry’s very own Baahubali in terms of breaking and creating box office records. Director Vysakh told producer Tomichan Mulakupadam that making the film involved financial risks to the tune of Rs 10 crore. After its release, the Mohanlal-starrer raked in Rs 10 crore in its first weekend and ended its first week with Rs 30 crore in its kitty. Within a month of its release, the film became the first Malayalam film to earn Rs 100 crore at the box office. The lifetime worldwide collection of Pulimurgaun is pegged at nearly Rs 150 crore.
India’s true box office superstar
Mohanlal with his Lucifer team. The year 2016 was an eventful year in the career of Mohanlal. The actor was on a roll as his films set the box office across the south of India on fire. He delivered one blockbuster after the other in a row and at a breathtaking speed. He is considered as the first Indian actor to have delivered five box office blockbusters in just five months. Janatha Garage, Oppam, Pulimurugan, Manyam Puli and Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol, which was his first release in 2017, all went on to take the box office by storm. Janatha Garage and Pulimurugan made more than Rs 100 crore at the worldwide box office.
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An actor with the highest number of National Awards
Mohanlal and Jr NTR in Janatha Garage Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar found himself in an awkward situation when he won his very first National Award for his performance in courtroom drama Rustom. Many alleged that he received the prestigious award because of his close proximity to Priyadarshan, the head of jury for 64th National Film Awards. But, as of 2016, Mohanlal has worked with Priyadarshan in a whopping 44 films. The actor’s reputation as an actor is such that nobody questioned the merits when the National Award jury decided to give him the special jury award. It is well known that no amount of recognition can do justice to his talent as an artist.
Mohanlal won the special jury award for his performances in Janatha Garage, Pulimurugan and Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol. Thus he became the first Indian actor to have won five National Awards, beating Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Haasan, who have four of these awards each under their belt.
Highest paid actor in Malayalam
It is well known that Mohanlal was the wrestling champion in Kerala in 1977-78. It is said that he had a shot at a National championship when he received the call for a movie audition. He was supposed to leave for New Delhi for the championship when he was called in for an audition for a comedy role in Manjil Virinja Pookkal (1980), his debut film. He missed the championship but India got one of its greatest actors. There was no looking back after that. He remained the highest paid actor in Malayalam industry since 1986. He reportedly increased his salary after the combined collection of Janatha Garage, Oppam and Pulimurugan breached Rs 300 crore mark at the worldwide box office.
The new chapter
Mohanlal sent all his fans into a tizzy when he announced on a television show that he is close to playing his dream role Bheema in the onscreen adaptation of MT Vasudevan Nair’s Randamoozham. He said that the filmmakers require about Rs 600 crore for making the film into a reality. He even hinted that he will retire after that. Just months after that television interview, he announced The Mahabharata project, which is based on Randamoozham. And it will be made into two parts with a budget of Rs 1000 crore. It is worth noting that until last year, Pulimurugan was the most expensive film in his career as it had cost the makers Rs 24 crore. Mohanlal’s upcoming project is a game-changer for the entire Indian film industry, which will pave way for more such big budget films in the future. Well, but fans may not feel happy if Mohanlal decides to hang his boots after this film.