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Oduvil - The versatile actor

Written by: By: Sanoop K.V.
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Four years have gone without remembering the versatile actor Oduvil Unnikrishnan, who presented a wide range of characters in Malayalam theatre and movies. From the rural arts club Oduvil entered the world of theatre through the Kerala Kalavedi, Kalanilayam and the KPAC, where he performed in several plays of Thoppil Bhasi. The theatre person-turned film actor began his film career with a one-scene glimpse in the film 'Chenda' directed by the legendary A. Vincent, mouthing his own dialogue

There is something in peculiar to this comedian of Malayalam Cinema. His characters represented in their body and speech, the native idiom. While the heroes and heroines must dress the part, the comedians delve into the home milieu to come up with performances that carry the essence of the native. His body language and dialogue delivering is amazing. The valluvanad laced accent is just enough for the Malayali to identify with the ace actor Oduvil.There is no artificiality in his acting and there is a great sense of flexibility in what he does.

The years that followed saw him performed in over 200 films and win accolades and awards in route. The most important of the honours that came in search of him were the Kerala State Award for his excellent acting in 1995and 1996. The first for his role in Adoor Gopalakrishnan"s 'Kathapurushan' and the second for the role in Sathyan Anthikad"s Thoovalkottaram'. In 2002, he won the state award for excellent acting in a lead role for his unforgettable portrayal of the executioner Kaliyappan in 'Nizhalkuthu'. He was regular in Sathyan Anthikad films beginning with Appunni and had played memorable parts in films like 'Sarapanjaram', 'Guruvayur Kesavan', 'CID Unnikrishnan BA Bed', 'Ponmuttaidunna Tharavu', 'Yodha' and many others.

Oduvil was a multi faced genius. He was a musician also. How can a Malayali forget the vocalist Oduvil on an antique harmonium in 'Aaraam Thampuran' who is poked fun as Senmangudi by the character of Manju Warrier and now the former retorts calling Manju as Subhalakshmi. Though a guest role, Peringodan in Devasuram is unforgettable. But Oduvil couldn"t fulfill his dream to play the role of Njelarath Rama Pothuval, the Edakka genius, the project of which was in the initial stage.

This article has been contributed by Sanoop K.V as a part of our Citizen Journalism initiative. He is currently persuing his Master of Communication and Journalism at University of Calicut.

Read more about: satyan anthikkad, oduvil unnikrishnan, aayirathil oruvan
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