Mammootty starrer evergreen blockbuster Rajamanikyam has completed the 10th year of release. The movie still remains as one of the biggest hits in Mammootty's career. It was the directorial debut of Anwar Rasheed, the popular filmmaker-producer.
Rajamanikyam dealt with the sibling rivalry between the son and stepson of business tycoon Rajarathnam Pillai, played by Saikumar. Mammootty essayed the stepson Rajamanikyam while Manoj K Jayan played his own son Raja Selvam.
The movie was a pleasant surprise for the audience, who were expecting a typical masala entertainer. Mammootty's character Rajamanikyam literally shocked his fans and media, who were only familiar with the serious roles of the actor.
The actor depicted a completely new avathar, with coloured dhotis, silk jubbahs, sunglasses, and the legendary Trivandrum dialect. Earlier, Trivandrum dialect was only used by the comedians in a Malayalam Cinema. But Rajamanikyam was different.
Mammootty broke all the so-called norms followed by the lead actors with the movie and designed a totally new definition for the word 'heroism'. The half-blind, illiterate, awkwardly funny Rajamanikyam literally conquered the minds of audiences and box office that year.
The real mastermind behind the movie is Late TA Shahid, the writer of the movie. Shahid, who is the younger brother of popular writer TA Rasaq, was already popular in the industry with some hits to his credit.
But it was Rajamanikyam, which revealed his caliber to bring up a strong story with all commercial elements. Anwar Rasheed entered the project upon the insistence of Mammootty, who was well impressed with his talents.
The movie had a huge star cast, including Rahman, Kochin Haneefa, Padmapriya, Ranjith, Bhiman Ragu, Salim Kumar, Sindhu Menon, Chithra Shenoy, Kadhal Dhandapani etc. Sanjeev Shankar handled the cinematography and Alex Paul compsed the music.
When it completes the 10th year of release, Rajamanikyam still remains as the favourite classy-masala entertainer of Malayali audience. Even though the movie was remade into other languages, none of the actors could match the charming screen presence of Mammootty.
Here are the 10 unknown facts about Rajamanikyam:
Inspired From A Real-life Character
Mammootty's character Rajamanikyam was partially inspired from a Palakkad-based businessman named Kella Mohammed. As per the sources, Kella is a person who has a huge craze for the Benz cars and buffalo farming.
Initially, the movie was about to be directed by Ranjith, the popular scriptwriter turned film-maker. But he backed out of the project due to the creative differences between him and the writer.
Later, the project went on to Anwar Rasheed, who was an assistant director. Even though the production team was reluctant to rope in a debutante to direct the movie; Mammootty was confident about Anwar's caliber.
Rahman made a comeback into Mollywood with the movie. Initially, he was reluctant to accept the role. But later agreed to do the project upon the insistence of Mammootty, who wanted Rahman to re-enter soon.
Suraj Venjarammoodu Turned Teacher For Mammootty!
Mammootty was specially trained in Trivandrum dialect for the movie, and his teacher was none other that Suraj Venjarammoodu. The actor accompanied Mammootty throughout the filming and dubbing sessions, to train him.
Interestingly, only half of the screenplay was completed when the team started filming. TA Shahid completed the rest of the script, before the team concluded the filming of the first half of the movie.
Connection With CV Raman Pillai's Marthandavarma
The movie was heavily inspired by the legendary novel Marthandavarma, which was penned by CV Raman Pillai. A character named Shanku Aashan was the inspiration behind the characterization and Trivandrum dialect, of the character Rajamanikyam.
Budget And Box Office Collection
The movie was made in a whopping budget of 4 Crores (10 years back) and collected about 22.5 Crores at the box office. Rajamanikyam is the 8th highest ever grosser of Mollywood.
Rajamanikyam was remade into Kannada in the name Bellari Naga, with Vishnuvardhan in the title role. The remake, which was directed by Dinesh Babu, ended up as the Vishnuvardhan's last release before his demise.
Ranjith compensated his walk-out from Rajamanikyam by immediately directing a Mammootty movie for the same banner, Valiyaveettil Films. The movie, which was titled Prajapathi, was a critical and commercial failure.