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Mammooty: To Retire or Recharge?

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Mammooty has time and again remoulded himself to chime with the changing times. Withstanding harsh criticisms singling his inability to dance to the tune with as much flexibility as his co-stars or even contemporaries like Mohanlal or to don a comic role, Mammooty has proved them wrong many a time. The veteran actor who had once breathed life into many unforgettable characters in scores of movies like Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha, Mathilukal, Danny, Kazhcha, Sukrutham, Ponthan Mada and so forth, has of late changed track.

Pondering over his change of mind and decision; was the transition a well calculated move, a need of the hour, an urge to satisfy his artistic hunger or a concerted effort to prove his critics wrong? Whatsoever may have been the decisive criteria, the debatable question lies as to whether he has changed himself for good? Mohanlal adjudged for his flexibility to enact any role, has always been his strong competitor, as regards sharing the onscreen space. With young blood tasting success in the Malayalam film world, many veterans made way for the new order. Mammooty, a legend in his own right has never given up the cudgels when it comes to facing the acid test. So when Rajamanikyam, a masala movie heralded a new phase in his acting career, he glided smoothly, lending a never-before-found grace to the Trivandrum slang. Undertaking ever painstaking effort to master the accent, the actor even ended up wearing flashy attires imparting every inch an originality to his character.

If Rajamanikyam projected the comedian within him, then Ore Kadal released later only honed the master artist within him. Lashing loud against his critics with the simultaneous release of his movies, one of the artistic genre and the other an out-and-out comic caper, words can hardly match his acting prowess. A string of movies to follow the suit Maayavi, Thuruppu Gulaan, Annan Thampi, and the latest Parunthu have left one and all dumbfounded.

A pricking question prevails still. Having reached the highest pedestals of stardom, and proving his critics wrong through Rajamanikyam,does he need to enact such roles again? The question looms large: is Mammooty doing justice to his hard earned fame and stature or has the equations changed once and for all? Commanding a massive fan following, how can he let go off his social obligation, let alone pacify his own conscience. An actor of his calibre cannot afford to overlook them when money or popularity hardly remains a pressing issue. All said and done, if cut-throat competition be the new game, then be it so!

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