Dare to be different

Dare to be different

By a rather strange coincidence, many of Malayalam cinema’s leading actors today are trained mimicry artistes. Jayaram, Kalabhavan Mani, Dileep, Kottayam Nazir, Harisree Asokan and Tini Tom had first captivated audiences by speaking in the voices of film icons before branching out to cinema where they have been able to make it big.

One more name that should make the list is the young hero Jayasurya, who, with a string of fine performances in films made by top notch directors, has ensured that his struggles as a mimicry artiste are over.

Fair and good looking, Jayasurya started out as a junior artiste after a successful stint on television, where he had some good anchoring gigs before he got a vital break as a deaf mute in Vinayan’s Ooma Penninu Uriyada Payyan, which also featured a charming Kavya Madhavan. The film was later dubbed in Tamil as En Mana Vaanil and found a receptive audience.

Jayasurya later went on to do major roles in comedies like Swapnakoodu, Pulivaal Kalyanam, Chathikatha Chanthu and Classmates. Directed by Lal Jose, Classmates was a film on college life and Jayasurya had a role parallel to that of the hero Prithviraj. This film, which turned out to be a runaway hit, saw Jayasurya’s stock rise in the industry, and several films, almost all based on family subjects, came in his kitty. Among them were successful ones like Vairam, Positive, Gulumaal and Cocktail.

In character

The actor also took a shot at villainy with films like Arabikatha and Kangaroo, but audiences did not accept the idea of the handsome hero turning villain. Many of his films have been multi-starrers and Jayasurya has also acted with big guns like Mammootty in Bus Conductor and Suresh Gopi in Smart City and Kichamani MBA. Fortunately for the actor, these were substantial roles and he could hold his own. His films with Prithviraj (Classmates and Chocolate) and Kunchako Boban (Kilukkam Kilukilukkam). But it was his stint with script writer-actor Anoop Menon that really took Jayasurya’s career to a new high.

Jayasurya made a bold move to essay the role of a paraplegic in the V K Prakash-directed Beautiful, with Anoop Menon and Meghna Raj. This film, made on a shoestring budget, clicked in a big way at the box office. With his penchant for variety, films like Beautiful, where he had to convey all his emotions with a shrug of his shoulders or a flicker of his eyelids, was right up his alley. The actor won a lot of critical acclaim for his role of a hapless husband whose pretty wife is infatuated with his best friend. Later, films including Trivandrum Lodge and California Hotel again had the Jayasurya-Anoop combination.

In Trivandrum Lodge, again, Jayasurya swerved off the beaten track to play the role of a sex-obsessed Abu, stunning his fans in the process. But the actor-writer duo also tasted defeat in films like David & Goliath. In one of his latter day releases 101 Weddings, Jayasurya revelled in the role of a girlish dance master, exhibiting another facet of his acting prowess. Jayasurya also had the distinction of appearing in as many as 20 get-ups in the film Shankaranum Mohananum, where he was saddled with a double role.

The failure of films like Pranyamanithooval and Kaattu Chembakam impacted his career, but for an actor who has been on a signing spree for quite some time, good films and roles were not hard to come by. Among the projects that he is working on, there are films with good prospects at the box office — Pigman, D Company, English, Anju Sundarikal, Thanal Tharatha Marangal, Athmakatha, Thank You, Mumbai Police and Ithu Pathiramanal. It is to the actor’s credit that despite having so many projects in his kitty, he has ensured that the roles do not overlap and has also made sure that he has enough scope in them to project his talent.

Jayasurya has done a few films in Tamil apart from the dubbed En Manavaanil. He was seen in supporting roles in the Kamal Haasan-starrer Vasool Raja MBBS, Manathodu Mazhaikaalam and Chakkara Viyugam. Having worked with established filmmakers like Priyadarshan (Janapriyan), Shafi (Pulivaal Kalyanam), Refi-McCartin (Chathikkatha Chanthu), Lal Jose (Classmates), Balachandra Menon (De Ingottu Nokkiye) and V K Prakash (Beautiful), the actor is confident that he can pursue his career in Malayalam cinema and also be in the reckoning for films made by more famous names in the industry.

Comments (+)