Rise of a dark horse

Mollywood

Rise of a dark horse

Move over Mammootty, Mohanlal, Dileep and Jayaram. A new breed of young actors have taken Mollywood by storm and have in a short span of time managed to charm the box-office.

Nivin Pauly, Dulquer Salman and Fahadh Fazil, the new triumvirate, all endowed with the boy-next-door looks have consolidated their position in the industry. While Dulquer is the son of Mammootty and Fahadh is ace director Fazil’s son, the odd man out is Nivin, who is leading the pack if the skyrocketing collections of his latest Premam are anything to go by.

The engineering graduate employed with an IT company decided to switch to films and auditioned for playback singer-turned-director Vineeth Srinivasan’s debut film Malarvadi Arts Club, only to be edged out by the competition. But as luck would have it, he landed a role as a substitute for someone who cried off at the last moment and impressed the director so much that when Vineeth signed his next project Thattathin Marayathu, he only had Nivin in mind for the lead role. Thattathin Marayathu turned out to be a hit and since then Nivin has been going from strength to strength. The bilingual in Malayalam and Tamil, Neram in 2013, that rocked the box-office, and as many as three big hits in 2014, Om Shanti Oshanna, 1983 and Bangalore Days put him ahead of his contemporaries.

Choice of roles

Although Nivin has appeared in small roles in films like The Metro, Sevenes, Traffic and Spanish Masala before he bagged the meaty roles, the progress that the actor has made stems from his choice of projects. He has been a favourite of first time directors and this has been a calculated risk that has paid off every time. Apart from Vineeth, directors including Jude Anthony Joseph and Abrid Shine have proven lucky for Nivin. Multi-starrers which are de rigeur in Malayalam cinema today have also been right up his alley and in Anjali Menon’s Bangalore Days, Nivin had to match strides with his contemporaries Dulquer Salman and Fahadh Fazil.

In the recently-released Ivide directed by Shyamprasad, senior actor Prithviraj had the leading role and Nivin had to play second fiddle to him but the latter, convinced with his part, just went on to do the film. Lal Jose who had given him a break in Spanish Masala offered him a cameo in his film Vikramadityan and Nivin accepted the offer without second thoughts. This trait of his has endeared him not just to his fans, but also to filmmakers.

A bright future

If Nivin Pauly had rocked the box-office in 2014, it appears that the actor would be striking gold this year as well and both his films Oru Vadakkan Selfie and Premam have fared well, putting him on a good wicket. Premam, his second outing with Alphonse Puthran, is based on a campus story. The film has received mixed reviews but with Nivin’s fan base growing by the day, Premam’s collections too have been soaring. Nivin’s next film has been titled Action Hero Biju and will feature the actor as a cop for the first time.
This could allow him to shake off his set image in breezy roles. The industry has already been drawing comparisons between Nivin and Mollywood superstar Mohanlal. The young actor, however, has been modest enough to rubbish all such observations. But even his critics will have to admit that Nivin is on the right track and with themes revolving around youth predominating in recent times, the actor will continue to be in demand.

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