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For Suniel Shetty, Mohanlal is the God of cinema

By Bijoy A K
September 17, 2003 16:41 IST
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MohanlalIt was yesterday all over again.

Malayalam superstar Mohanlal turned the clock back 25 years when he donned the costume -- a vest and a lungi -- he wore for his first film Thiranottam. He rode onto the stage on a bicycle, recreating his first shot in front of the camera.

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The venue was the M G College Grounds in Thiruvananthpuram. The date: September 14. It was the culmination of a week-long celebration to mark Mohanlal's silver anniversary as an actor. The grand finale was a show directed by Priyadarshan and organised by Bharatiya Vidya Peetham.

Kerala Chief Minister A K Anthony (who inaugurated the function), film personalities Ram Gopal Varma, Suniel Shetty, Vijaykanth and Mammootty and many other actors, directors and technicians from the Kerala film industry paid rich tribute to the popular actor.

The show also featured dance performances by Malayalam stars like Navya Nair, Bhavna, Vineeth, Rahman, Meena and Jishnu, besides renditions of hit songs from Mohanlal's movies.

Actor Dileep, who is seen as a threat to Mohanlal, teamed up with other actors to present a hilarious skit. He then recalled his first moments as an assistant director for the film Vishnulokam, when he clapped the board for a scene that featured Mohanlal. 

MohanlalHere is what some of the prominent personalities said:

Mammootty (Mohanlal's closest competitor in the Malayalam film industry): He spoke about the harmonious relationship the two shared. He admitted there were times when the two competed with each other fiercely, but maintained it was healthy and proved ultimately worked to the advantage of the film industry.

Suniel Shetty (who represented the Bollywood fraternity): He considers Mohanlal the God of cinema. He refused to comment on Mohanlal's acting saying it would be like a disciple commenting on his teacher.

Ram Gopal Varma (he directed Mohanlal's first Hindi film, Company): Varma said he was 'disappointed' when he first met Mohanlal, since the latter seemed to show little interest in his story narration. "But I soon found out, to my immense pleasure, that I was mistaken. Lal was amazing in front of the camera. Since then, I have looked at this actor with great admiration."

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Bijoy A K