Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Jagathy Sreekumar – Emperor of Acting

The other day I was talking about Malayalam Movies to few of my friends who hail from Tamil Nadu. They know almost every popular Malayalam actor. To my surprise no one knew who Jagathy Sreekumar was. It is true that he hasn’t acted in any languages other than Malayalam but I felt very sad that a talent like Jagathy is not know to outside world other than to Malayalis.

I promised my friends few links about Jagathy when I get back home. Then I thought I would put all these links about Jagathy in my blog so that few more people who don’t know Jagathy will get a chance to know him.

To know how good an actor he is just see this clip from the movie “Udayananu Tharam” (being remade in Hindi with Anil Kapoor as hero and the movie is named Short Cut). In this clip Jagathy is teaching Sreenivasan how to act in movies. See how Jagathy shows the navarasams in his face in a single shot. How many actors in the world can do this?

Jagathy was born in the year 1951 to Jagathy N K Achary a famous dramatist and writer. The journey for Jagathy in movies, which started in the year 1973 with the movie Chattambi Kalyani is going strong for the last 34 years. He has acted in over 1000 Malayalam movies in this span which itself is a record. Last year alone he has acted in 21 of the 64 movies that were released.

He was given very prominent roles in the early movies of Priyadarshan. The clip below is from the movie “Mazha Peyunnu Madalam Kotunnu” (one of the few movies that Priyadarshan has yet to remake in Hindi). In this movie Jagathy plays the role of a father who wants marry his daughter to an American returned groom (Sreenivasan). The driver of the groom (Mohanlal) fools Jagathy and makes him believe that he is the orginal groom and wants the American returned groom to be thrown out of the house. See how well he has enacted the role of an old man even though he was only in his early thirties during that time.

Jagathy has acted with the past as well as the present generation of Malayalam actors. See this clip from the movie Ulladakkam (content). Here he acts as a mad man who thinks that he has swallowed a horse. He is taken to the hospital where the doctor (Mohanlal) tries to treat him. He lives like a mad man in this scene.

See this clip from another Priyadarshan movie- Thalavattam (Kyom Ki in Hindi). In this scene Jagathy loses his job in the hospital and comes to his boss for mercy. Seeing that his boss is not ready to forgive him he starts shouting at him. See how natural acting comes to his great man.

In the movie “Kilukkam”, one of the all time hits of Malayalam cinema, Jagathy outshines even Mohanlal. See this clip from the movie “Kilukkam”.

Another movie where Jagathy makes every one laugh is “Yodha”- again a movie with Mohanlal. A. R. Rahman started his career in music with this movie.

One more movie clip of Jagathy to show his versatility as an actor, various emotions come to his face with such ease.

These are few of the classic movies, which Jagathy acted. There is lot of other masterpieces he has acted like Moonam Pakkam, Kabuliwalla, Pidakozhi kuvunna nutandu etc. If you have not see those movies I can tell you – you have missed some world-class acting. If he was a Hollywood actor and had just put in half of his performance effort he could have won an Oscar award for best acting several times.

Jagathy Sreekumar has won the Kerala State Best Supporting Actor two times in 1991 and 2002. His biography titled “Jagathy Chirichum Chirikaktheyum” was recently published.

I believe if we take a list of 10 best actors India has ever produced, the name of Jagathy should be in it. I consider him just below Kamalhasan in terms of talent.

“Let Us All Hope – Best of Jagathy is Yet to Come”

Also read Meet Sreenivasan – The Master Craftsman of Malayalam Movie

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Anonymous sarath said...

Jagathy is a great actor and talent. No question about that. But then why mohanlal,mammooty or kamalhassan? Why not Jagathy? The difference I think is the factor of charisma and screen presence. Actors like Mohanlal & Kamal can carry the whole movie in their shoulders. Even if there is nothing really new in the movie..their touch can make the movie watchable. Jagathy does very well as a co-star, he has amazing screen chemistry with almost any actor,especially mohanlal...but without a mohanlal in the lead? I don't think so. Imagine Jagathy doing a Sphatikam,Vadakkan Veeragatha,Kamaladhalam,Vaanaprastham or Thanmatra.

February 27, 2007 3:47 PM  
Blogger Vivek said...

I agree with you totally Brijesh ! Jagathy is amazing. The types of roles that he has acted in those 1000+ movies. There isnt any character that he has not played. The ability to make someone laugh genuinely is absolutely great and if you have that kinda talent you would be able to do all kinds of roles - be it a hero or a villian - be it tragedy or comedy - you can do it. Watch Sukhamodevi - pre and post interval Jagathy to see his acting range! Jagathy never really did the chocolate hero kinda roles initially since he was too good as a comedian or else he might have been another Mohanlal of today! Jagathy is the bestest!!!!!!!!

February 27, 2007 5:42 PM  
Blogger mathew said...

He is very much a under appreciated actor..To make people laugh for so many years is no easy task..And most of often critics laugh away at comedians(pun unintended :-P) and dont give their due regard..I always feel mohanlal owes a lot for some of his hit movies to jagathy's histronics..

February 27, 2007 6:33 PM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

Imagine Mohanlal doing the role Jagathy did in Udayananu Tharam or in Ulladakkam or Pidakozhi kuvunna Nottandu or Kabuliwala or Moonam Pakkam. I think Mohanlal would not have come near Jagathy if he tried doing that roles. So for each person there are specific roles. Think of any comedy movie from Mohanlal that was a hit other than Chitram. It has either Jagathy or Sreenivasan pairing with Mohanlal. So Jagathy had played a great role in making Mohanlal look a great actor. I am not telling here that Mohanlal is a bad actor but what I am telling is Jagathy is on par with actors like Kamalhassan and Mohanlal. Most of the time he doesn’t get enough recognition within Kerala.

Yes I cant think of any character he hasn’t played till now. Name a role and he could have don’t it in some movie. That is the greatness of this man.

February 28, 2007 1:51 AM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

Making people laugh is the toughest thing to do and to do it for over 30 years one has to be genius.

February 28, 2007 1:51 AM  
Blogger Jiby said...

brijesh, great post...jagathy has made us laugh for ages and ages...i personally think his best is yet to come...if you havent you should watch his two recent movies, Vasthavam and Nottam...both roles are a departure from his normal comic characters to a more mature, sarasan-type kaaranavar who can still make you laugh.

March 01, 2007 5:48 AM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

Thanks. Year after year he amazes me. No I havent seen any of his recent movies. I am just waiting for an oppurtunity to see Vastavam, Nottam and Palunkku.

March 01, 2007 5:56 AM  
Blogger silverine said...

I love Jagathy...and I hope people like him will remain evergreen. He is a gem that we are lucky to get. But I must admit I was shocked when I heard that his name figured in a sex scandal involving a minor.

March 03, 2007 4:37 AM  
Blogger retarded said...

I too agree that Jagathy is a great actor who is going unnoticed in the indian cinema arena. However, should the introduction of Jagathy to anyone who doesn't know him done through the comedy clips you posted?
There has been serious acting as well from him in several movies. In achan kombath.. etc he acted in serious roles and did very well. another serious role was that of the minister in kaaattile thadi thevarude aana..

Also, there should have been a reference to his role in the Adoor Gopalakrishnan movie NIZHALKUTH.
It has been shown in several international film festivals.

However, I agree that the effort he has put in and talents he possess for making a comedy role better in the only way he can is impeccable.

March 04, 2007 12:54 AM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

it is true that moral side of many of the artist are not good. I was also shocked to hear that news. let us hope it remains as an allegation.

I know Jagathy has acted in much more good films than the clips I posted. I was trying to find the clips of those movies but couldn't get in the internet. That is why I introduce him with those movies.

I never had a chance to see his movie Nizalkoothu. So I cannot comment about his acting in that movie.

March 04, 2007 5:02 AM  
Blogger alakananda said...

jagathy is an absolute genius(yes i also have heard his name associated with the sthree peetanam case, but let us leave that out now.
along with mohan lal, thilakan, and nedumudi, he is one of the incomparable gems that malayalam cinema has been blessed with.
i once attended a talk by him and he gave such an intelligent, very serious and thought provoking speech. and yes, his navarasams (plus the pachaalam rasams are brilliant. i don't think ANY other actor can do it.) i wonder how it will turn out in hindi. simply cannot imagine anyone coming close...:)

March 13, 2007 3:04 AM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Yes he is a genius. The way he answers questions in a interview shows how talented his guy is.

Yes I am also looking forward to see who and how navarasams are going to be enacted in Hindi.

March 17, 2007 6:13 PM  
Blogger Don said...

When I think of jagathy the first thing that comes into my mind is the scene in kilikum where is discharged from hospital and trying to talk in hindi..."Njanum jyojiyum adichu pirinju, dushman!!".I feel he is the best comedian in malayalam industry and is real boon for all us.His entry in movies, even if he is doing a serious role is cheered by the audience.The way changes his sound at times to say something is very funny.Hope he has lots more in store for us.

March 30, 2007 5:12 PM  
Anonymous Rachil said...

Great post! I am a great Innocent and Jagathy fan. Love the movies with the two of them together.

Haven't seen any of his latest movies (nor the older ones for some time) though..

April 09, 2007 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Brijesh,

Stumbled upon your site via google .I don't have many mallu friends infact none at the moment but i've heard malayalam films are very good with great story lines I've seen a few good ones myself. Could you compile a list of your top 10/20 all time hit malayalam films and publish it on your blog so that ppl like me can buy to watch them(Hopefully they come with subtitles). It'll be really generous of you to do so.

May 11, 2007 7:20 PM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

here r the list of few superhit malayalam movies i can think of.

oru vadakkan veeragatha
sanmanasu ullavarkku samadanam
new Delhi
rajavinte makan
aniyan vava chettan vava
His Highness Abdulla
Meleparambil Anveedu
Ramji Rao Speaking
In Harihar Nagar
God Father
Meesa Madhavan
CID Moosa

these are the few that is coming to my mind. all these are great movies.

May 12, 2007 9:04 AM  
Blogger Praveen said...

vadakkan veera gatha
thinkalazhcha nalla divasam
ee puzhayum kadanu
vadakku nokki yanthram
chintha vishtayaya shyamala
namuku parkan munthirithoppukal
deshadana kilikal karayarila
sanmanasullavarku samadhanam
vellanakalude nadu
thalayana manthram
In Hariharnagar
Ramjirao speeking
mele parambil aanveedu
ayalathe adheham

May 16, 2007 10:46 PM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

Thanks Praveen for this list. Raghavendra, now you have a great list of Malayalam movies to watch from.

May 20, 2007 5:43 PM  
Blogger adarsh said...

Thanks yaar
You have done a great service to art by appreciating a genius.
I love ....
laletan(mohan lal)
Ambli chettan(jagathy)

July 20, 2007 8:01 PM  
Blogger GR said...


Jagathy verum oru nadan alla. Oru sambhavam aanu. Ithupole oral 1000 kollam koodumpozhe janiku. My God Bless him with health, wealth and prosperity and a long life.



September 23, 2007 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Googled Jagathy Sreekumar & lo behold your post. Good post.
Its always a pleasure to listen to Jagathy's die-hard fans
one of my favorites is Jagathy walking into a bar in 'Mukkila rajathu' ...pure Jagathy magic

More power to him

Thanks ,Brijesh


October 03, 2007 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Rahul said...

Jagathi is the real hero in indian cinema. The expressions that he do cant be do by any other actors in indian cinema....

August 03, 2012 5:42 PM  

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