Top Movies of Mohanlal: The Complete Actor

By Krishnan

One of the best actors to ever grace the Malayalam film industry, Mohanlal Viswanathan Nair, popularly known as Mohanlal. The talented actor, who began his career in 1978, has appeared in more than 400 movies and has made significant contributions to Indian cinema. He is often  been referred to by his fans as “The Complete Actor.” Several of his films have been box office successes, and many of his films are remade in other languages. Mohanlal is also one of the rare few South Indian performers who were able to appear in the Times Magazine. He was recognised as an actor who introduced realism to acting. It was then Mohanlal was known as ‘the Marlon Brando of Indian Cinema. Let’s take a look at some of Mohanlal’s best films.

Kireedam (1989)

The 1989 Malayalam film “Kireedam,” which is translated as “Crown,” was directed by Sibi Malayil and produced by Unni. In terms of character development, this film ranks among the best made, not just among the best performances by actor Mohanlal. All those who saw the movie still have vivid memories of the lead character Sethumadhavan, played by Mohanlal, and the villain Keerikadan Jose, the local bigmouth goon, played by Haneefa, and the honest cop turned father, played by Thilakan.

Plot: Sethumadhavan is the son of Achuthan Nair, a Police Constable who hopes to one day make his son an Inspector. Sethu, a recent college graduate, has a variety of career options at his disposal, but he chooses to follow his father’s dream of working as an inspector.

The raw and extremely accurate depiction of turbulence that individual experiences when going through an unexpected series of events is what makes Kireedam compelling.

Thoovanathumbikal (1987)

Based on the novel “Udakappola” by P. Padmarajan, who also serves as the film’s writer and director. The movie “Thoovanathumbikal” redefined womanhood and love. 

Plot: Jayakrishnan is a well-going bachelor who lives a contrasting dual life: one among his friends in the town and the other with his mother and sister in their village. While he is an audacious guy celebrating life with his friends in town, he is a frugal family man at home. The film is about his dual life, how he falls in love with two women, Clara and Radha, and his difficulty deciding between them.

The countless complexities of this emotion we call “love” are brilliantly depicted in this film. As a result, Padmarajan tells the tale from Jayan’s point of view. He has multiple personalities that vary depending on his peer groups, making him a peculiar character.

Despite being a financial success at the box office, it has developed a cult following over time. IBN Live ranked the movie eighth on its list of the best Indian films ever made. The movie is well known for its complex screenplay, memorable dialogue and rich musical score, and performances by Mohanlal and Sumalatha.

Iruvar (1997)

Iruvar, which translates to “The Duo,” is a 1997 political drama directed by Indian Spielberg Manirathnam. Iruvar, which translates to “The Duo,” is a 1997 political drama directed by Mani Rathnam. The film is set against the backdrop of Tamil Nadu cinema and politics and is inspired by the lives of M. Karunanidhi, M. G. Ramachandran, and J. Jayalalithaa.  It features a star-studded cast of Mohanlal, Prakash Raj, Aishwarya Rai, Revathi, Gautami, Tabu, and Nassar. This film highlighted Mohanlal’s charm and versatility and marked the screen debut of former Miss World Aishwarya Rai. 

Plot: Anandan, a struggling actor, becomes friends with a writer who works for a political party. When Anandan is picked to represent his party in the elections, problems arise between them.

This film was released during the Mani Ratnam period, and he considers it his most remarkable work, inspiring many other directors, such as Gautham Menon. Every admirer of Indian films should see this masterpiece.

Vanaprastham (1999)

Shaji N. Karun directed Vanaprastham: The Last Dance, a 1999 Indo-French psychological drama film set in the 1950s. Mohanlal delivers a life-changing performance, transcending all conceptions of material acting that humanity has ever devised. After witnessing the film, a French technician famously stated, “The only thing this guy has done wrong is to be born in this region of the globe; if he had been born elsewhere, he might have won numerous Oscars.”

Plot: Kunhikuttan, a respected Kathakali dancer who belongs to a lower caste family, meets Subhadra, a married woman from a high caste family who falls in love with his character rather than himself.

This film’s characters feel incredibly real, with many human imperfections. It’s intriguing how Subhadra is nearly locked in a childish, fanciful perspective of reality, while Kunjikuttan is too proud to carry on. With its eerie melody and relentless advances through time, this film is a tragedy that leaves you feeling unfulfilled at the climax.

Bharatham (1991)

Bharatham is a 1991 Indian Malayalam-language musical drama film directed by Sibi Malayil and written by A. K. Lohithadas. It stars Mohanlal, Urvashi, Nedumudi Venu, Lakshmi, and Murali in lead roles. Bharatham is a modern-day retelling of the Ramayana from the younger brother’s perspective.

Plot: Brothers Raman and Gopi come from a musical family. Raman’s alcoholism threatens his profession, and Gopi is compelled to take up his role, making him envious of Gopi’s success. However, he soon realises his problem and offers Gopi his blessing to perform at the event. Later, he embarks on a pilgrimage, which compels Gopi to shoulder additional responsibilities.

The movie was a commercial and financial success, running in theatres for 125 days. Mohanlal received a National award for Best Actor for the first time in this film, and the movie also won five Kerala State Film Awards. Mohanlal’s performance in the film was named one of the “25 Greatest Acting Performances of Indian Cinema” by Forbes India on the centennial of Indian cinema in 2013.

Spadikam (1995)

On the film’s 25th anniversary (March 30), Bhadran, the director of the movie, stunned moviegoers by unveiling the first look poster. The filmmakers have also announced that the film will be re-released using 4K Dolby Atmos sound technology.

Spadikam is a 1995 Malayalam action film written, directed, and produced by Bhadran. Addu Thoma is one of Mohanlal’s most daring roles to date, as well as one of his most talked-about throughout his career. Even though it portrayed him smacking the enemies with awesome techniques and dashing them with heroic lines like “Ithu ente puthan Rayban glass, “Ithu chavitti pottichal ninte kaalu njan vettum”, this one-liner became a cult classic.

Plot: Chacko’s master, a school headmaster, is never satisfied with his son, Thomas, and continually insults him when he fails to satisfy the latter’s high expectations. However, having had enough of him, Thomas flees home, only to return as a mobster after a long time.

Devasuram (1993)

Devasuram (God of Demons) is a 1993 action film directed by I.V. Sasi and regarded as one of Mohanlal’s greatest characters. Ranjith wrote the script, and his friend Mullasserry Rajagopal inspired the role of Mangalassery Neelakantan (Mohanlal), the legendary feudal landlord.

Plot: Neelakanthan fritters away his father’s fortune. However, his life is turned upside down when his mother, on her deathbed, discloses a dreadful truth that affects the course of his life.

The movie has so much substance to keep you entertained that it seems like a voyage. Having said that, it never loses touch with reality. All events occur naturally, and action scenes are never superimposed. In 2001, a sequel to the film titled ‘Raavanaprabhu’ was released.

Also read:

Manichitrathazhu (1993)

Manichitrathazhui is an epic psychological thriller that was produced by Swargachitra Appachan, directed by Fazil, and written by Madhu Muttam. It continues to rank among the best thrillers ever made in Indian film. Almost every Indian has seen this movie because it has been remade in several languages. In addition to Shobana, Suresh Gopi, and Mohanlal, the movie also has Nedumudi Venu, Innocent, and Thilakan in supporting roles. The tragedy that occurred in the Nairtharavad family, a prominent Travancore family, in the 19th century was the inspiration for the story.

Plot: A young couple named Ganga and Nakulan arrive at the latter’s Madampalli ancestral house. The notion of the couple relocating into the purportedly haunted mansion is rejected by Nakulan’s uncle Thampi since he comes from a family that adheres to tradition and superstitions. The couple moves in any case, and then strange, seemingly paranormal things start to happen.

“Manichitrathazhu” was ranked second in India’s Greatest Film of All Time in an online vote conducted by IBN Live in 2013.

 Kaalapani (1996)

Priyadarshan co-wrote and directed the 1996 epic historical drama film Kaalapani (Black Water). The 1915 setting of the movie centres on the experiences of Indian freedom fighters detained in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands’ Cellular Jail during British Rule. Mohanlal, Prabhu, Tabu, Amrish Puri, Nedumudi Venu, Sreenivasan, Alex Draper, and Vineeth are among the cast members. The main event of the movie revolves around a cellular jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands called “Kaala Pani,” where the hardships of the inmates and the brutal treatment of them by British authorities are brutally shown.

Plot: In 1915 British India, Govardhan, a doctor by profession, is wrongfully convicted of bombing a train and is imprisoned in Cellular Jail, also known as Kala Pani in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, by the British. He observes the suffering of hundreds of Indian captives.

The biggest Indian release to date, Kaalapani, was released on April 6, 1996, in 450 theatres worldwide. It was also the first movie to use Dolby Stereo in Malayalam cinema. The movie, which won four National Film Awards and seven Kerala State Film Awards, is today regarded as a masterpiece in Malayalam cinema.

 Drishyam (2015)

Jeethu Joseph wrote and directed the 2013 Malayalam criminal thriller movie Drishyam. The film’s leading characters are Mohanlal and Meena, with supporting performances by Ansiba Hassan, Esther Anil, Kalabhavan Shajohn, Asha Sharath, Siddique, Roshan Basheer, and Neeraj Madhav. Antony Perumbavoor produced under the banner of Aashirvad Cinemas.

Plot: Georgekutty, his wife, and their daughters lead contented lives. However, things change for Georgekutty and his family when Varun Prabhakar, the IG Geetha Prabhakar’s son, goes missing, leading to the family being suspected. Georgekutty must protect his family and their secrets.

There haven’t been many movies recently that have inspired viewers to reflect on what they’ve seen long after the movie has ended, which is why Drishyam is so excellent. Drishyam, a very sophisticated movie with lots of tension and unexpected turns, made sure to leave a lasting impact on the audience.

 Lucifer (2019)

The 2019 political action film marks the directorial debut of Prithviraj Sukumaran. Mohanlal plays the title character in the movie, which is produced by Antony Perumbavoor under the banner of Aashirvad Cinemas and is written by Murali Gopy. Vivek Oberoi, Manju Warrier, Tovino Thomas, Indrajith Sukumaran, Prithviraj Sukumaran, and Saniya Iyyapan make up the supporting cast.

Plot: A story set in Kerala’s political environment, God’s own country. In the aftermath of its Chief Minister PKR’s death, anarchy ensues as power is up for grabs; in the middle of the mayhem, a mystery figure named Stephen comes in to claim the reign. This conflict becomes a war between two factions, with one of the conflicts leading to the battle against narcotics.

As of right now, Lucifer is the most successful Malayalam movie ever and the only one to collect over 200 crores. The film’s characters, cast performances, cinematography, editing, background music, action scenes, narrative, and director all garnered positive reviews from critics.

Lucifer is the first of a trilogy that will include L2: Empuraan and an untitled sequel in the works. In October 2022, a Telugu version named “Godfather” was released, starring Chiranjeevi and Salman Khan in the leading roles.

So, which Mohanlal blockbusters are you looking forward to watching?

What’s your Reaction?


Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

ohh now will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.