Gafoor to Keeleri Achu: Roles that put Mamukkoya on the map

Mamukkoya has portrayed several interesting characters in his lifetime. Movie stills

Mamukkoya, who passed away in Kozhikode on Wednesday, was one of the best comedians of his generation. He managed to make us laugh with his one-liners which have since become cult. Here's a look at some of his most memorable characters.


Gafoor in 'Naadodikkaatu'

Gafoor in Sathyan Anthikad's evergreen movie 'Naadodikkattu' was a small role. But Mamukkoya, in his inimitable style owned it and made it unforgettable. Gafoor is a cheat who dupes Ramdas (Mohanlal) and Vijayan (Sreenivasan). He takes money and promises to take them to the Gulf. He teaches them essential Arabic (Assalamu Alaikum...) and gives them the magic words (Gafoor ka dost) that would open all doors. A night later he leaves the unsuspecting duo near Marina Beach in Chennai (then Madras). Though Mamukkoya reprised the role in a later movie, the original was the most memorable one.

His magic keyword 'Gafoor Ka Dost' has inspired several memes and even was developed into an animated series.


Hamsakoya in 'Ramji Rao Speaking'

Mamukkoya's character in this movie directed by Lal and Siddique has a special place in Malayalis' hearts. Never has a money lender, who tracks down his debtor Balakrishnan (Sai Kumar) with a gang of bouncers, so captured the imagination of moviegoers. He wants the money back to hold his sister's marriage. How Hamsakoya runs around town trying to waylay Balakrishnan has left generations of viewers in splits. "Has anyone, in the history of the world of cinema, entered the scene on two autorickshaws? I did as Hamsakoya," Mamukkoya would later say.

Between the laughs he also manages to pull at our heartstrings when he utters, "Ente Nabeesoonte Kalyanam Nadannilenkil Nyan Ivide Mayyathakum (I will die here if my Nabeesa's marriage is cancelled)".


Kunjoottan in 'Rasathanthram'

Mamukkoya portrayed a lazy husband who depends on his brother-in-law Manikandan (Innocent) when things go wrong. Though he is unskilled and lazy, he markets himself as an excellent carpenter who made "Uru in Beypore”.


Keeleri Achu in 'Kankettu'

Mamukkoya plays the local goon Keeleri Achu in this comedy film directed by Rajan Balakrishnan. He tries to instill fear in the minds of local residents by claiming that he has committed murders and that he was no stranger to prison. To validate his claims he carries a large knife to scare people away. His dialogue like 'Ennodu Kalikkan Dhairyamundenkila Vada..." has been fodder for trolls over the years.


Abdu in 'Perumazhakkalam'

Mamukkoya received special mention in the 2004 Kerala State Film Award for his role in 'Perumazhakkalam' by Kamal. In a departure from his usual comedic roles, Makkoya played Abdu, the father of grieving Raziya, who is seeking pardon from the wife of a man her husband accidentally killed in the Gulf. The silence and the emotional turmoil portrayed by Abdu in the film were award-worthy. The role showed his acting provess.


Moosa Khadher in 'Kuruthi'

Mamukkoya is known for the thug responses in many movies. In 'Kuruthi', the scriptwriter managed to give him several such one-liners that are worth remembering. He played Moosa Khadher in the film. How he brings together Akbar, Bahadur and Shah Rukh Khan in one sentence, while two other characters are talking about rewriting history, is hilarious.

Kunjikhader in 'Mazhavil Kavadi'

Who can forget Mammukoya's role as a pickpocket who creates ruckus in Palani. The exchanges between his character Kunjikhader and Jayaram who plays Velayudhankutty in the film and his attempts to evade the police, are among the reasons why Kunjikhader is still beloved to Malayali movie lovers.


K G Pothuval, INS local leader in 'Sandesham'

Pothuval's (Mamukkoya) interaction with Yashwant Sahai, the All-India President of INSP played by Innocent, is one of the highlights of the political satire directed by Sathyan Anthikad and written by Sreenivasan. His inability to understand what the national leader is saying and his reaction to the entire situation is evergreen.


Jamal in 'His Highness Abdullah'

Mamukkoya's character Jamal is a confidante of Mohanlal's character Abdulla who disguises himself as Ananthan Namboothiri so that he can stay at the palace of Maharaja Udaya Varma. Jamal who also disguises himself as Sankunni Nair forgets that he is in his disguise occasionally, which makes the scenes hilarious.

Mamukkoya's appearance in Muhsin Perari's music videos

In 2003, Mamukkoya appeared as the father of a Muslim man accused of terrorist activity in the hard-hitting music video titled ‘Native Bapa’, while in 2006, he appeared in a hip-hop video titled ‘Funeral Of A Native Son’, which was a musical tribute to Rohit Vemula. The video was a direct attack on the resistance against college students who seek justice against oppression.

Both videos were written and directed by Mushin Perari.

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