Madhu at 90: A look back at his iconic movies

Madhu. Photo: IMDb

Today marks the 90th birthday celebration of the legendary actor, Madhu. His remarkable career, which has stretched over several decades, not only established him as an accomplished actor but also saw him excel as a director and producer. Here we've listed five of his finest films that we highly recommend you to watch.

Among Madhu's illustrious career spanning decades, his role in 'Chemmeen' stands out as one of his most iconic portrayals. This timeless classic was not only a massive hit but also one of the earliest colour films in Malayalam cinema history. The love story between Karuthamma and Pareekutty continues to hold a special place as one of the most cherished and enduring tales in Malayalam cinema. Madhu's portrayal of Pareekkutty was nothing short of brilliance, leaving an indelible mark on the audience. 'Chemmeen' was a pioneering film in its time, pushing the boundaries of progressiveness, and it continues to be etched in the hearts of Malayalees worldwide.

Bhargavi Nilayam
'Bhargavi Nilayam' holds the distinction of being the first Malayalam horror film, and it weaves a tale of an unusual and compassionate relationship between a writer and a ghost. Madhu's portrayal of the writer in this cinematic gem was nothing short of spectacular. What set his performance apart were the delightful and light-hearted conversations he shared with the ghost of Bhargavi. Instead of instilling fear, he playfully dubbed the ghost 'Bhargavikutty,' showcasing a blend of curiosity and fearlessness. Madhu, renowned for his mastery of expressions, grounded his character in a relatable manner, earning the admiration of the audience who thoroughly enjoyed his performance.

Karutha Rathrikal
This movie stands as an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novella, 'Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde', and holds the honour of being the inaugural science fiction film in Malayalam cinema history. In this cinematic masterpiece, Madhu takes on the role of Santhan, a skilled medical practitioner who formulates a concoction capable of transforming him into a monstrous entity. It showcases a remarkably stylish rendition of Madhu, reflecting the era's penchant for creativity and innovative ideas in the 1960s and 70s.

Released in 1965, this film features the talented duo of Madhu and Ambika in the lead roles. While it may not have achieved the same level of recognition as iconic films like 'Chemmeen,' Madhu demonstrated a knack for choosing narratives that promised engaging storytelling. He often portrayed the quintessential romantic hero, setting the stage for the likes of Mohanlal and Mammootty who would later embody a similar spirit in Mollywood.

'Eeta' features a stellar cast including Madhu, Kamal Haasan, and Sheela in pivotal roles. This film marked a unique collaboration between Madhu and Kamal Haasan, bringing their talents to the same screen. Madhu takes on the character of Varuthunnu, an honest individual entangled in a web of conspiracy woven by his boss. Kamal Haasan, portraying his son, delivers a compelling performance alongside Madhu. Madhu's versatility shines through in every role he undertakes, effortlessly transitioning from a romantic hero to a father figure. His charisma lends an authentic yet theatrical touch to all his characters, making them come alive on screen.

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