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Christopher star Mammootty on concept of pan-Indian movies: ‘I want Malayalam cinema to always retain its identity’

Mammootty, whose next release Christopher is set to hit theatres, also opened up about his script selection process

Christopher star Mammootty on concept of pan-Indian movies: ‘I want Malayalam cinema to always retain its identity’
Mammootty in a still from Puzhu

Last Updated: 02.06 PM, Feb 08, 2023


Malayalam superstar Mammootty’s filmography, post pandemic, has been nothing short of stellar. With back to back super hits as well as acclaimed performances, the actor seems to be having more fun than ever while choosing his scripts and performing.

While several other Mollywood superstars had decided to jump on to the ‘pan-Indian’ bandwagon of films by scaling up the projects for the audience across other languages, Mammootty’s recent releases have all stayed rooted in Malayalam.

“I want the Malayalam film industry to always function as just Malayalam cinema, otherwise we would lose our identity,” said the actor, in an interview for his production company Mammootty Kampany. “If you look at German films or Iranian films, there might be subtitles but they don’t translate or dub in English. If you want to feel those emotions, it has to be watched in that language itself.”

Mammootty in a still from Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam
Mammootty in a still from Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam

The actor also talked about how things have now become easier for today’s actors as well as those with talent to break into the industry. “When I used to act in 35 films a year, we didn’t even have time to hear the stories. Our sole intention was to rush into the limelight. Now, we have several media including TV and social media. Earlier, it was just photos in a newspaper or a magazine. So, the only way to get more exposure is by acting in more films,” he told host Meera Nandan, in the interview during his recent promotional trip to Dubai for Christopher.

Mammootty also revealed if he has tweaked his script selection process in recent times. “I made my entry through parallel cinema. People started casting me in so-called commercial films because of my height. For me, it was always about movies. There are kinds of films that you want to do and when such movies come my way, I don’t reject them. Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam and the upcoming movie Kaathal – The Core are among those,” said the megastar.

Mammootty in a still from Christopher
Mammootty in a still from Christopher

Further on the latter film, which is helmed by Jeo Baby, Mammootty said that Kaathal has a story that is familiar to the audience. “It’s a story that a lot of people would have heard from others or experienced in their own lives. But it has not been made into a film yet,” he said.

Mammootty, who has worked with young directors such as Ratheena, Nissam Basheer and most recently Roby Varghese Raj, revealed what he looks for in new filmmakers. “When a new director narrates the script to me, I can never judge their talent. So, what I do is make them narrate more, give them inputs and see how they improve on that. If we can visualise their story then it means that they have also visualised it,” said the actor.


Christopher, which is an investigative thriller, is all set to hit theatres on February 9.

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