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Five top villains of Malayalam cinema who will be remembered forever

From Balan K Nair to Sai Kumar, there are numerous actors in Mollywood who nailed notable performances with grey shades

Megha Mukundan
Aug 22, 2021
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Films, especially those which belong to the action genre, are often incomplete without a menacing villain, who changes the course of the story with their antics. Though the Malayalam film industry is changing with regard to the cliche portrayal associated with hero and villain, audiences would still love watching some of the actors who essayed memorable villain roles. There are numerous actors in Mollywood who nailed notable performances with grey shades. Here are some of the evergreen actors of Malayalam cinema, who will always be remembered for their negative portrayals.

Balan K Nair

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There was a time when the late actor’s name was synonymous with villain roles, especially during the later half of the ‘70s. He has appeared in more than 300 Malayalam movies, and has played negative roles in most of them. He was also the villain in action hero Jayan’s last film Kolilakkam, during the shooting of which, the latter died while pulling off a stunt sequence on a helicopter.

T G Ravi

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Ravi, along with Balan K Nair, has played most of the villain roles in the ‘70s and ‘80s of Malayalam cinema. The actor is popular for his body language and style of dialogue delivery which makes him impeccable in negative characters. His role in the movie Chakara in which he acted opposite Jayan was his first breakthrough that established him as a classic villain. He also showcased a notable performance in the movie Parankimala, which happened to be a turning point in his acting career as an anti-hero. Even though he took a break from films in the late ‘80s, he returned to the silver screen several years later, and is currently active, doing diverse roles. His roles in Pakal, Jacobinte Swargarajyam, Red Wine and The Priest were quite notable.

Rajan P Dev

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The legendary villain is noted for his creepy and shady roles which has a tinge of humour in it. He became an established villain after his role in the film Indrajalam, in which he played opposite Mohanlal. It became a career defining role for him and paved the way for a slew of negative roles, which made him a bankable villain in Mollywood. He was also active in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada industries as well, and among the 800 films he had acted, most of the roles he played were that of corrupt politician, cruel police officer and crooked minister.

Narendra Prasad

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With his outstanding body language and acting style, the actor has perfected numerous villain roles in Malayalam cinema. His roles like Kulappully Appan in Aaram Thamburan and the manipulative godman in Ekalavyan made him one of the dependable antagonists of Malayalam film industry in the ‘90s. Thalasthanam is another notable film of his, in which he essayed the role of a wicked politician to perfection.

Sai Kumar

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Though the actor has appeared in both negative and positive roles, his villain characters have a separate fan base, thanks to the manner in which he has pulled off some of them. His roles in movies like In Harihar Nagar and Hitler were different from the loud, cruel antagonists and earned him praise for the subtlety he brought for characters with grey shades. Another outstanding performance he effortlessly portrayed was from the Mammootty-starrer Sethurama Iyer CBI, in which he recreated the sound modulation and body language of actor Sukumaran, who was seen in the film’s prequel, Oru CBI Diary Kurippu. His anti hero roles in films like Narasimham, Thandavam and Chathurangam, too, earned praise from critics, besides his popular villain role as Keeri Vasu in Dileep-starrer Kunjikkoonan.

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