It's a thought that has crossed our minds at least once in our life. When we watch a great Hollywood film, it's only natural for us to imagine one of our Malayalam stars playing the lead. The exercise is illogical and pointless, but there's a lot of fun to be had in re-imagining a classic like Godfather 2 with Mammootty and Mohanlal. Ikka as Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) and Ettan as Michael Corleone (Al Pacino); now, that's a film I'd give anything to watch. Even Scorsese's Departed with these too would be a cinephile's wet dream. How about each of our stars getting their own film/franchise in Hollywood? Here's what such a crossover would look like.
Let's start by going back a little in time. There's no denying the greatness of an actor like Sathyan who also became our first superstar. The closest parallel one can draw between an actor like him and a Hollywood star is perhaps Humphrey Bogart. Sathyan is our best bet to play Rick Blaine, who owns the gin joint all of us are happy to walk into. What would the line "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship" sound like in Malayalam?
Imagine the feisty Bhanu from Kanmadham or Bhadra from Kannezhuthi Pottum Thottu taking on an entire corporation on her own. There's nothing Manju Warrier can't do, and this role by Julia Roberts comes closest to giving her the mix of lighthearted fun and an understated strength she's mastered in many roles.
We know that he's already playing a superhero in Minnal Murali. But there's no denying how cool it will be to see him play a foul-mouthed anti-superhero in a franchise like Deadpool. The actor can no doubt pull off comedy. He can certainly pull off action scenes as well. What better franchise to see a mix of both.
Shobana is the closest we have to Meryl Streep. She's elegant and graceful and she continues to captivate, even in films as recent as Varane Avashyamund. Remember Jayaraj's Makalkku and Shobana's character in it? What better example than her performance in it to picture her playing a Holocaust survivor like Sophie who has to be choose between her son and daughter. Also, how cool would Shobana be as Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada?
Nivin Pauly in Bradley Cooper's role, Sharafudeen playing Ed Helms' dentist and Joju George (from Action Hero Biju) reprising Zach Galifianakis' iconic 'fat Jesus'. Set the film in Goa with Aju Varghese's wedding as the setting, and we'll have our own billion-dollar comedy franchise.
DQ is easily the heartthrob of this generation. He's classy, witty and his good looks have a fan base across the country. But the difference is that he can also do vulnerable. He's our own Hugh Grant and he can easily play the bookshop owner who lives in the house with the blue door. What if it's Parvathy who comes knocking on this door? The Charlie and Bangalore Days couple would ace when it comes to chemistry and power dynamics. Keep your handkerchiefs ready because you know you're going to cry when Parvathy starts off with, "I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy…"
In terms of anatomy, there's really only one star we have who can really pull off the role of most superheroes. Prithviraj is the only actor who can play Captain America, Iron Man AND Thor. I'm torn to choose between Prithvi from the Swapnakoodu mould playing a flirty Tony Stark in the Iron Man series. Or, how about Prithvi from Urumi playing Thor? Both are great options. I prefer him as Iron Man, though. What about you?
Shammi multiplied by 10 is basically Jack Torrance from The Shining. The miracles this actor can pull off while working with a director like Kubrick is too delicious a thought. "Here's Shammi" even has a nice ring to it. Imagine Shammi chasing you with an axe as you try to navigate a hedge maze in the snow? This is not an idea you'd want to…overlook.
I'd give an arm and a leg to see the megastar playing certain roles perfected by Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando and Tom Hanks. But ever since I watched The Great Father, I haven't been able to forget the idea of how cool it would be to see ikka play the baddest, coolest Daddy of them all in a series like Liam Neeson's Taken. I don't know who you are and I don't know what you want….but when Mammootty says "I Will Look For You, I Will Find You, And I Will Kill You", that too in the look and feel of Bilal John Kurushingal, we're worried, but only for the bad guys.
How crazy would it be for the actor who's given us most of our favorite anti-heroes to play the best anti-hero of all time? In Brian De Palma's Scarface, Al Pacino gave us a cold-blooded druglord with cohones. You see elements of Tony Montana in Vincent Gomes, Mangalashery Neelakandan and even Aadu Thoma. Just give his character a kilo of coke and an M-16 he calls his "little friend" and we'll have a climax that will blow our mind.
Disagree with this list? What changes will you make to it? Or, can we just imagine what a film like Goodfellas or The Casino would look like with all of them in it?