Even as he climbed the ladder of fame and attracted new fans along the way, Fahadh never stuck to being the ‘good hero’.

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Flix Mollywood Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 16:48

Fahadh Faasil’s is not a he-arrived-with-a-bang story. He arrived quietly as a teenager in a film his father made (Kai Ethum Doorathu), then slipped out for a few years before appearing unannounced on the steps of a house as a friendly ghost in an anthology film (Kerala Café). 

He signed up for smaller characters in films of bigger stars (PramaniCocktail) before getting noticed for the grey characters he had no qualms playing, and then slid into the hero roles in films that didn’t come off as tried-and-tested formula. 

Even as he climbed the ladder of fame and attracted new fans along the way, Fahadh never stuck to being the ‘good hero’, often turning up as the fraudulent guy trying to make some quick money or the creepy nice-looking neighbour who sends chills down your spine simply by being on the screen. As his latest avatar in Kumbalangi Nights, which has just come on Amazon Prime, is finding him new admirers, it’s time to look at a few characters Fahadh’s has done that’s made him the untypical hero of Malayalam cinema.

Chaappa Kurishu: The film got noticed for featuring one of the first on screen intimate kisses in Malayalam, and Fahadh as Arjun was at once identified as a daring new actor. Directed by Sameer Thahir, it showed him as a man you don’t grow fond of, even as he struggles through the film to get hold of a phone he loses that has an intimate video, shuttling between a lover and a bride-to-be.

22 Female Kottayam: This was one of the first films in Fahadh’s second spell which got him noticed for many reasons.  In Aashiq Abu's thriller, he is the hero-villain you hate, tricking a woman into a relationship and then letting a man rape her. Even as you walk away hating his character, Fahadh was remembered for playing Cyril.

Diamond Necklace: Lal Jose’s film showed Fahadh as a reckless guy spending all his money away in a Gulf country and ending up in a lot of debt. There are three women acting opposite him through the different stages of his life, and you watch Fahadh being the spineless man who can’t assert himself before any of them or his mother back home, the desperate one who goes to the extent of stealing from a woman who trusts him.

Annayum Rasoolum: For a change, Fahadh actually became the usual hero in Rajeev Ravi’s debut directorial. As Rasool, he stalks a woman he falls in love with and eventually forms a relationship with her. The movie shows the reality of the tensions that come with an inter-religious relationship in rural Kochi.

Amen: Another love story in the form of a musical satire by Lijo Jose Pellissery, Fahadh plays the innocent Solomon, in love with Shoshamma. He has to win a band contest to win her love. Fahadh on the screen transforms into the poor nice man you root for, a world away from the Cyrils and Arjuns he played.

North 24 Kaatham: By now having made an image of a man who experiments with his characters, Fahadh becomes Harikrishnan, a person with OCD, in the film directed by Anil Radhakrishna Menon.

Oru Indian Pranayakatha: Fahadh plays a politician in this Sathyan Anthikad film, showing off a certain talent for doing comedy with his accent and dialogue delivery and exaggerated movements.

Maheshinte Prathikaram: Dileesh Pothan’s critically acclaimed directorial debut put Fahadh in the centre as a commoner in Idukki, with his petty problems – one of which drives the plot of the film. This movie would become a sort of precedent for the actor who’d take on a number of commoner roles after this.

Thondimuthalum DriksakshiyumDileesh’s second film, just as critically acclaimed, saw Fahadh in the role of a petty thief. A sly character, he can be seen professing his innocence through the police investigations, making you want to believe him with his wide-eyed pleas. Our review is here.

Kumbalangi Nights: Of course, the newest in the lot, directed by Madhu C Narayanan, that started this whole discussion. The actor, who has made you hate and love his characters, creeps you out as Shammi, "the complete man", whose smiles could send chills down your spine. 

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