30 Years of Biju Menon: Here are five best films of the versatile actor

Known for his subtle acting and nuanced performances, Biju Menon achieved the major milestone in cinema this month.

ByArjun Ramachandran

Published May 25, 2024 | 5:01 PMUpdatedMay 25, 2024 | 5:01 PM

30 years of Biju Menon in Malayalam cinema

Biju Menon has completed 30 glorious years in cinema this month; quite a cherishing journey for any artiste.

For an actor (Biju Menon) known for his subtle acting and nuanced performances, which he delivers with ease, 30 long years is, undoubtedly, a major milestone to achieve.

The 53-year-old played positive and negative characters in over 150 films since Puthran (1994), his debut venture directed by Jude Athipetti.

Interestingly, he forayed into the industry with a brief role as a hotel receptionist in the 1991 film Eagle.

Over the years, he carved a niche for himself in the Malayalam industry by doing several comedy and serious roles. He also became a bankable actor by putting up a good show at the box office as a solo hero.

Before venturing into movies, Biju Menon acted in a couple of television serials for Doordarshan.

He became popular with Mannar Mathai Speaking (1995), directed by Mani C Kappan and written by Siddique-Lal. In the flick, the actor played the antagonist—Mahendra Varma.

The tremendous success of Mannar Mathai Speaking helped Biju Menon gain popularity in Mollywood.

In the initial days of his career, he played serious roles in films like Azhakiya Ravanan (1996) and Krishnagudiyil Oru Pranayakalathu (1997).

Biju Menon with actor-wife Samyuktha Varma

Biju Menon with actor-wife Samyuktha Varma. (Facebook)

Later, he shifted to the comedy genre. Films like Marykkundoru Kunjaadu (2010), Seniors (2011), Ordinary (2012), Run Baby Run (2012), Romans (2013), Vellimoonga (2014), and Anarkali (2015) speak volumes about his comic timing and acting prowess.

The actor won two National Awards—Best Actor in Supporting Role for Ayyappanum Koshiyum (2020) and Best Actor for Aarkkariyam (2021).

He also bagged the Kerala State Film Award for Second Best Actor for his performance in TD Dasan Std VI B (2010). Besides he clinched the Asianet Film Award for Best Character Actor several times.

In his latest outing Thalavan, which opened to positive reviews on 24 May, Biju Menon teamed up with Asif Ali. The Jis Joy film, an impressive investigative thriller, features both actors as cops and is running successfully in theatres.

He will next be seen in AR Murugadoss’s upcoming flick with Tamil hero Sivakarthikeyan. Tentatively titled SK23, the project marks Biju Menon’s return to Kollywood after 14 long years.

He also debuted in the Telugu film industry.

As Biju Menon celebrates his 30th anniversary in cinema, let’s check the five best films of the versatile actor.

Also Read: Biju Menon returns to Tamil cinema with ‘SK23’ after 14 years

Mazha (2000)

Mazha is directed by Lenin Rajendran

‘Mazha’ is directed by Lenin Rajendran. (Supplied)

Mazha (Rain), directed by Lenin Rajendran, is based on Madhavikkutty’s short story “Nashtappetta Neelambari“.

The movie, featuring Biju Menon, Samyuktha Varma, and Lal in the lead, garnered five Kerala State Film Awards and a National Film Award.

Its music, composed by Ravindran, has some excellent songs.

Mazha narrates the love story of Bhadra (Samyuktha Varma) and her music teacher Sastrigal (Biju Menon). It is Set against the backdrop of Tamil Brahmins

The storyline spans two phases: Bhadra’s teenage and her life post-marriage.

Bhadra falls in love with Sastrigal but faces obstacles to their union. They eventually reunite towards the climax but struggle with marital discord.

Biju Menon adeptly portrays the role of a musician. Interestingly, he and Samyuktha Varma were in a relationship during the film’s production.

They also co-starred in Madhura Nombarakattu (2000) and tied the knot later.

Vellimoonga (2014)

A still from Vellimoonga

A still from ‘Vellimoonga. (X)

This political satire is based on the life of Mamachan, a cunning middle-aged politician who aspires to become a leader.

Also an unmarried individual, Mamachan attempts to tie the knot but his unemployment poses a barrier.

Vellimoonga marked the directorial debut of Jibu Jacob and was a blockbuster in 2014.

Featuring hilarious scenes, particularly with characters played by Biju Menon and Aju Varghese, the movie also stands as Biju Menon’s first solo hit venture.

Anuraga Karikkin Vellam (2016)

A poster of Anuraga Karikkin Vellam

A poster of ‘Anuraga Karikkin Vellam’. (X)

The Malayala movie is a love story featuring Biju Menon as the father of Asif Ali’s character, Abhilash.

It intertwines two storylines: one follows the love story between Abhilash (Asif Ali) and Elizabeth (Rajisha Vijayan) and the other delves into the dynamics of Raghu (Biju Menon) and his wife (portrayed by Asha Sarath).

Raghu, a stern police officer, neglects his family until he reconnects with Anuradha—his former girlfriend—through phone conversations. This prompts a change in his attitude towards his wife.

Interestingly, Elizabeth’s involvement in the calls to Raghu stems from a period of discord with Abhilash, making it a prank.

Anuradha’s character remains undisclosed in the movie, adding intrigue to the narrative.

The combination of Asif Ali and Biju Menon proves captivating, with the latter delivering a refreshing performance as Raghu.

Thalavan review: Asif Ali and Biju Menon shine in this impressive investigative thriller

Ayyappanum Koshiyum (2020)

Biju Menon and Prithviraj in Ayyappanum Koshiyum

Biju Menon and Prithviraj in ‘Ayyappanum Koshiyum’. (X)

Biju Menon’s portrayal of Ayyappan in Ayyappanum Koshiyum remains one of the most celebrated roles in his career.

Centred on the ego clash between Ayyappan Nair (Biju Menon) and Koshi (Prithviraj Sukumaran), the film emerged as a superhit upon its release.

It brilliantly presents the tale of a minor issue escalating into a full-blown clash of egos.

The character and the spectrum of emotions were perfectly outlined in the script. As an actor, all he had to do was step into the character’s shoes and comprehend his thoughts.

The climax scenes of the film stand out as highlights, showcasing the exceptional performances of Biju Menon and Prithviraj.

Aarkkariyam (2021)

A still from Aaarkkariyam

A still from ‘Aaarkkariyam’. (X)

In Aarkkariyam, Biju Menon took on a new character. He portrayed a retired math teacher living in Pala, Kottayam. His daughter Shirley is married to Roy, and they live in Mumbai.

Biju Menon’s portrayal of Itty, complete with white hair, was something refreshing to see.

Itty is prepared to sell his ancestral property to assist his daughter and son-in-law, who are encountering financial challenges.

The plot takes a turn when Itty discloses to Roy his intention to excavate the skeleton of a man he previously killed and buried on his property. The actor’s character in this revelation lacks any overt drama and is executed subtly.

They bury the skeleton secretly and eventually relocate to a new apartment after selling the ancestral property. Ultimately, Itty is diagnosed with dementia.

Biju Menon had no qualms about essaying an elderly man and was not much concerned about his image.

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