Fazil

  • Actor, Director, Writer, Producer

1949  in Alappuzha, Kerala, India

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One of the most celebrated filmmakers in the history of Malayalam cinema, Aleksa Muhammed Fazil, known mononymously as Fazil, is a director, screenwriter, producer and occasional actor. In an illustrious career spanning four decades, he has written and directed over thirty feature films in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu cinema. He is perhaps best known for helming the psychological horror thriller Manichitrathazhu (1993), which is widely regarded as one of the finest Malayalam films ever made.

Fazil made his directorial debut with Manjil Virinja Pookkal in 1980, which also marked the acting debut of legendary actor Mohanlal. In the years that followed, he established himself as a stalwart filmmaker through movies like Ente Mamattikkuttiyammakku (1983), Nokketha Dhoorathu Kannum Nattu (1984), Poovinu Puthiya Poonthennal (1986) and Pappayude Swantham Appoos (1992). Along the way, Fazil also ventured into Kollywood through remakes of some of his hit films; besides winning as many as five Kerala State Film Awards in the first decade of his career.

However, it was the 1993 movie Manichitrathazhu which cemented Fazil`s legacy as one among the finest directors of his times. Featuring Mohanlal, Shobana and Suresh Gopi in central roles, the film followed a renowned psychiatrist on his quest to solve the mystery behind certain inexplicable events occurring in an old mansion. A critical and commercial success, Manichitrathazhu won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment that year.

The romantic drama Aniyathi Pravu (1997), the multi-starrer Harikrishnans (1998), the psychological thriller Vismayathumbathu (2004) and Moz & Cat (2009) are some of his other notable directorial credits in Malayalam. Fazil has also directed Telugu superstar Nagarjuna in Killer (1992) and Tamil superstar Vijay in Kaadhalukku Mariyaadai (1997). In more recent times, the ace filmmaker was seen in the role of Father Nedumbally in Lucifer (2019) and Kuttiyali Marakkar in Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham.