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India's Best Films: Mohanlal

By Shobha Warrier
Last updated on: June 07, 2005 15:49 IST
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Recently, Time magazine announced its list of the 100 greatest films of all time, and the eclectic selection includes five Indian films.

While none would question the brilliance of the selected Indian classics like Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy, Guru Dutt's Pyaasa and Mani Ratnam's Nayakan, decided to ask Indian filmmakers, artistes, technicians and critics what they felt were the best Indian films of all time.

Today, we feature Malayalam superstar Mohanlal.

When Shobha Warrier asked the National Award-winning actor to list his 10 best Indian films, he was apologetic.

"Unlike the great filmmakers, I don't see all the films India produces," he said. "Very good films are being made in Bengali, Kannada and other languages but I don't get a chance to watch them. I don't go to festivals. The only festival I attended in my life was Cannes where I went with the film that I produced."

"It is unfair on my part to list India's best films. Instead, let me tell you the films I have seen which is mainly restricted to Malayalam films. I feel I should not comment on Satyajit Ray's films. I am too small an actor. My list is not an elitist list one but a layman actor's list."

Theodore Bhaskaran's list | Vipul Shah's list | Subhash Ghai's list


Chemmeen is a classic. Even today, its charm has not diminished. Chemmeen won Malayalam cinema's first President's gold medal.

Director: Ramu Kariat

Bhargavi Nilayam

Based on Vaikkom Mohamed Basheer's story, it's a black-and-white horror film. I feel, even today, Malayalam cinema has not seen a horror film that comes anywhere near Bhargavi Nilayalam.

Director: Vincent


One of my all time favourites. It is also one of the biggest commercial successes Malayalam cinema has seen.

Director: Fazil


This Malayalam film is the best example of how a good movie can be made, and how it can become successful even if there is absolutely no logic in it.

Director: Priyadarshan


This is very special to me because I took it to Cannes as the producer-actor.

Director: Shaji N Karun


Though I have acted in it, I like this Tamil film a lot. It's well-crafted.

Director: Mani Ratnam

Ulakam Sutram Valibhan

I was a kid when I first saw this Tamil film, and I simply loved it. It has all the ingredients needed to entertain people.

Director: M G Ramachandran


I saw this film as a teenager and enjoyed it tremendously. It is one of the best commercial films made in India.

Director: Ramesh Sippy


Craft-wise, this film is very interesting.

Director: Ram Gopal Varma

Mughal-e- Azam

It's a classic like Chemmeen.

Director: K Asif

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Shobha Warrier