Kalabhavan Mani was a man of many talents. Be it acting, singing, stand-up comedy or even philanthropy, Mani aced each and every role he performed with great panache. His tragic death has robbed the nation of one of its most multi-talented and versatile actors. While he may not be present in physical form to entertain us anymore, his memories will live on through his films. We list out his five best performances. (Read: Kalabhavan Mani passes away – People line up to pay last respects to popular Malayalam actor)
Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njaanum: If you wish to understand the brilliance of Mani the actor, watch the song Chanthupottum from this movie. Mani played the role of a visually impaired man with near precision in this award winning film. For the entire film, he kept his two black corneas hidden under his eyelids and moved his blank eyes aimlessly with such great perfection. The movie won him the Kerala State Award and a Special Jury National Award. (Also read: Kamal Haasan condoles actor Kalabhavan Mani’s death)
Karumadikkuttan: As adept as he was at comedy, Mani was also an expert at making viewers cry. His performance in this movie as an adult with the intelligence of a child tugged at every emotional heartstring. The scene where a dog mauls him made for a compelling watch. (Read: Kalabhavan Mani, famous Malayalam actor and singer dead)
Chotta Mumbai: Villainy was something that Mani tried his hand at late in his career. And he flourished in his negative avatar as well. His role as the intimidating and deplorably corrupt police inspector Nateshan in Chotta Mumbai won him rave reviews.
Gemini: Mani was as popular in Tamil Nadu as he was in Kerala. He acted in a string of Tamil films and Gemini was one of his most popular ones. The movie, which saw Mani play the role of a don, became popular for his special mimicry performance wherein he imitated different animals.
Summer in Bethlehem & Vettam: Comedy was a genre that Mani completely aced. While it is difficult to pick his best performance in a comic role as he had many to his credit, his best ones were films where he acted with Jayaram and Suresh Gopi (Summer in Bethlehem) and Dileep (Vettam).