Fahadh Faasil has not only managed to sweep filmgoers off their feet in the last decade, but he has also carved a niche for himself in terms of acting, the type of projects he chooses to work on, and not allowing his overall appearance to affect his personality on screen. Son of the most reputed director of the Malayalam film industry, Faasil, Fahadh surely had a rough debut, after which he disappeared for a good seven years, making a comeback through a smaller role in the anthology film Kerala Café. He hasn’t looked back ever since and continues to surprise audiences with his choice of projects and his performances. Fahadh now is known as someone gravitating toward commercial films. In his initial days of resurgence, Fahadh chose to be a part of plenty of offbeat films that relied heavily on content and less on drama.
The 2000s in Malayalam cinema are considered one of the worst phases the industry went through. A-list actors and A-list directors were delivering nothing but back-to-back commercial no-brainers, which had zero to no content, unnecessary dance, singing, and drama followed by impossible action sequences, and older actors romancing actresses half their age. A handful of films from that decade stood out. Films starring Fahadh, backed by new producers and mounted by new directors, were a breath of fresh air. His popularity since the success of Kumbalangi Nights made him a pan-India star, and he is widely regarded as one of the best actors in India. Here’s a list of Fahadh Faasil films for all the fans of his acting chops. A list of films he has been a part of that made him the actor that he is right now. Here it goes:
Kerala Café (2009)
One of a kind of experimental anthology film by Malayalam filmmakers to provide audiences something out of the box. “Kerala Café,” headlined by some of the finest directors of Malayalam cinema, decided to deliver fresh stories. Fahadh Faasil and Rima Kalingal starred in one of the films featured in the anthology, Mrityunjayam, directed by Uday Ananthan. Fahadh portrayed the role of a journalist, covering a story regarding an abandoned home in a small village in Kerala that is supposedly haunted. He insists on staying over at the haunted home for a night to understand if the claims made by the owner and other inhabitants of the village are true. In 15 minutes, Fahadh manages to not only hook you to the short story but to his character as well. He is a confident journalist, doing his job but willing to be surprised as an individual. The confidence with which Fahadh carries off his character is a treat to watch and lingers long after the entire film is over. Fahadh left quite a stamp with this short story.
Chaapa Kurish (2011)
Directed by Sameer Thahir, “Chaapa Kurish” is a film that changed the tangent of Fahadh’s career. As Arjun, Fahadh is an arrogant brat who goes from being a snooty, obnoxious person to a man on a mission who is understanding of the situation he’s put his girlfriend in. Arjun’s character has many shades in the film, which Fahadh pulls off with ease, which incidentally is the reason this film was a success, and Fahadh’s career graph took off from it. “Chaapa Kurish” is a must-watch because it showcases Fahadh’s talent and his ability to carry the film on his shoulder with grit and intensity. Fahadh’s character in “Chaapa Kurish” will be remembered for years to come and will always be considered a role that pushed his career as a lead actor ahead.
22 Female Kottayam (2012)
Aashiq Abu’s “22 Female Kottayam” was a game-changer of sorts in the Malayalam film industry. The film was a breakthrough for plenty of new actors and a lot of veteran actors as well. Fahadh and Rima Kallingal were one of the few new actors in the industry that broke through and delivered stellar performances. This film has similarities to Sriram Raghavan’s Ek Hasina Thi, but Fahadh and Rima make this film their own, without imitating Urmila and Saif. “22 Female Kottayam” is Fahadh’s first film in which he portrayed a negative character. Spoilers alert! For people who haven’t seen this film, Fahadh’s portrayal of Cyril crawls into your skin as you see his transition from a loving boyfriend to a pimp. There was a risk factor involved with Fahadh taking up the role of a character with negative shades at the beginning of his career, but the film pays off as “22 Female Kottayam” works not just because of good performances but also because of solid writing by Syam Pushkaran and direction by Aashiq Abu. 22 Female Kottayam is a must-watch.
Diamond Necklace (2012)
The same year in which he delivered “22 Female Kottayam,” Fahadh gave the audience Dr. Arun through “Diamond Necklace.” A cheeky man who is sucked into the lavish lifestyle that makes him marry a woman from a well-to-do family just to be able to receive a hefty amount as dowry. Dr. Arun’s character, played by Fahadh, has shades of gray and the audience goes from liking him to disliking him for the choices he makes as the film progresses. “Diamond Necklace” is a feel-good watch, just like every other Lal Jose film since the 1990s. Lal Jose, in this film, took a leap of faith by showcasing the story of a group of youngsters who are on the cusp of discovering life in a mega city like Dubai. Fahadh as Dr. Arun is one of the most unforgettable roles he has portrayed.
Annayum Rasoolum (2013)
The opening shot of “Annayum Rasoolum” has tragedy written all over it. Just like many famous two-named tragedies we know of, Romeo and Juliet, Heer Ranjha, Laila Majnu, Anthony Cleopatra, “Annayum Rasoolum” is a melancholic tale of Anna and Rasool, who come from two different religions and eventually fall in love, knowing the havoc it would create in their lives. Knowing all this, both take the leap of faith to elope and live together, but fate had other plans for them. Fahadh as Rasool is a revelation. It is through this film that audiences discovered Fahadh’s ability to emote so much just through his eyes. Directed by Rajeev Ravi (DOP of Gangs of Wasseypur and Dev D), and written by Santhosh Echikannam, Fahadh showcases the passionate love he carries in his heart for Anna and the heartbreak he goes through once he realizes things will be going out of his hands soon with absolute finesse. Fahadh’s ability to pull off a complex character like Rasool is something only highly talented actors could have delivered. The pain in his eyes, the love in his eyes, and his unwavering resolution to marry Anna are beautifully portrayed by Fahadh. If you are a Fahadh fan, this film starring him must be at the top of your list.
Directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, who gave us terrific Angamaly Diaries, Jallikattu, and Churuli, “Amen” is a tale of Solomon, his girlfriend Shoshana, and the town festivities that happen around an annual church festival. Fahadh, through Solomon, showcases the lover that he is but is not strong enough to stand up to Shoshana’s rich family. In Amen, Fahadh’s performance of a man in love for years showcases what a diverse actor he is. Even though the film jumps from character to character in a small village in Kerala, Solomon’s character as a musician stands out. Through Amen, Fahadh is finally able to show his ability to pull off comic roles. Texture-wise, Amen is a brilliant film. “Amen” has an ensemble cast that would overshadow Fahadh’s character easily, but the actor makes sure he stands out in every scene he is in. Amen is a film that went under the radar and is not much spoken about when it comes to Lijo Jose’s filmography.
Shyamprasad, since the late 1990s, has been known for delivering offbeat films. Without the drama, masala, song, and dance routine, Shyamprasad’s films are a genre of their own. In “Artist,” Fahadh is Michael, an upcoming painter in love with Gayathri, who decides to leave her conservative family behind to live as a painter with Michael. Fahadh, as Michael reminds you of Dev from “Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna”; he is moody, self-centered, and insensitive. Fahadh’s portrayal of a man fueled by his ego is a treat to watch on screen. Even though this film wasn’t a commercial success, Fahadh’s performance was loved by the critics. Fahadh in “Artist” is an embodiment of how quickly a relationship deteriorates if you let ego come in between the love you share with your partner. Fahadh as Michael in “Artist” is marvelous.
North 24 Kaatham (2013)
“North 24 Kaatham” was a breath of fresh air in terms of filmmaking, performances, and writing. Directed & written by Anil Radhakrishnan Menon, Fahadh is Harikrishnan in “North 24,” and he suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, commonly known as OCD. Even though he is educated and considered one of the reputed employees at his company, his behavior and lifestyle is peculiar. Fahadh in “North 24 Kaatham” is the epitome of a textbook performance by an actor. Most credit must be given to the writing of Anil Radhakrishnan as well, who does not go on an overdrive with Harikrishnan’s OCD, which tends to happen in other commercial films. In this film, audiences get to see how diverse Fahadh’s range is in the film. As an actor, he does not exaggerate the condition his character has but sticks to a minimalist approach and tactfully performs his role. The mannerisms picked up by Fahadh are commendable. Fahadh won his first state award for this film, and rightly so, as it is rare to see an upcoming actor of his stature at that point pick up a role as different as this one.
Fahadh, ever since, has not looked back. The most popular films of his are “Bangalore Days,” “Trance,” “Maheshinte Prathikaram,” “Take Off,” “Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum,” “Varathan,” “Njan Prakashan,” “Super Deluxe,” “C U Soon,” “Irul,” and “Malik.” The films mentioned in the listicle above are gems and must be watched by film lovers, moreover by Fahadh Faasil fans.