Malayalam cinema has always been gifted with talented actors. Even when the two superstars, Mohanlal and Mammootty, continue to rule the roost, younger generation of actors are carving a niche for themselves in the industry. Among the next gen actors, it’s Asif Ali who has shown remarkable growth as a performer over the last few years. It has been exactly ten years since he made his debut with Shyamaprasad’s ‘Ritu’. In his decade-long career, the actor has had to endure all sorts of highs and lows to reach where he is today. He is one actor who has consistently been trying to balance quality, performance-oriented films with regular potboilers. However, box office success has not always been favorable for him. Despite that, the actor has constantly strived to push the envelope and it seems like his efforts are bearing fruits now.
In 2019, Asif has had four major releases, out of which three were multi-starrers. His first release of the year, ‘Vijay Superum Pournamiyum’ (VSP) set the ball rolling as it emerged as the first superhit of the year. The movie, which marked his third time union with director Jis Joy, enjoyed a theatrical run of 100 days.
Asif’s next release was ‘Mera Naam Shaji’ in which he played one of the leads alongside Biju Menon and Baiju. Though the Nadirshah directorial was released amidst high expectation, it failed to create any impression.
Asif compensated it with a stellar performance in Manu Asokan’s ‘Uyare’. In a grey shaded role, the actor delivered what is widely rated as his career best performance. Asif has often been associated with angry-young-man roles but Govind Balakrishnan of ‘Uyare’ was not just another one dimensional character. As someone who is chauvinistic, possessive and one who carries a lot of insecurities, Asif gave a finely measured act that was lauded unanimously by the critics and common audience. Despite being a heroine-centric film, Asif made quite a mark in ‘Uyare’.
Asif Ali was next seen in ‘Virus’, the biggest multi-starrer of recent times. Amidst a host of characters, his Vishnu was a brief but very important part. Once again it was a troubled character who had to carry with him a lot of pain and remorse. In spite of sharing screen space with such a big star cast, Asif Ali’s performance was noted and praised.
Asif was most recently seen in the Mammootty starrer ‘Unda’, in which he did a blink-a-miss cameo role. The actor currently has some very interesting projects coming up like ‘Kakshi Amminipilla’, ‘Underworld’, ‘Kettyolaanu Ente Malakha’, ‘Kunjeldho’ and ‘Parannu Parannu’. The ace cinematographer-turned-filmmaker Rajeev Ravi is also set to direct Asif in a real-life based film in which he plays a cop.
2019 has so far been Asif Ali’s best year in terms of both performance and box office success. Hopefully, he can continue this successful run with his upcoming releases as well.