Interview With Stars
Asif Ali – From Ritu to Brutus

Sunny Immatty in 'Ritu' was not a good person. He had a grey shade. He is not so truthful and not so reliable. He cheats his best friend and take advantage of their friendship. He has a naughty smile, which steals the whole scene. Yes, though had a negative role in his very first movie, Asif Ali as 'Sunny Immatty' was successful in placing himself in this vast Malayalam movie industry.

Asif Ali was born to M P Shoukath Ali and Molly in Karikkode near Thodupuzha. Before getting selected for 'Ritu', Asif was busy with modeling and also as a video jockey. 'Ritu' happened in 2009 and that was a film which changed the destiny Asif, Nishan and Rima Kallingal – the three lead actors of that movie. Nishan is busy with his projects in South Indian and Hindi movies and Rima is now one of the most wanted actresses of Mollywood.

After 'Ritu' Asif joined the movie 'Katha Thudarunnu', directed by Sathya Anthikaad. In 'Katha Thudarunnu', he gave life to an entirely different character compared to that of his first movie. Asif's character 'Shanavas' in 'Katha Thudarunnu' was a family man, who gets killed by an anonymous quotation team. Mamtha Mohandas paired with Asif in this movie. Asif had only a brief role in this movie, which saw Jayaram, Innocent, K P SC Lalitha etc on lead.

Asif was always portrayed as either an angry young man in a negative shade or a very sweet romantic guy in most of his films. In the movies like Apoorvaragam, Ordinary, Asuravithu, Red Wine etc, he followed the footsteps of a restless youth. 'Apoorvaragam' was his third movie, in which he joined hands with Nishan – his co-star in 'Ritu'. His another movie along with Nishan was 'Ithu Nammude Katha', a Malayalam remake of the Tamil movie 'Nadodigal'.

'Apporvaragam' was directed by Sibi Malayil and it gave a different movie experience, with the rare treatment of the subject. His association with Nithya Menon did well in the theatres. Nithya was also a budding star at that time. Asif later shared the screen with her in the movies such as Violin and Bachelor Party.

Asif Ali was lucky to be part of the so called new generation movies like Traffic and Salt N' Pepper. Both the movies got released in 2011. In Traffic, Asif handled a very serious role and on the other hand, the character Manu Raghav of 'Salt N' Pepper' was that of a typical carefree boy. Traffic and Salt N' Pepper were milestones in Asif's career. His other movies in 2011 like Violin and Ithu Nammude Katha didn't get good responses from the theatre.

In 2012, Asif was part of many projects, but very few movies had an impact in the theatres. The movies like Asuravithu, Unnam, Bachelor Party, Jawan of Vellimala, 916, Idiots, I Love Me etc failed miserably at the box office. Though his performance in these movies were commendable, it didn't have the power to attract audience into the theatres.

But Asif was not so unlucky in his career. The release of 'Ozhumuri' directed by Madhupal had been yet another milestone in his career. The hapless son 'Sharath' will remain always in our minds. It was his other successful movie with Lal and Shwetha Menon. Earlier they had worked together for Ashiq Abu's movie Salt N' Pepper. The movie 'Ordinary' was also another asset in his career. His transformation from a shy and quiet 'Bhadran' to a merely psychic 'Bhadran' worked well in this movie.

Asif's association with Jean Paul Lal, son of actor Lal was another treat for the Malayalee audience. They joined together for one of the super hit movie of 2013 – Honey Bee. It was Jean Paul Lal's debut movie, which saw Asif Ali, Bhavana, Baburaj, Archana Kavi, Lal, Vijay Babu, Sreenath Bhasi etc on lead. The movie had good response from the theatres and Asif's performance as Sebastian was highly acclaimed. In his second movie too Jean Paul selected Asif as the lead actor.

Other releases of Asif in 2013 were Kili Poyi, Cow Boy and Red Wine. Kily Poy and Cow Boy were disasters of 2013. 'Cow Boy' was actually the remake of Sharuk Khan's 'Badshaah', but it still didn't create ripples in the Malayalam movie industry. 'Red Wine' directed by Salam Bappu saw the combination of the youngsters – Asif and Fahadh Faasil. Though it had little impact in the theatres, Asif's role as a distressed husband and father was well noticed. His chemistry with Mia George was also well acclaimed. They later joined hands for 'Hi, I am Tony'.

The year 2014 was somewhat lucky for Asif. He had hand full movies like Pakida, Mosayile Kuthirameenukal, Hi, I am Tony, Apothecary, Sapthamashree Thaskaraha etc. Most of his movies got good response from the theatres. Especially Apothecary, Sapthamashree Thaskaraha, Mosayile Kuthirameenukal etc were noted for the uniqueness of their subject and the way it was presented.

Asif Ali is an actor who is not well recognised by the movie industry. His caliber is not fully utilized by our directors. He still needs a break and turning point in his career. He is looking forward for the releases like Nirnayakam, Driver on Duty, Double Barrel etc. Asif is married to Zama Mazreen and they have a son born in 2014. 

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