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Renowned Malayalam director Siddique passes away at 63


Kochi: Acclaimed director Siddique Ismail passed away on Tuesday at the age of 63.

The director had been admitted to Kochi's Amrita Hospital last month due to a liver ailment. On Monday, Siddique suffered a heart attack and was subsequently put on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) support.

The mortal remains of the filmmaker will be kept at Kadavanthra’s Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium from 9 am to 11:30 am, followed by being placed at his residence for people to pay their respects. The funeral is scheduled to take place at 6 pm on Wednesday.

Siddique, an eminent figure in Malayalam cinema, began his career in the industry as an assistant to the legendary filmmaker Fazil. Alongside his friend Lal, Siddique caught the eye of Fazil during their performances with the Cochin Kalabhavan’s mimicry troupe.

Under the banner of the ‘Siddique-Lal’ duo, they made their directorial debut with the timeless comedy "Ramji Rao Speaking" (1989), funded by Fazil. This marked the commencement of an impressive series of successes in Malayalam cinema, including iconic films such as "In Harihar Nagar" (1990), "Godfather" (1991), "Vietnam Colony" (1992), "Kabooliwala" (1993), and "Hitler" (1996).

While their collaboration spanned only six films, Siddique and Lal revolutionised Malayalam cinema with their relatable characters and a contemporary take on comedy.

Siddique later embarked on solo directorial ventures, which include "Hitler," "Friends," "Chronic Bachelor," and "Bodyguard." He helmed the Hindi remake of "Bodyguard," featuring Salman Khan in the lead role. The Tamil version of the remake, directed by Siddique as well, was titled "Kavalan" and starred Vijay.

Siddique's final directorial effort was the 2020 action thriller "Big Brother," starring Mohanlal, Arbaaz Khan, Anoop Menon, and Honey Rose.

Malayalam film industry's celebrities mourned the loss on social media.

Dulquer Salmaan wrote, "This is an immeasurable loss. Prayers and strength to Siddique Sir's family and loved ones." Basil Joseph posted, "Thank you for the endless moments of happiness you've gifted us. Rest in peace sir." Kunchako Boban shared, "The Godfather of Humour!! We lost one of the greatest Hitmakers and moreover a genuine Human being." Manju Warrier noted, "Adieu to one of my favourites! #RIP," while Indrajith shared, "You will be missed. RIP Siddique Sir!"

Siddique leaves behind his wife Sajitha and their three children - Sumaya, Sara, and Sukoon.

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