Indian film director Siddique.
Indian film director Siddique. Image Credit: IMDB

Indian film director Siddique Ismail, one half of the famous filmmaker duo of Siddique-Lal that's delivered many hits over the decades — including the landmark Malayalam movies 'Ramji Rao Speaking' (1989), 'Vietnam Colony' (1992) and the 2011 Bollywood blockbuster 'Bodyguard', among others — has reportedly suffered a heart attack and is recuperating at a private hospital in the South Indian metropolis of Kochi.

Siddique, according to Manorama News, sustained a heart attack on August 7 and was rushed immediately into medical care. The news outlet, citing unnamed hospital sources, also said that the director was suffering from pneumonia and a liver ailment. A medical board would convene tomorrow, it reported, to assess his situation and provide further treatment.

Early career and partnerships

Siddique and Lal began their careers in cinema by assisting the noted film director Fazil, who's made some of South Indian cinema's most acclaimed movies, including 'Manichitratazhu' and 'Nokketha Dhoorathu Kannum Nattu' in Malayalam and 'Poovizhi Vasalile' in Tamil.

The duo's first movie was 'Ramji Rao Speaking' in 1989, about a group of drama artistes being informed about a kidnapping plot by mistake. The comedy turned out to be a box office hit and continues to have a fan following to this day. It also inspired remakes in a bevy of languages, including 'Hera Pheri' in Hindi and 'Arangetra Velai' in Tamil. Lal and Siddique took care of screenwriting and direction.

Some of the movies that this combination delivered also include 'In Harihar Nagar', 'Godfather' and 'Kabooliwala'. The duo, however, parted ways in the early 90s, when Siddique pursued a solo directorial career and Lal turned to acting. Both of them explored projects outside the Malayalam film industry and thrived.

It was during this period that Siddique's comedy drama 'Bodyguard' (2010) found remakes in Tamil as 'Kaavalan', starring Vijay and Asin Thottumkal; and as 'Bodyguard' in Hindi, starring Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Katrina Kaif. His Malayalam hit 'Friends' was also remade in Tamil starring Vijay, Suriya and Vadivelu. Siddique's last movie was the Mohanlal-starrer 'Big Brother'.

Lal has acted in many critically acclaimed Tamil and Telugu movies.