Indian film director Siddique.
Besides Malayalam, Siddique also directed Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films. He also directed Salman Khan's 'Bodyguard', which also had Kareena Kapoor. Image Credit: IMDB

Trivandrum: Noted Malayali filmmaker Siddique passed away on Tuesday at a hospital in Kochi.

Amrita Hospital, where the filmmaker was admitted, announced his death through a statement. He was declared dead at 9.10 pm. According to the official statement released by the hospital, the director passed away while undergoing treatment for liver disease.

The renowned filmmaker and screenwriter was admitted to Amrita Hospital with chronic liver disease and bronchopneumonia.

"He was put on a ventilator for respiratory failure and his condition improved with medical management. He was taken off the ventilator and was on supplemental oxygen therapy. While on treatment, he had a massive heart attack while undergoing treatment in the hospital and underwent emergency angioplasty. He was placed on ECMO support due to cardiogenic shock and respiratory failure. He developed multiorgan dysfunction with clinical deterioration and was declared dead on August 8, at 9.10 pm," read the statement quoting a doctor at the hospital.

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.


Chief Minister, political leaders offer condolences

After learning of the filmmaker's death, the members of the film industry took to social media to pay their condolences.

In a condolence message, the chief minister said the Siddique's demise comes as irreparable loss to the Malayalam film industry and all Malayalis.

Kerala minister P Rajeev said Siddique entered films through mimicry and moved from acting to directing and gave many hit films. "He has frames that made many Malayalis laugh and cry. Through them, he will have an immortal place among the Malayalees. The relatives, Malayalam film world and fans share in the grief of Siddique's death," he posted.

The state's Opposition leaders, in a joint condolence message, said the director was the "godfather of laughter".

"Siddique was a filmmaker who can be described as the godfather of laughter. The death of a blessed artist Siddique is an irreparable loss to the art world. Share in the grief of family and friends," the message read.

Celebs condole Siddique's death

Mammootty condoled his death on facebook. "Continuous departures of very dear ones... while experiencing the unbearable pain it causes.... For own Siddique Homage," he post on Facebook reads.

Mohanlal wrote on Facebook, "I am still in shock and disbelief at the news of my dear Siddique's demise. He was more than just a co-star and friend to me; he was like a brother. We shared so many memories together, both on and off screen. He was always there for me, through thick and thin. He was a kind, generous, and talented man, and he will be deeply missed by all who knew him. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends."

Actor Dulquer Salmaan posted, “The gentlest soul. The kindest human. A gifted writer/director. The most incredible humor hiding behind his soft demeanour. He gave us some of the most iconic films. Part of our pop culture and referred to in our everyday conversations. This is an immeasurable loss. Prayers and strength to Siddique Sirs family and loved ones.”

“Thank you for the endless moments of happiness you’ve gifted us. Rest in peace sir. #LegendOfLaughter, ” Basil Joseph posted on Instagram.

“The moments of laughter you've gifted us will always remain. Adieu to one of my favourites!,” Manju Warrier wrote on took to Instagram.

Kunchako Boban condoled his death on Instagram. “Bidding adieu to…The Godfather of Humour!!……Siddique Ikka…..We lost one of the greatest Hitmakers and moreover a genuine Human being. The love and respect that he has given for my family be cherished forever. Prayers for his soul and joining the family for their loss.”