Noted Malayalam filmmaker Siddique dies after cardiac arrest

Siddique (63), who was undergoing treatment at Amrita Hospital for nearly a month for various ailments, suffered a heart attack on Monday

(Photo: Instagram/ dqsalmaan)
(Photo: Instagram/ dqsalmaan)

NH Digital

Noted Malayalam director and screenwriter Siddique died at a private hospital in Kochi, his family said on Tuesday.

Siddique (63), who was undergoing treatment at Amrita Hospital for nearly a month for various ailments, suffered a heart attack on Monday, hospital sources said. He passed away at 9.10 pm and is survived by his wife Sajitha and three daughters.

The filmmaker, who had directed numerous super-hit Malayalam movies and the Salman Khan-starrer Hindi film Bodyguard, had been on ECMO support (respiratory support for when a person's lungs and heart are not performing adequately).

Siddique had been admitted to the hospital with chronic liver disease and bronchopneumonia nearly a month ago. "He was put on ventilator for respiratory failure and his condition improved with medical management," hospital sources said. He had improved sufficiently to have been taken off ventilator and was on supplemental oxygen therapy alone for a while, but then suffered a massive heart attack requiring an emergency angioplasty.

Family sources said the filmmaker's body would be kept at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium on Wednesday, 9 August, for the public to pay homage before being taken to his residence at Kakkanad. The funeral will be held at Ernakulam Central Juma Masjid later in the evening.

Born in Kochi, Siddique began his film career in the late 1980s.

He delivered several hit movies in the 1990s along with his friend Lal, who played the lead roles in various hit films such as Thenkasipattanam, Thommanum Makkalum and Salt and Pepper.

The duo became popular as "Siddique–Lal" in regional cinema. Several Siddique–Lal movies, such as Ramji Rao Speaking, In Harihar Nagar, Godfather, Vietnam Colony and Kabooliwala were massive hits.

Other blockbusters Siddique directed include Hitler, Friends, Chronic Bachelor and Kavalan. He also directed the remake of the Tamil movie Kavalan as Bodyguard in Hindi, starring Salman Khan, which became a super-hit.

Many of his fans took to social media on his demise, sharing their favourite moments from his work and their memories of the director, with the hashtag #RIPSiddique,

Dulquer Salmaan posted on Instagram, “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-sir's family and loved ones.”

Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president K Sudhakaran were among those who condoled the noted filmmaker's bereaved family and friends.

"Heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of Sri Siddique, noted Malayalam film director. His films stood apart, with relatable characters, setting benchmarks for comedy and entertainment. May his soul rest in peace," Khan tweeted from the official Raj Bhavan handle.

"Siddique was an excellent screenwriter and director. The fact that various moments and dialogues in many films made by him and Lal remain in our minds even after decades is a testament to his talent," said Vijayan in a statement.

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