Malayalam Movies: Fantastico List

Here I am going to write about those Malayalam movies from the last century which are my all-time favourites; in no particular order, but they are my most admired entertainers and they are fantastico!

Nadodikkattu (1987), Pattanapravesham (1988) and Akkare Akkare Akkare (1990)
Directors: Sathyan Anthikkad (1, 2) and Priyadarshan (3)
Cast: Mohanlal, Sreenivasan, Thilakan, Innocent

The best comedy trilogy is here in the form of these three movies which compete which each other to tell us which one has the best lines and provides the most fun. It tells the adventures of Dasan and Vjayan, two jobless people who become CIDs and solves the cases by luck. From the “B.Com First Class” and “Great professional killer Pavanayi” dialogues to the “both having the same kind of voice” and “corpse markings” in the second and later to the big questions about “who is Paul Barber and where is the crown?” along with the “Akira Kurosawa trying to kill mosquitos” in the final movie, this one is a full laugh riot as a trilogy. There is always the need to watch them all, as this is the true fantastico trilogy!


Manichitrathazhu (1993)
Director: Fazil
Cast: Mohanlal, Shobana, Suresh Gopi, Innocent

There is no questioning this movies which has been remade into Hindi (Bhool Bhulaiyaa), Kannada (Apthamitra), Tamil (Chandramukhi) and Bengali (Rajmohol), all versions making fine impact. The Tamil version was also dubbed into Telugu and itt even had a spin-off named Geethanjali, but it couldn’t do that well due to the very high expectations. It is still considered as one of the best psychological horror films around, and it even had some comedy scenes which are remembered a lot. Shobana’s performance won her the National Award as well as the State Award for Best Actress. Well, you should have watched one of the remakes, so you will know the story – and the original is the best!

Dhruvam (1993)
Director: Joshiy
Cast: Mammootty, Suresh Gopi, Vikram, Jayaram

If you see the cast of this movie, you will know the potential without even realizing anything more about it. This is a top thriller which everyone needs to watch. The movies which is loaded with beautiful songs, emotional strength and thrilling moments, has its share of powerful dialogues too. In Vikram’s first Malayalam cinema, this one has the protagonist Narasimhan looking for revenge against a dangerous criminal and wanted terrorist called Haider, but is unable to get to him. What follows are the plans brought forward by the man to have his revenge and how the antagonist tries to keep himself away from justice as well as the revenge-seeking Narasimhan.

Commissioner (1994)
Director: Shaji Kailas
Cast: Suresh Gopi, Ratheesh, Shobana, Vijayaraghavan

Known for its powerful dialogues which became part of every stage program, inspiring another successful sequel named Bharath Chandran I.P.S. eleven years after its release, Commissioner is that movie which brought Suresh Gopi to the role of a righteous police officer, a character which he played in many more movies to come. If I remember it correctly, this is the movie which brought him to the next level of superstar, and in school, a lot of kids were imitating his one particular dialogue in that movie; or rather two of them. This was next big thing for Suresh Gopi – Shaji Kails combination after Ekalavyan.

Yodha (1992)
Director: Sangeeth Sivan
Cast: Mohanlal, Madhoo, Jagathy Sreekumar, Urvashi

The idea to dismiss this one was an entertainer won’t be the smartest of plans, because Yodha is one movie which has a good plot, and its comedy scenes as well as songs are more than just favourites – they are everywhere; they have been so for more than twenty years, and it is the kind of popularity that this movie has managed. I watched this one for the first time as kid, and even now my opinion about the movie remains the same. It is that kind of an impact that this one has made, for people of all generations, and of all ages. With the A.R. Rahman touch in the songs, this one has the Mohanlal-Jagathy comedy combination at its best, and it is great fun to watch.

Ekalavyan (1993)
Director: Shaji Kailas
Cast: Suresh Gopi, Narendra Prasad, Geetha, Maathu

Suresh Gopi has one of his best police roles here, and Narendra Prasad comes in the role of one of the best antagonists played by him. Ekalavyan is often considered as one of the best police roles of Suresh Gopi, and the dialogues here are amazingly good. Suresh Gopi plays Madhavan, who goes on a mission to investigate into some murders and smuggling of narcotics in which a particular godman is involved. There are many things which will be brought to light, that can also deal with many influential businessmen, powerful politicians, and all. So, going through this investigation won’t be something that can be considered as a smooth one.

Spadikam (1995)
Director: Bhadran
Cast: Mohanlal, Thilakan, Urvashi, Spadikam George

Its main villain is known in real life by the name of the movie itself, and so there is no need to think twice about the impact created by this movie. It tells the story of a boy who has problems in Mathematics, but is good in other subjects; but his father who is a Maths teacher as well as the headmaster makes him fail in language exams; with this particular incident and frustrated of being compared to the students who are good in Maths, he leaves home only to return as a rowdy. The movie has the cult status, and I am sure that a lot of youngsters have faced the same problem in their lives, fighting the worst evil of all time, Mathematics. Mohanlal and Thilakan steals the show here.

The rest of the movies include Sandesham, Chamayam, Ramji Rao Speaking, Oru CBI Diary Kurippu, Irupatham Noottandu, Lelam, Rajavinte Makan, Kilukkam, Pathram, Crime File and many others during a golden age; they are all fantastico!

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

TeNy

Music: Through the Years

The thing about music is that it has been an essential part of my life through the years. Even though I listen to less music these days, it was more essential during those times when there was not much to do otherwise. Both Hindi and Malayalam music have made my life better during those days when nothing much happened. Even while playing computer games, there was some music playing in the background. These are the songs which go back, just to those end times of the last century. 1980s and 1990s have been the best times related to songs as well as the movies as far as Malayalam movie industry is concerned.

“Rajahamsame” (Chamayam: 1993)

Along with another song from the same movie, “Ragadevanum”, this is not just my all-time favourite song, but part of one of the best movies of the time. Set in the background of the sea, fishermen and drama troupes, Chamayam was one movie which had to courage to be different. I haven’t really liked many movies belonging to the drama or romance genre during the early 1990s, but with its willingness to come up with a different story and follow a path with variety, Chamayam was one of them, and this song has a big role to play in making one falling in love with the movie.

“Ambalapuzhe” (Adwaytham: 1991)

Adwaytham was one of the movies long ahead of its time, but it still did work so well at that time; the songs were also very good, and this one is a special thing – I believe that I have mentioned this song before, but it is the kind of song which you can listen to, and also talk about all the time. During those days of cassettes, one had to work hard to find the music and get it recorded into those empty ones. As I see that cassette shop now, it is now a motor-bike service centre – memories fade for sure, but not when we remember songs like these which are more like the nostalgia of those times.

“Malayali Penne” (Bandhukkal Sathrukkal: 1993)

I have found this song to be a lot like those Malayalam poetry works which we had to study at school. Even though I have been reading a lot of Malayalam works during my childhood, a lot more than the English books, this song happened to be one of those which were so difficult to sing except for the first line. Even though I could never come close to learning most of the words mentioned in this song, I believe that this song has efficiently used the beauty and vocabulary of Malayalam language. I can guess how difficult it will be for a non-Keralite to learn Malayalam – even I had decided to choose Hindi instead of Malayalam for my Plus Two due to the depth of my mother tongue.

“Nee En Sargasoundaryame” (Kathodu Kathoram: 1985)

The first time I heard this song, I wasn’t sure where it was from – happens with a good number of movies which have released before our birth. The movie was an emotional drama, and it wasn’t among my favourites; so coming up against the movie name was always going to be tough – but there was the point when the Doordarshan Malayalam helped by bringing those older movies to us, and then I knew the movie. There are two other interesting songs in this movie and one of them might be the more popular thing, but this one is indeed my favourite.

“Thumbippenne” (Dhruvam: 1993)

I would consider this movie as one the best Malayalam thriller of the last century, telling the story of a man named Narasimha Mannadiyar who goes on a long wait to have his revenge on the wanted criminal and terrorist Hyder who killed his brother. With amazing songs like this one as well as others, this movie is a lot like an all-rounder flick. With a cast that included Mammootty, Suresh Gopi, Jayaram and Vikram in his first Malayalam film, there is no part of this movie which I liked less, and this is one song which you are sure to love. Even the background score was so good!

“Onnaam Raagam” (Thoovanathumbikal: 1987)

There are many more songs to be part of such a list, but I shall end with this – along with “Megham Poothu Thudangi”, this song was always among the big favourites. When we think more about the same, a lot of movies with Mohanlal in the lead had some of the most amazing songs, and they have very well contributed to us liking those flicks even more. If we decide to take the examples, there will be so many of them. As Thoovanathumbikal is one of the most remembered movies of its time and has a certain cult status, the songs have surely played the part here too.

*I would also like to mention “Pon Veene” from Thaalavattam, “Kunu Kune” from Yodha, “Eeran Megham” from Chithram, “Shyaamameghame” from Adhipan, “Athmaavil Muttivilichathu” from Aranyakam, “Pravahame” from Sargam, “Aareyum Bhaavagaayakaraakkum” from Nakhakshathangal, “Ethrayo Janmamayi” from Summer in Bethlehem, “Nilaave Maayumo” from Minnaram and many other songs.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

TeNy