I have watched so many Malayalam movies in the theatres. It is a procedure which started long before I began watching the movie in other languages. I have always loved them for the power of their scripts. There were interesting flicks even from the new directors. But nowadays, one has to wonder what has happened to the quality of the flicks. There have been too many mediocre movies being released, and the quality has really come down. There seems to be a struggle going on with finding the right story.
Lets go back to 2013. There were seven top quality movies in the year, or even more. I can easily remember a few of them right now because they had created that awesome impact like no other movie which came in the later years. Celluloid had become that tribute to Malayalam cinema which seems to have created that impact among all kinds of audience. I consider it as the best movie of the year and Prithviraj Sukumaran had lead the way in the story of J. C. Daniel, the father of Malayalam cinema.
Among the movies of 2013, Amen had a status close to glory. It was a fairy-tale kind of tale with magic realism, and using the strength of the backwaters of Kerala to create scenes of visual magic. Lijo Jose Pellissery builds on and on through that magic, and in this love story of divinity and hope, Indrajith Sukumaran and Fahadh Faasil runs through with their brilliant performances. It stays in one’s mind for long and makes sure that it feels awesome. There was also news that there were chances for the same to be remade in Bollywood having Ranbir Kapoor in the lead role.
Philips and the Monkey Pen was another beautiful work which made the point perfectly, and with kids as the major characters, the movie comes up giving very relevant messages. It manages to be a heart-touching story with simple elements. Sanoop Santhosh stars as protagonist in this movie which has the older performers like Jayasurya, Remya Nambeesan and Joy Mathew playing supporting roles. It is sad that the same producers couldn’t recreate the magic in their later movies and the two directors of the movie were not much heard about after that.
Then there was Drishyam. There are no doubts related to the highest grossing movie in the history of Malayalam film industry. Jeethu Joseph’s masterpiece which has been remade into four languages already, has the final one releasing this month-end. With Mohanlal right there with what he always does the best, Drishyam was the one movie everyone was talking about at that time, ruling the theatres for quite a long time. Lets hope that the Bollywood version will also do justice to the movie like the Tamil version, Papanasam.
Among the movies of the year, Left Right Left also had a special place in the heart of the common viewer, as it was the political drama thriller which was closest to that less explored genre. It was great to see so many powerful characters in one movie, and those amazing performances in it. Then there was another class act from Jeethu Joseph, in the form of Memories, which was a special dark thriller. With Prithviraj’s stunning performance and the script which is once again the winner, this one is also wonderfully taken with a protagonist having his lack of perfection.
The final movie is North 24 Kaatham, which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam and also provided Fahadh Faasil with the Kerala State Award for the Best Actor. The man had played a character suffering from OCPD, and with very less words being said, could create a big impact. The movie goes through the incidents which changes his life on a day of harthal. Are there movies of this quality these days? May be one or two which can be found here or there. Is it too far away from 2013 to continue making movies of such quality? The best we had this year so far is Mili, and the last year, it was Iyobinte Pusthakam.
***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of the movies, Amen and Memories.