Of Malayalam Movies

There are moments in some of the Malayalam movies and related fields which needs to be known and remembered a lot more. Among them, I present to you those which needs your attention. Whether you like these or not, there is more chance that you will find them different. Even among the usual dose of movies, the variety that the Malayalam movies have brought in the last few years have been remarkable – experimentation has been there with full strength, and most of them made impact in one way or the other. Here are a few of my favourites among them.

Stylish Character Introduction: Shaji Pappan (Jayasurya) in Aadu

Aadu oru Bheekara Jeeviyaanu, translated as “The Goat is a Dangerous Creature” was a fun movie, even though there was not much there in the story, and even without having that many jokes which could connect to the normal audience. There is a mix of everything here including a satirical take on the news along with what comes from the stupidity of the characters. The people behind this movie still knew how to use the skills of the actors to the best effect. The best example is seeing Jayasurya as Shaji Pappan – see this introduction, but what follows this scene is even more hilarious!

The Awesome Comedy Song: Salsa in Kunjiramayanam

There have been many funny songs in the past, but nothing like this one which has the comic side on full power here. With a cast which has performed so well in the movie related to the comic side, Kunjiramayanam has its awesomeness in comedy displayed with this song. Even though it has remained logic-free throughout its run, the movie should be the funniest movie which has released in the last few years; the essence of which can clearly be seen in this song which shows the sadness of a group of people who can’t fulfill their desire to drink a particular brand of alcohol.

The Smart Title Song: Memories Never Die in Memories

I really wanted to get this one after watching the movie, but managed that only much later. The song set a nice beginning for the story which had the hero, an alcoholic police officer who is out of duty, living in the memories of his sad and depressing past. This title sequence sets in motion, the events which lead to the beginning of the protagonist’s second stage of life. Fully stylized and telling a story of investigation in an entirely different way, this work from Jeethu Joseph which came right before Drishyam arrived with enough in it to be remade in other languages, but it remains untouched as of now.

Beautiful Song on Screen: Karmukilin in Bachelor Party

Bachelor Party is not a movie which provide me with anything positive, but two songs in the same flick are really good, especially this one which is supported by the wonderful visuals. The director also redeemed himself with the movie Iyobinte Pusthakam which also had some songs with great visuals, but as far as the song itself is concerned, this one scores full marks. This song was also one big reason why the movie had managed some nice initial collections; it was such a big hit song. I remember seeing this one on my news feed so many times, and it is a worthy one!

The Interesting Music Video: Anuragam by Manjari

Featuring and sung by the popular Malayalam singer Manjari along with Basil Paulose co-acting and directed by VK Prakash who is known for bringing variety to the big screen, this is one video which caught my attention long after Alphone Puthren’s Yuvvh starring Nivin Pauly and Nazriya Nazim having the superhit “Nenjodu cherthu”. The video came to my attention after the two actors in the video appeared on Onnum Onnum Moonu show hosted by Rimi Tomy on Mazhavil Manorama. I love the lyrics, the music and the visuals of this one along with the leading pair.

The Cute Promo Song: Baalyathil from Philips and the Monkey Pen (Remya Nambeesan)

Sung by the heroine of the movie Remya Nambeesan herself, this is one promo song which has our attention. With the kids around, this makes a cute watch and sets us on the path to watching this movie, Philips and the Monkeypen. This movie which won for Sanoop Santhosh the Kerala State Film Award for Best Child Artist, should be the best movie ever in Malayalam with children as the main characters. The best work under under Friday Film House banner has that charm which makes sure that we are never tired of watching this flick again and again.

TeNy

Where Did They Go?

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.

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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.

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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.

TeNy