Malayalam cinema has been consistently championing the field of cinematography and storytelling with its innovative ideas. Movies made in Kerala are performing well on the commercial front, and also garnering critical acclaim for their strong themes and excellent presentation. Some of the Malayalam movies have been termed hell close to perfection even by international movie critics.
The 2008 release Malayalam romantic drama Thirakkatha was co-produced, written and directed by Ranjith. The National Award winning film is a tribute to yesteryear actresses who have been disregarded by the industry during their dwindling days. It is based on a unique romantic angle that shifts between present and flashback. The three monologues mentioned in the story unite in the climax.
The 1965 Malayalam romantic drama is an adaptation of the novel with the same name. The film tells a unique story about pre-marital and post marital life of a daughter of a Hindu fisherman and son of a Muslim trader. The technically and artistically brilliant film received critical acclaim and was regarded as the first of its kind for its technical superiority during the time of its release. It also received President’s Gold medal for the best Film in the year 1965.
Written and directed by Blessey, Thanmathra is a based on the famous short story named ‘Orma’. The story revolves around an emotional theme portraying the life of an individual suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and its subsequent aftereffects on his family’s psyche. The film is just few of them which won 5 Kerala state film awards and critical acclaim worldwide.
The 1989 critically acclaimed movie directed by Sibi Malayil stars superstar Mohanlal in the lead role. The film explores the life of a youth who has been burdened by the typecast attitude of the society; not allowing him to accomplish his aspirations and wishes. Other than receiving the National Award in the Best Film category, the film won many a fans the world over for portraying through celluloid medium a story that relates to hundreds of youth who are victimize because of the orthodoxy prevalent in the society.
This 1987 Malayalam romance film written and directed by P.Padmarajan based on the novel ‘Udakappola’. The film is about the life of a man (played by Mohanlal) who falls in love with two women at the same time. The movie found 7th listing in the list of greatest Indian movies of all time. The flick holds a status of cult movie even in the present times.
5. Adaminte Makan Abu:
Written, directed and co-produced by Salim Ahamad, Adaminte Makan Abu is a famous Indian drama of 2011. Starring in title leads are Salim Kumar and Zarina Wahab. The story is about a poor man who sells perfume for living. He lives with the only desire to undertake the Hajj pilgrimage. This desire is the only wish he has and he strives hard to fulfill it. The film earned critical acclaim the world over and won four National Awards. It was also presented with four Kerala State Film Awards.
4. Oru Vadakkan Veeragadha:
The epic 1989 released Malayalam film is directed by Hariharan. The film revolves around a wonderful story of the Chekavar warriors, who presently reside in the northern part of Kerala. The film adapts to the legend brilliantly to cater to the today’s audience. The flick is considered as one of the all time biggest blockbusters in India and was ranked as the third greatest Indian film of all time according to a poll conducted by the IBN 7 in 2013. It won 4 National Film Awards and 6 Kerala State Film Awards.
The 1993 movie that received a wide critical acclaim worldwide is a cinematic adaptation of the novel ‘Bhaskara Plattelarum Ente Jeevithavum’. The story wonderfully captures the master slave relationship and is based in the South Karnataka setting. Superstar Mammootty played the lead role and won accolades for his performance. The movie won 2 National Awards and 5 Kerala State Film Awards.
Written and directed by Gopalakirshnan, the movie was released in the year 1981. The film explores the story of a feudal lord struggling to face the changing society that is all set to make his onetime invincible feudal powers insignificant. The film won many international awards including the British Film Institute Award for the Most Original and Imaginative Film. It also received wide range of critical acclaim in the 1982 Cannes Film Festival.
Adoor Gopalakirshnan is one of those filmmakers in the history of Malayalam cinema who have produced many cult classics in his lifetime. This film in particular was based on a plot not explored by others in the fraternity till this time. The story focuses on the prison life of Vaikum Basheer and love between his prison inmate named Narayani. Interestingly, the girl remains unseen in the movie. The movie won 2 Awards at the Venice festival, 4 National Awards, and 1 Kerala State Film Awards and many others.