Malayalam cinema often referred to as Mollywood, is one of the most vibrant and diverse film industries in India. Despite its relatively small size, Malayalam cinema has produced some of the most memorable and critically acclaimed movies in Indian cinema. Over the years, Malayalam cinema has been recognized for its unique storytelling, experimental approach, and emphasis on realistic themes. In this blog, we will take a look at the top 10 films that put Malayalam cinema on the map.
Manjil Virinja Pookkal is a 1980 Malayalam romantic drama film directed by Fazil. The movie marked Fazil's directorial debut and was a huge commercial success. The film's story revolves around Ravi and Seema, two lovers from different social backgrounds, who face opposition from their families. Manjil Virinja Pookkal was noted for its realistic portrayal of the romance between the lead characters and the way it dealt with the theme of class differences. The film also featured memorable music composed by , with the song Thumbi Vaa becoming an all-time favorite among Malayalam music lovers. Manjil Virinja Pookkal played a significant role in shaping the romantic genre in Malayalam cinema.
Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha is a 1989 Malayalam epic historical drama film directed by T. Hariharan. The film is based on the legend of the warrior Thacholi Othenan, and his conflicts with his arch-rival Chandu. The movie starred Mammootty in the lead role, and he delivered an award-winning performance as Thacholi Othenan. Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha was a critical and commercial success and won several awards, including six National Film Awards The National Film Awards gets presented every year >> Read More... . The film's stunning cinematography, elaborate costumes, and exceptional performances by the cast made it a landmark movie in Malayalam cinema and set a benchmark for period films in India.
Manichitrathazhu, directed by Fazil, is a supernatural thriller that explores the themes of mental illness, trauma, and redemption. The movie tells the story of a young woman who suffers from a split personality disorder and the events that unfold when she moves into a haunted mansion. Manichitrathazhu's innovative storytelling, masterful performances by the cast, and haunting music made it a critical and commercial success and established Fazil as one of the most innovative filmmakers in Malayalam cinema.
Spadikam is a 1995 Malayalam action drama film directed by Bhadran. The movie starred Mohanlal in the lead role and is widely regarded as one of his best performances. The film's story revolves around a young man named Aadu Thoma, who is a troublemaker, and the conflicts he has with his father. Spadikam was noted for its gripping storyline, intense action scenes, and Mohanlal's powerhouse performance. The film was a commercial success and became a cult classic in Malayalam cinema. Spadikam's dialogues, music, and action sequences continue to be popular among moviegoers and have inspired several other movies and cultural references.
Vanaprastham is a 1999 Malayalam drama film directed by Shaji N. Karun. The movie starred Mohanlal in the lead role and tells the story of a Kathakali dancer who struggles to come to terms with his identity and place in society. The film explores themes of art, identity, and tradition, and was noted for its poignant portrayal of the life of a performing artist. Vanaprastham was screened at several international film festivals and won several awards, including the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam. The film's stunning cinematography and Mohanlal's powerful performance were widely appreciated by critics and audiences alike.
Kazhcha is a 2004 Malayalam drama film directed by Blessy. The movie starred Mammootty in the lead role, and it tells the story of a young boy named Sreehari who forms an unlikely bond with a migrant worker from Tamil Nadu. The film explores themes of compassion, empathy, and humanity, and was noted for its heartwarming story and strong performances by the cast. Kazhcha was a commercial and critical success and won several awards, including the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam. The movie's success was instrumental in establishing Blessy as a leading director in Malayalam cinema.
Drishyam is a 2013 Malayalam thriller film directed by Jeethu Joseph Jeethu Joseph is a Malayalam film screenwriter and >> Read More... . The movie starred Mohanlal in the lead role, and it tells the story of a family man named Georgekutty who is forced to go to great lengths to protect his family after they become embroiled in a crime. The film was widely appreciated for its taut storyline, suspenseful plot twists, and strong performances by the cast. Drishyam was a massive commercial success and went on to become one of the highest-grossing Malayalam films of all time. The movie was later remade in several Indian languages and even in Chinese, further cementing its status as a classic in Indian cinema.
Maheshinte Prathikaaram is a 2016 Malayalam romantic comedy film directed by . The movie starred Fahadh Faasil Born in 1983, Fahadh Faasil is known for his works >> Read More... in the lead role, and it tells the story of a photographer named Mahesh, who seeks revenge against those who humiliate him. The film was widely appreciated for its humor, realistic portrayal of village life, and strong performances by the cast. Maheshinte Prathikaaram was a commercial and critical success and won several awards, including the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam. The film's success paved the way for a new wave of independent cinema in Malayalam, and it continues to be regarded as a cult classic.
Bangalore Days is a coming-of-age romantic comedy-drama directed by Anjali Menon Anjali Menon is a Malayalam film director who came >> Read More... . The film revolves around the lives of three cousins who move to Bangalore to pursue their dreams. The movie portrays their struggles, relationships, and growth as individuals. The film stars Dulquer Salmaan Dulquer Salmaan is a popular Malayalam actor, who >> Read More... , Nivin Pauly Nivin Pauly is predominantly a Malayalam actor. Bo >> Read More... , and Nazriya Nazim This bubbly girl with expressive eyes was an ancho >> Read More... in the lead roles, along with other notable actors. Bangalore Days was a commercial and critical success and is considered one of the best Malayalam movies of all time. The movie's engaging storyline, realistic portrayal of relationships, and memorable soundtrack contributed to its widespread popularity.
Kumbalangi Nights, directed by Madhu C. Narayanan, is a slice-of-life drama that explores the themes of masculinity, family, and redemption. The movie tells the story of four brothers and their relationships with each other and the women in their lives. Kumbalangi Nights' realistic portrayal of life in a fishing village, masterful performances by the cast, and poignant storytelling made it a critical and commercial success and established Madhu C. Narayanan as one of the most promising filmmakers in Malayalam cinema.
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