Malayalam cinema is known for its bold approach when it comes to filmmaking. One such bold attempt is Thoovanathumbikal (Dragonflies in the Spraying Rain) starring Mohanlal, Parvathy, and Sumalatha in the lead roles.
The film tells the story of a young man who falls in love with two women. While one is a distant relative, the other woman is an escort. Directed by P Padmarajan, the film is an interesting romantic tale.
Another interesting romance drama is the 1990 film Mathilukal (Walls). The film is based on the life of Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, mainly portraying his prison life and his romance saga with a female inmate named Kalyani.
The interesting element of the film is the fact that the female inmate isn’t seen throughout the film but represented only through her voice. The film received many accolades and Mammootty even won the National Film Award as the Best Actor for his portrayal of Vaikom Muhammad Basheer.
Directed by Priyadarshan, Kilukkam (Jingle) is a 1991 musical romantic comedy starring Mohanlal and Revathy in the lead roles.
The main theme of the movie is the budding love story between a tourist guide and a lavish tourist.
However, things are not as simple as it seems and a series of comical events follows and the audience experience a great laughter ride throughout the film.
Amaram (Stern or Strict) is a 1991 Malayalam drama film directed by Bharathan. Starring Mammootty in the lead role, the film follows the life a fisherman whose only dream is to educate his daughter and wants her to become a doctor.
His dreams are trashed when his daughter falls in love and marries her childhood friend. The rest of the film shows how the father copes with the agony and felt betrayed by his own daughter.
Directed by Sreenivasan, Vadakkunokkiyantram (Mariner’s Compass) is a black comedy starring the director himself in the lead role alongside Parvathy as his female lead. The story of the film follows the life of a recently married young couple.
The central theme of the film is the insecurity caused by the husband’s inferiority complex which results in marital discord. It’s an interesting film that tries to draw our attention towards jealous and possessive men in the society.
Bharatham is a musical drama film directed by Sibi Malayali. The film is actually a modern version of Ramayana but from Bharat’s perspective.
While we all praise Rama for his valiant triumph against Ravana in the epic tale, we have hardly credited Bharat for his duty. The film tells the story of a younger brother who has to take all the responsibilities of the family when the elder brother becomes an alcoholic and later sets off on a pilgrimage.
Mohanlal plays the younger brother, whereas Nedumudi Venu plays the elder one.
Classmates is a coming-of-age romantic thriller film starring an ensemble cast of Prithviraj, Jayasurya, Narain, Indrajith, Kavya Madhavan, Jagathy Sreekumar, Balachandra Menon, and Radhika. The film begins with a reunion of the classmates who attended the same chemistry class in the final year.
However, the mystery begins when everyone starts reliving the past and the suspense around one of the student’s murder is uncovering itself. Directed by Lal Jose, Classmates is actually one of the best films centered on college theme.
Mumbai Police (2013)
Mumbai Police may sound like an odd name for a Malayalam film. However, mark my words that this is one of the best crime thrillers you will ever come across in the history of Indian cinema.
The film follows the lives of three police officers nicknamed as Mumbai Police for their reckless attitude.
When one of them is murdered, the duty to find the culprit falls on the other two. From there, a series of mystery and suspense grows with a shocking climax in the end.
Ustad Hotel (2012)
Ustad Hotel is a beautifully timed film and a breakthrough film in Dulquer Salman’s career. Directed by Anwar Rasheed, the film tells the story of a young man who wants to become a chef against his father’s wishes.
He lands up in India and starts working as a cook at his grandfather’s restaurant. Here’s where he finds his true calling and his coming-of-age story begins. It’s one of the best films showcasing true Indian values to make the youth realize that India is after all not that bad as a country to live in.