On a Surprise Spree
By Navamy Sudhish | Express Features | Published: 31st December 2013 02:18 PM |
It was a year that broke many a norm, an unpredictable-yet-exciting trip in more ways than one. While industry bigwigs ended up with some massive duds, there were surprise hits that garnered hyper-star rating from both the masses and critics. On a positive note the year started off with ‘Annayum Rasulum’, a lyrical and sensitive tale of love, to be followed by envelop-pushing attempts like ‘Shutter’ (February) and ‘Amen’ (March) which took mainstream to an all-new level of sensibility.
But, as the number of films churned out by Mollywood hit an all-time high in 2013, it was also caught in a deluge of mediocre outings and over-hyped washouts. It was also a year that proved beyond doubt that stardom alone will not sell if not backed by a solid script. Many films that tried to ride on the new-gen wave also met with a miserable fate.
While ‘Mumbai Police’, a striking mainstream film that dared to touch a taboo theme, was accepted by the audience, ‘Natholi Oru Cheriya Meenalla’ couldn’t garner the theatrical support it expected. If ‘Neram’, ‘Honey Bee’ and ‘ABCD’ turned out to be huge box office successes, ‘North 24 Katham’ and ‘Philips and the Monkey Pen’ pulled crowds for their simplicity and craft. If ‘Left Right Left’ was not much of a mass magnet despite its many brilliant strokes, ‘Thira’ couldn’t live up to its hype and exceptions.
While the superstars failed in creating any firework at the box office (except for ‘Drishyam’ which hit screens this Christmas), the young brigade made their mark with films that earned critical acclaim and mass attention in equal measure. Fahad Fazil, who is branded as the icon of new-age cinema, was part of 12 films.
While ‘Amen’, ‘Annayum Rasoolum and ‘North 24 Katham’ could keep the cash registers ringing, his acting finesse in ‘5 Sundarikal’, ‘Akam’ and ‘Artist’ was much lauded. Prithviraj made a dashing comeback in the industry as his all three releases hogged limelight.
While ‘Memories’ was a major moolah-maker at the BO, ‘Mumbai Police’ and ‘Celluloid’ stood out for the actor’s brilliant performance. Murali Gopi is another actor who deserves a mention for his restrained-yet-scintillating performance in ‘Left Right Left’.
2013 was a low-key affair for Mollywood actresses as almost all noted films featured newbies or other language imports in their cast list. If Swati Reddy starred in two big hits, Aparna Gopinath and Nyla Usha were the lead ladies of the successful ‘ABCD’ and ‘Punyalan Agarbathis’. 2013 also witnessed Nazriya’s star value skyrocketing post the release of ‘Neram’. Though quite a handful made their foray into screen, only a couple of them could leave any mark.
2013 also saw the emergence of a crop of supporting stars like Joy Mathew who made the audience sit and take note. The director-turned-actor was part of more than ten films this year. While Sajitha Madathil made her space with ‘Shutter’ Sanoop was acknowledged a young talent for his performance in ‘Philips and the Monkey Pen’.
The other two actors who made an impact were Sethulakshmi and Hareesh Peradi, both for their roles in LRL.