10 Malayalam movies which made 2017 memorable

Published: 26th December 2017 05:43 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th December 2017 03:16 PM  

2017 proved to be a 'happening' year for the Malayalam film industry. From 'Kaadu Pookkunna Neram' to 'Vimanam', 131 films released during the span of January 1 to December 22. The year saw huge hits like Prithviraj Sukumaran's 'Ezra', troubled flicks like Mammootty's 'The Great Father' and Mohanlal's 'Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol'. The same year also saw films like 'Angamaly Diaries', 'Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum' and 'Mayanadhi' boldly breaking conventions as well as finding a strong box office reception, of which 10 are listed here. (Graphics | Aamir)
Rakshadhikari Baiju, Oppu- As Baiju Kumbalam, Biju Menon is at his best in this Ranjan Pramod film. Set in a rural space, 'Rakshadhikari Baiju, Oppu' is about a middle-aged government officer who is the heart and soul of a local cricket team. Baiju symbolises the dilemma and a sense of loss of, which a majority of Malayali population could relate to.
Tharangam- What makes Tharangam very unique is its narrative style. It manages to blend in fantasy and realism at the same time sticking to the genre of a thriller. The debut film by Dominic Arun begins on a very quirky note wherein we see 'Maheshinte Prathikaaram' director Dileesh Pothen as our own Morgan Freeman, playing God. Tharangam is not classic but it should be lauded for its audacity in its presentation.
Vimaanam- Based on real life achiever Saji Thomas, 'Vimaanam' is about Venkidi (Prithviraj Sukumaran) who, despite his hearing impairment dreams of making and flying an aircraft. Delivering a formidable performance, Prithviraj Sukumaran's screen performance is one of the high points of the film. The film fares better than 'Aby', starring Vineeth Sreenivasan, which also had similar storylines.
Take off- Set on a perfect pitch where conflict gets narrated to excellent effect, in Mahesh Narayan's debut directorial 'Take-Off', matters of the heart don’t get marred by the din of the gunshots, but end up finding new voices. Based on a real life incident, the movie is about the return of Malayali nurses taken over by the ISIS from war torn city of Tikrit in Iraq. A brilliant Parvathy steals the show in this star studded flick. Fahadh Faasil and Asif Ali play supporting roles in this drama.
Godha/C/o Saira Banu- C/O Saira Banu marks the comeback of Telugu actress Amala Akkineni to Malayalam after a gap of two decades. The movie is noted for its powerpacked performances (Manju Warrier, Shane Nigam) as well the mention of contemproray issues like Kiss of Love campaign and moral policing. On the other hand, Basil Joseph's 'Godha' travels on the lighter side but delivers very important message. The movie is one of the very few sports movies to happen in Malayalam, that too featuring a woman in the lead.
Ayal Sasi- A grey shaded character who finds out he is nearing to the end of his life and deals with it is what 'Ayal Sasi' is all about. It would be unfair to compare Sajin Babu's film to Herzog's German classic 'Fitzcarraldo' but it is hard to miss the connection with the Klaus Kinski starrer and the climax of this small-budget Malayalam movie. Afterall, stages of death and desolation is universal in its nature. A stellar performance by Srinivasan is a bonus in this film.
Parava- Longtime assistant-director-turned-actor, Soubin Shahir turned director with 'Parava' and boy, we are happy. Set in the ever youthful Mattancherry locale of Cochin, 'Parava' is based around the premise of pigeon racing but it talks much more. A tale of friendship, the little pleasures of life and the gist to not give up is what the movie all about. In what could be called unconventional in other film industries, a top star, Dulquer Salmaan plays a secondary role to in the movie. The lead roles of two naive children are played by Amal Shah and Govind Pai while Shane Nigam delivers stellar performance. Little Swayamp's cinematography is probably what gives an edge to this film, jumping across perspectives and skylines to kites and pigeon holes and cycle rims.
Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum- Brilliantly written and executed, 'Maheshinte Prathikaaram' director Dileesh Pothen's second film is a subtle, funny but realistic (to some extend) story of a stolen golden chain. Starring alongside Fahadh Faasil, it is actor-comedian Suraj Venjaramoodu gives a very calibrated performance. Revolving around a small town police station and a stolen gold chain, 'Thondimuthalum....' brilliantly integrate caste politics, police brutality, and the struggle of the middle class.
Mayaanadhi - In Aashiq Abu's latest take on an urban romance, there is a glimpse of a mature filmmaker bringing the various shades of the society to light. Be it morality, urbanisation, sexuality or human rights violations, 'Maayanadhi' is a a pertinent film to grace the screens in 2017. Starring as Maathan, Tovino Thomas has given an impressive performance, showing increased command over his craft. 'Njandukalude Naattil Oridavela' actress Aishwarya Lakshmy has also proved that she is here to stay.
Angamaly Diaries- Not backing down from the debacle of 'Double Barrell', director Lijo Jose Pellisserry came back to his forte - a movie rooted in the rural sensiblity of a culturally important small town. If 'Amen' was set in a fantasy, 'Angamaly Diaries' is about Vincent Pepe (Antony Varghese), running through his thug life where he picks up fights and fellow gang members, jobs and a few kisses along the way. The movie is a brilliant spectacle for its presentation of rural swag. Prashant Pillai's music, Gireesh Gangadharan's cinematography and the cast (most of the debutants) makes this movie a kickass entry in this list.
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