Malayalam movies have gained an immense amount of appreciation in the recent few years. Renowned for its narrative finesse and cultural significance, Malayalam cinema beckons global audiences to uncover its depths. For those intrigued by this genre’s allure, an assortment of essential films awaits—a gateway to the authentic essence of Malayalam cinema’s opulence.
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- Oru Vadakkan Veeragadha (1989): Set in 16th century Central Travancore, Oru Vadakkan Veeragadha is a masterpiece directed by Hariharan. The story follows the life of an underdog, Chandu, who rises amidst all odds and defeats his powerful enemies. This movie is a classic example of how even if the situations around you can be disheartening, your willpower can help you soar above it all.
- Kireedam (1989): This poignant tale by Sibi Malayil follows Sethumadhavan, who is determined to make a name for himself by going against all odds and doing things the right way. Unfortunately, he gets sidetracked due to an unexpected change of events and thus begins his treacherous journey. To make matters worse, his father’s expectations are also high, adding to the pressure on his shoulders. This powerful drama will mesmerize you and help you understand the importance of chasing your honest dreams.
- Thalavattam (1986): Directed by Priyadarshan, Thalavattam pays an ode to Malayalam literature through the story of 8 friends who lived in a hostel during their college days. It captures the nostalgia of childhood escapades and provides a commentary on the tragicomic realities of life. This movie is notable for its strong performances and lasting impression.
- Manichitrathazhu (1993): Written by Madhu Muttom and directed by Fazil, Manichitrathazhu is a sensational movie. It revolves around an abandoned palace where strange things start to happen, and the protagonist (Shankar) has to break the mystery of the palace to restore his fiance’s sanity. This thriller is one of the most successful movies in Malayalam cinema.
- Kattapanayile Hrithik Roshan (2016): Written and directed by Nadirshah, Kattapanayile Hrithik Roshan is a satire that revolves around two characters, Kichu and Vishwa. Kichu is desperate to make up for his short stature and be like his namesake, Hrithik Roshan, and thus goes through several ups and downs. Throughout his journey, the movie highlights the beauty of friendship and how destiny plays a pivotal role in everybody’s path.
- Aamayum Muyalum (2014): Written and directed by Priyadarshan, Aamayum Muyalum portrays the life of a leaderless and apathetic village. This movie will leave you in splits with its laughter-riot moments and makes a social commentary about how education is necessary for progress.
- Maheshinte Prathikaram (2016): If you want a movie that will touch your heart, Maheshinte Prathikaram is a great option. It follows Mahesh’s life, who lives a simple life in a small town until he gets insulted, and everything changes suddenly. This movie was applauded for its thoughtfully written script and exceptional cinematography.
- Ustad Hotel (2012): Written and directed by Anwar Rasheed, Ustad Hotel is a story about Faizi, who, with the help of his father, learns the age-old secret of cooking and begins to serve meals to unsuspecting customers. This movie is a beautiful journey of the struggles and emotions of a family and how it helps Faizi uncover a beautiful secret about his grandfather.
- Drishyam (2013): Also known as Drishya, Drishyam is a thriller directed by Jeethu Joseph. It follows the story of a middle-class family that lives a contended life in Goa until they get embroiled in a criminal case. This movie will make you delve into your conscience and question the power of family and its emotions.
Choosing the top essentials for watching Malayalam movies could be very tough. However, these few movies will leave a lasting impression and help you gain a wider outlook on Malayalam movies. Without a doubt, Malayalam movies have a lot to offer and help us discover a very different culture. So, go ahead and explore the unique world of Malayalam cinema!