The Malayalam film industry, which was confined to the audience speaking the mother tongue, is now having a global touch with movies like ‘Minnal Murali’, ‘Marikkar: Lion of Arabian Sea’ getting international acclaim and films like ‘Churuli’ and ‘Jallikattu’ by young director Lijo Jose Pallisery being invited to the Cannes film festival.
The other movies that made a mark in recent times are the ‘Great Indian Kitchen’ and ‘Super Sharanya’.
‘Minnal Murali’ is a fantasy movie with young Malayalam actor, Tovino Thomas, donning the role of the superhero, becoming an instant hit with the global audience. Engineer-turned-movie director Basil Joseph had taken time to create the movie with two back-to-back lockdowns and the subsequent clash of dates of technicians and actors.
However, he pulled it off with the movie earning global fame with viewers commenting on it from as far as the Dominican Republic, Europe, and the US.
Tovino Thomas told IANS, “‘Minnal Murali’ was a dream run. The movie has broken all barriers, including linguistic, cultural, and national barriers. It was indeed a major breakthrough to me and I do thank Basil for having conceived and executed such a movie which has come out very well on a global platform.”
Another filmmaker who has made runaway success movies is Lijo Jose Palliserry, whose movies, ‘Jallikattu’ and ‘Churuli’, were super hits and had also become entries in the Cannes film festival.
The filmmaker, who made hits like ‘Angamaly Diaries’, Ee Ma Yu’, told IANS, “We study all the aspects of the movie very carefully and then only embark on making it. All the movies were taken out from the lives of people, including that of the settler communities.”
‘The Great Indian Kitchen’, directed by Jeo Baby, which pointed a finger against the customs and traditions of Kerala society, became a super hit on the OTT platform. The movie bagged the best movie award in the Kerala state film awards and Jeo Baby won the award for the best screenplay.
‘Super Sharanya’ is a comedy film written and directed by Girish A.D., which explained the story of Sharanya, an engineering student who went on to have a love affair with an elderly man and the subsequent events depicted brilliantly by the director have hit a chord with the people. The film was a super hit after being released in theatres and later on OTT platforms.
Several young directors, who are trained professionals, including engineers, doctors, bankers, and teachers, are now donning the role of scriptwriters and directors and bringing out movies drawn out of everyday lives of people.
Malayalam movies have surely come of age and the new crop of directors has given high hopes for the industry which is turning into a harbinger for change in south Indian movies.
–By Arun Lakshman