- Ozhivudivasathe Kali (2015) – A drama about alcoholic men and their inner demons / bigotries, portrayed efficaciously by an unknown bunch of actors and brilliantly crafted by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan. Most of the dialogue being ad-libbed and the entire second half captured in a single take, only adds to the positives. A film with multiple layers of interpretation, and a fairly disturbing climax, ‘Ozhivudivasathe Kali’ (based on a short story written by acclaimed writer Unni R) is one film that every Malayali (or non-Malayali for that matter) should add to their must-see list.
- Maheshinte Prathikaaram (2016) – A relatable tale of score-settling depicted in an unconventional manner. The humor is sprinkled evenly in both halves, the romance bits carry just the right dose of mushiness, the stunts are prudently executed and the screenplay by Syam Pushkaran, thoroughly engaging. Fahadh is dependable as ever, while Alancier and Soubin Shahir bring the house down on occasions aplenty. What a cracker of a debut for Dileesh Pothan!
- Ee Adutha Kaalathu (2012) – A fine example of a screenplay that knits multiple story-lines in an intelligent, gripping manner. There are a few low-points too, but Murali Gopy’s skill in handling the screenplay coupled with Indrajith’s blazing performance positions this flick on my list of top films in the last 5 years. Pop-culture and bookish references blend seamlessly with the storyline. EAK is definitely a landmark film that signified the changing trends in Malayalam cinema and to an extent, succeeded in bringing certain tabooed topics boldly into the forefront.
- Amen (2013) – Lijo Jose Pellissery’s genre mishmash (satire / drama / fantasy / romance / musical) worked wonders when it released back in the summer of 2013. Fahadh, Indrajith, Kalabhavan Mani, Joy Mathew and Chemban Vinod garnered critical and audience acclaim through their energetic performances. The musical score by Prashant Pillai and scintillating cinematography by Abhinandan Ramanujam proved to be major pluses. The white-clad eccentric villagers of Kumarankary are not going to be forgotten any soon.
- Kammatipaadam (2016) – A gritty, testosterone-driven drama that sheds light on the evolution of the city of Ernakulam and the role of the real-estate / goonda lobby in it. Leading the thug-pack is Manikandan who plays the role of Balettan, the dark-skinned thug who impresses with his don’t-give-a-fuck attitude and daredevil antics, indirectly becoming an idol to his brother Ganga, played superbly by Vinayakan and his buddy Krishnan, played by none other than Dulquer Salmaan. Performances are uniformly astounding and having a director like Rajeev Ravi at the helm only helped.
- Bangalore Days (2014) – A feel-good flick that delves into the coming-of-age saga of three cousins played by Nivin Pauly, Nazriya and Dulquer, unfolding in the city of Bengaluru. However, it has to be mentioned that Fahadh ended up stealing the limelight away from the rest. Anjali Menon’s script is a crowd-pleaser in all senses, and her delightful packaging made sure the movie spread cheer to all n’ sundry.
- Mumbai Police (2012) – A buddy-cop thriller that surprises you in more ways than one. Bobby-Sanjay’s script subverts most cliches associated with the genre and brings to the viewer a thrilling cinematic experience. The (extremely bold) move taken by a star such as Prithviraj was widely appreciated. By far, the best film in Rosshan Andrrews’ filmography. The narrative unfurls in a cleverly constructed manner, saving the shocks for the last.
- Pranchiyettan and the Saint (2010) – After plenty of films that centered on various slangs spoken by the people residing in different districts of Kerala ended up borderline sickening, this Ranjith venture struck gold at the box-office and won over the hearts of critics and audience alike. Led by a solid performance from Mammootty, this satirical comedy carved out a niche of its own with its quirky screenplay, the skilful application of the Thrissur slang and fantasy element meshed with satire.
- North 24 Kaatham (2013) – Anil Radhakrishnan Menon’s debut film is a magnificent road movie depicting the challenges faced by an I.T professional suffering from OCD. The screenplay is laced with umpteen instances that make you laugh and cry. The film benefits immensely from the presence of strong characters played by Nedumudi Venu, Swathi Reddy and Chemban Vinod. Fahadh’s performance, as expected, was laudable.
- Drishyam (2013) – This Jeethu Joseph directorial led to the birth of a new genre in Malayalam cinema… ’family-thriller’. A first-half full of familial banter and light-hearted comedy, and a second that keeps the viewer on the edge of the seat, ‘Drishyam’ also turned out to be the highest grossing Malayalam movie in its time. Asha Sarath and Kalabhavan Shajon emerged as stand-out performers.
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