An year that started off with ‘Karayilekku Oru Kadal Dooram’, and that finally draws to a close with ‘Vellaripravinte Changathy’ that is Malayalam Cinema in 2011 for you. Around seventy five films made it to the screens this year, of which merely a few left an impact. This was yet another uneventful year for Malayalam cinema, and here are ten films (in no particular order) that stood out from the rest.
Beautiful: V K Prakash and Anoop Menon joined hands as director and writer for this Beautiful film that left critics and the audience enthralled. There were even protests against the film not being granted a much deserved run at the theatres. Starring Jayasurya, Anoop Menon and Meghna Raj, this was intelligent cinema indeed.
Traffic: There were allegations that this Rajesh Pillai film has been inspired by many a foreign film that had adopted the multiple narrative format. But it remains that Traffic was a film that offered a fresh start to a limping industry. The desire to experiment was obvious, and the brilliant results were there for all to see.
Gadhama: Kamal’s take on the miserable lives of hapless women recruited to be housemaids in the Middle East was worth a watch on account of several reasons, and a stellar performance from Kavya Madhavan was just one of them. the film did have its share of controversies, but remains one among the top ten films of 2011.
Urumi: Santhosh Sivan’s period drama that had Prithviraj playing ‘the boy who wanted to kill Vasco Da Gama’ was spectacular visually, and Shankar Ramakrishnan’s script added the much needed zing to it. Urumi was a commercial and critical success and a new production house August Cinema was born along with it.
City of God: Lijo Jose Pellissery’s second film after the much acclaimed ‘Nayakan’ did not obviously find many viewers and the film sank without a trace at the box office. Yet, the young director’s flair for creating cinema of a distinctly different kind cannot be ignored in a hurry.
Melvilasom: Madhav Ramadasan shot to instant fame with his film that adred to take quite a few risks in its making. This was a court martial drama that the director was dabbling with, and with limited outdoor shots, the script had to be real taut for the film to succeed. It was, and Melvilasom turned out to be a surprise shocker!
Adaminte Makan Abu: Forget the National Awards that it swept away, Salim Ahmed’s film that had Salim Kumar playing the role of Abu, was a commanding film that was at once poignant and positive. Though it enjoyed only a limited run in the theatres, Adaminte Makan Abu remains one of our top favorites this year.
Indian Rupee: Ranjith continued to surprise us again in 2011 as well. After the charming ‘Pranchiyettan and the Saint’ last year, this new-age director who refuses to walk along much trodden paths, took us into the life of a petty real estate broker this time. We loved Indian Rupee. Every bit of it.
Veetilekkulla Vazhi: Dr. Biju’s film that was splendidly shot on the vast expanses of Ladakh, had a valid statement to make on terrorism and the human lives that are caught in its fold and bruised beyond repair. M. J Radhakrishnan’s National Award winning cinematography did add up considerably to the grandeur of the film.
Chappa Kurish: Sameer Thahair ventured into direction with this modern age drama that chronicled changing lives in these days of technological boom. Testing out fresh strategies in content as well as its portrayal, Chappa Kurish offered an unsullied experience, despite allegations of it being inspired by a Koren film.