Thiruvananthapuram: It was an eventful year for Malayalam film industry but, unfortunately, not in terms of creative output. The actress attack case and the incarceration of actor Dileep whittled the sheen of the industry during the second phase of 2017. The focus of ‘rubbernecks’ returned to films only after the release of “Ramaleela.” It’s true that during the tumultuous period of the case, a few good films struggled due to want of audience in cinemas. As per the Wikipedia, as many as 131 Malayalam films were released in 2017 and around 60 directors made their debut.
Among the newbies, the promising creative spark was exuded by only a few of them. Their films reverberated their longing for exploring human consciousness, which is in a quandary. These young filmmakers passionately portrayed the intricacies of the mind and the subtlety of conflicts. Most of them adopted a realistic path with a distinct presentation.
For me, Chandran Narikkode-directed “Paathi” was the most impressive film by a debutant last year. With the quasi-magical realism premise, the film tells the story of the hapless existence of Kammaran (Indrans), who gives a concoction for abortion in a remote village located in Kannur. The film is a noteworthy attempt by Chandran Narikkode in narrating a tale with sincerity and dedication.
The efforts of new directors prove that the decisive route to make good films is to take a journey through the minds of the characters to analyse their conflicts and emotions. Films of Anil Thomas (“Minnaminungu”), Jayan Vannery (“Ma Chu Ka”) and M.D. Sukumaran (“Passu”) underlines this notion. Mahesh Narayanan (“Take Off”) and Soubin Sahir (“Parava”) surprised us with their outstanding narrative skills, while Jay. K (“Ezra”), Domin D’Silva (“Paippin Chuvattile Pranayam”), Antony Sony (C/O Saira Banu”), and Arun Gopy (“Ramaleela”) showcased their prowess in filmmaking.
Marketing tools like teaser, first look poster and even first look motion poster were a rage in 2017 compared to the previous year. The popularity of the trailer became one of the pivotal factors in deciding the initial collection of a movie. Even then there is every chance of being misled by a riveting teaser or motion poster that has gone viral these days.
It was a disappointing year for veteran filmmakers and actors. Directors like Lal Jose and Sathyan Anthikad exposed the vacuum in their creative stable through their films. Mohanlal and Mammootty enjoyed a mediocre success in 2017. Albeit there were the usual hullabaloo in theatres during the initial days, their films were unable to create the usual impact. In fact, their characters had less room for exploiting their class. The solace (or misfortune?) is that their transition to larger-than-life hero image is growing rapidly.
Meanwhile, Fahad Faazil, Nivin Pauly, Kunchako Boban, Dulquer Salman, Tovino Thomas, Manju Warrier, Parvathy, Surabhi Lakshmi, Shane Nigam et al are ramping up their position in the industry irrespective of the commercial success of their films. Importantly, even in their flopped films, they had returned impressive roles. In December, Aashiq Abu’s Tovino starrer “Maayanadhi” offered the breeze of a poetic narration. It would be interesting to see if such breeze would blaze a new trail in the filmmaking in Malayalam in 2018.
Happy New Year!
|1. Kaadu Pookkunna Neram||1. Paipin Chuvattile Pranayam||1. 6 Viralukal|
|2. Paathi||2. Aakashamittayi||2. Kaviyude Osyathu|
|3. Karutha Joothan||3. Villain||3. Sathya|
|4. Ma Chu Ka||4. Vimaanam||4. Himalayathile Kashmalan|
|5. Take Off||5. C/O Saira Banu||5. Vishwa Vikyatharaya Payyanmar|
|6. Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum||6. Aby||6. Pretham Undu Sookshikkuka|
|7. Mayaanadhi||7. Y||7. Basheerinte Premalekhanam|
|8. Kaattu||8. Sunday Holiday||8. Chicken Kokkachi|
|9. Minnaminungu||9. Ayal Sasi||9. Avarude Raavukal|
|10. Veeram||10. Clint||10. Team 5|
|11. Angamaly Diaries||11. Oru Mexican Aparatha||11. Thank You Very Much|
|12. Rakshadhikari Baiju Oppu||12. Jomonte Suvisheshangal||12. Ayal Jeevichirippundu|
|13. Parava||13. 1971: Beyond Borders||13. Mannamkattayum Kariyilayum|
|14. Passu||14. Sakhavu||14. Chembarathipoo|
|15. Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol||15. Lakshyam||15. Kambhoji|
|16. Ezra||16. Ramante Edenthottam||16. Honey Bee 2|
|17. CIA – Comrade in America||17. Achayans|
|18. Gemini||18. Chunkzz|
|19. The Great Father||19. Fukri|
|20. Adventures of Omanakuttan||20. Pokkiri Simon|
|21. God Say||21. Sherlock Toms|
|22. Godha||22. Pareeth Pandari|
|23. Nawal Enna Jewel||23. Kadam Kadha|
|24. Crossroad||24. History of Joy|
|25. Varnyathil Aashanka||25. Cappuccino|
|26. Honey Bee 2.5||26. Matchbox|
|27. Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela||27. Thrissivaperoor Kliptham|
|28. Adam Joan||28. Tharangam|
|29. Udaharanam Sujatha||29. Sarvopari Palakkaran|
|30. Overtake||30. Vishwasapoorvam Mansoor|
|31. Ramaleela||31. Bobby|
|32. Sadrishavakyam 24:29||32. Alamara|
|33. Aadu 2||33. Oru Visheshapetta BiriyaniKissa|
|34. Aana Alaralodalaral||34. Lechmi|
|35. Georgettan’s Pooram|
|36. Puthan Panam|
|37. Role Models|
|41. Velipadinte Pusthakam|
|44. Punyalan Private Limited|
|46. Pullikkaran Staraa|