For Malayalam films, Netflix has shown to be a tremendous platform. When this particular regional sector is going through a facelift, online streaming services have made daring, unconventional, and non-commercial films available for public consumption. Like ‘Eeda’ 2018, some of these films offer disturbing subjects and unique filmmaking techniques. Because of its unconventional presentation of characters, such as in ‘Chakram Poosiya Veedu’ (2015), a film like this has gained a following on the internet.
20. CIA: Comrade in America (2017)
CIA, Amal Neerad’s latest Malayalam film, appears to be another in a long line of communist-themed Malayalam films recently. Young communist Aji, who falls in love with an NRI girl and travels to the United States to prevent her from marrying another man her parents have chosen, is the film’s protagonist. An enjoyable story and well-acted performances make this a worthwhile watch. The film’s execution, on the other hand, stumbles a bit toward the end, becoming somewhat “draggy.” Also, Amal Neerad wastes the opportunity to speak up on sensitive and important issues by making insensitive jokes about males being raped. All things considered, ‘Comrade in America’ is a delightful and entertaining film to see. Dulquer Salmaan, Karthika, and Priyanka Nair are among the cast. “‘
19. Maniyarayile Ashokan (2020)
This romantic comedy, directed by Shamsu Zayba and produced by Dulquer Salmaan, aims to offer men everywhere hope that they will meet the woman of their dreams, flaws and all, eventually. This is the narrative of Ashokan, a middle-aged man who doesn’t fit the mold of a movie poster, who suffers from FOMO since his friends are getting married and settling down in blissful domesticity. ‘Maniyarayile Ashokan’ tells this story. For Ashokan, all he wants is to find a good woman and raise a family. When Ashokan is told by an astrologer that he needs to fix his “planetary alignment,” he goes to great lengths to do it. The tale lacks depth, but the acting and cinematography are all top-notch. Take a 2-hour break from the harsh truths of the world and watch this.
18. Samarppanam (2017)
Slain young woman’s lifeless body discovered on railway lines in K. Gopinathan’s “Samarpannam” In spite of the fact that it sounds like the introduction of a normal whodunit thriller, this is not one. “Samarpannam” is not merely a thriller about a crime investigation, but an examination of the intricacies of human relationships. Three people are drawn together by a horrific crime: the investigating police officer, the forensic surgeon who performs the victim’s autopsy, and an ayurvedic doctor who worked with the victim. This unique friendship is explored in great detail. The film focuses on the subtleties of these three people’s relationships with one another. You need not be concerned; they will, in the end, solve the crime.
17. Ma Chu Ka (2017)
‘Ma Chu Ka’ is a psychological thriller that is sure to have audiences on the edge of their seats from beginning to end. The entire film consists of only two characters (and a dog), and the rest of the cast is simply mentioned. When a young journalist and a lawyer meet by happenstance, the story follows their budding romance through a day filled with secrets and lies that ends in tragedy. ‘Ma Chu Ka’ is a slow-burning tale of intrigue and tension that builds with each scene until it comes to a startling conclusion. The viewer is given a hint of what’s going on early on, but it’s a subtle one that most people who aren’t movie aficionados may not notice. Pasupathy and Janani Iyer join forces for this impressive performance.
16. Forensic (2020)
Serial killer thriller ‘Forensic’ brings together an investigating officer and a medico-legal advisor (two people who have some history but thankfully not of the romantic kind) as they try to catch a serial murderer who primarily targets small children in the course of their investigation. This film doesn’t go into too much depth about the killer’s backstory since, as the protagonist reveals early on, sometimes the thrill of the crime is the psychopath’s only motive. There’s nothing romantic about this film, which is a good thing because who has time to sing romantic songs when there’s a kidnapper on the loose? ‘Forensic’ is a solid crime thriller that features some powerful performances from the major characters.
15. Vishwasapoornam Mansoor (2017)
P. T. Kunju A lot of political and social remarks are made by Muhammed in ‘Vishwasapoornam Mansoor,’ yet the most of them fall flat. Young Muslim man falls in love with distant relative who comes to stay with him and his mother in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. Even though the film is mostly a light-hearted love story, the characters’ connection and sentiments aren’t fully believable due to the haste with which the romance is resolved. After only two minutes of meeting the heroine, the hero starts talking about how much of an inspiration she is to him. It turns into a major melodrama towards the conclusion. Only at the end of the film do the film’s social and political statements (important now) take place. Vishwasapoornam Manoor does address the political intolerance and biased media in India today, although it may be overshadowed by the romance and the dramatization of the story.
14. Minnaminungu The Firefly (2017)
Surabhi Lakshmi, the star of ‘Minnaminungu The Firefly,’ is the only reason to see this film (who won a National Award for the Best Actress for this film). Throughout the course of the novel, an anonymous mother does a variety of odd jobs in order to earn enough money to support her teen daughter. When Charu falls in love with a boy who is heading to Canada, she wants to accompany him. Does Charu get a job or work for a scholarship in Canada as a result of her studies or work? No, she’s only demanding Rs. 6 Lacs from her mother, who is already struggling financially. To her mother, Charu’s true motives for pursuing a higher education in Canada remain a mystery. The mother gives her all and works herself to the bone to ensure that the money is collected in a timely manner. When she discovers the reality about why her daughter is heading to Canada, she is clearly in for a shock. In contrast to the rest of the supporting characters, Surabhi is the star of the show in this otherwise uninspiring picture.
13. Varane Avashyamund (2020)
Varane Avashyamund, Anoop Sathyan’s debut feature film as a director, is a heartwarming family film meant to be enjoyed on lazy Sundays. It could have been so much better if it had been scripted better and the characters had more depth. However, the film is still too long and the characters are too shallow. It doesn’t, however, imply that the film isn’t fantastic. It is, in fact. The story, which takes place in a Chennai apartment building, is a slice-of-life tale about the relationships amongst new residents. It’s an adorable and heartwarming film that’ll make you smile from beginning to end.
12. Kappela (2020)
Muhammed Musthafa’s debut as a director, “Kappela,” uses the “deceptive appearances” theme in a visually spectacular way. Anna Ben’s character, Jessie, is a young girl who lives in a secluded Kerala village and dreams of one day leaving (mainly because of her strict and overly controlling father). One day, she accidentally dials a wrong number, only to receive a phone call from the person on the other end, which quickly became a regular occurrence. Vishnu (Roshan Matthew) is a pleasant-looking guy who lives in a large city. Only the pull of town life, away from her little hamlet, can bring Jessie to her knees. The fact that he is attractive and charming is purely coincidental. Jessie flees to Vishnu’s house to live. “Sweet, romantic slice-of life” turns into “duplicitous betrayal” at this point in the story. Overall, the film’s message is steeped in patriarchy, though subtly—that girls can only live a safe life if they follow the norms given down by their parents. Despite the disappointing conclusion, ‘Kappela’ is an excellent film that excels in all three areas: cinematography, scriptwriting, and acting.
11. Eeda (2018)
‘Eeda’ (Here) is a notable release on the service because it is one of the more daring releases. Following a love tale between two people who met by happenstance, the film quickly resolves its key themes. When it comes to politics, the couple’s families belong to two different political parties in the Kannur district of Kerala. As their romance blossoms and deepens, their families’ disapproval of their union grows louder and louder. The film shows a very genuine and horrible situation in one of the most violent, politically triggered localities in the state by altering the names of real political parties. Shane Nigam and Nimisha Sajayan are equally noteworthy as the couple’s counterparts, and the film has been directed to a high standard.
10. Uyare (2019)
Shockingly, acid attacks have become one of the most regular crimes against women in South Asia. A woman by the name of Pallavi dreams of becoming a flight attendant and is the protagonist of this film. She had hoped to get her life back on track after the acid attack from her ex-boyfriend destroyed her plans. This strike also causes Pallavi to lose some of her vision. Pallavi meets Vishal, a guy who wants to hire her as a flight attendant despite her poor eyesight, but his father tells him not to since it could put passengers at risk. The press conference where Vishal talks about Pallavi’s discrimination causes Pallavi to feel uneasy at first. However, her father finally persuades her to give the career a second chance. “Uyare” is an important film for South Asian audiences since it tells a moving story. Even if the film’s plot relies heavily on tropes, it earns our praise because of how well everything is handled.
9. Grandmaster (2012)
South Indian actor Mohanlal, who plays the major role in this 2012 action thriller, is one of the most acclaimed actors in the industry. As Chandrashekhar, a high-ranking police officer, he assumes the character of a man named “Z” who writes an anonymous letter threatening to kill several people one by one. Chandrashekhar is then caught off guard by a series of three murders. He is aware of the fact that the assassin is killing his victims according to their last names. I believe Deepti is the fourth victim of this serial killer. Chandrashekhar is his ex-wife. Even though Chandrashekhar has narrowed his search to a particular man who has been in all three of the previous deaths, is he being used by the assassin? Although the premise isn’t particularly original, the film’s execution is excellent, and it makes for an enjoyable watch.
8. Vikrithi (2019)
“Vikrithi” translates as “mischief.” Someone performs a minor misdeed that has a devastating effect on another person’s life. In Emcee Thomas’ ‘Vikrithi’ (which is actually based on an actual incident), that’s the concept. The plot revolves around Sameer, a social media addict who took a picture of a drunken passenger on the Kochi metro and posted it as a meme that went viral. After two sleepless nights caring for his ailing daughter in the hospital, Eldho, a guy who is deaf and dumb, is heading home in weariness after spending the night on the metro. Eldho’s anguish and suffering are compounded by Sameer’s irresponsible post, which sets off a chain of events. Only a few sequences in the second half go crazy, but otherwise, this comedy-drama is one of the best Malayalam films of the last couple of years.
7. Sudani From Nigeria (2018)
Surrounded by gorgeous scenery, ‘Sudani from Nigeria’ is a film that can be enjoyed by all ages in a small town in Kerala, India. Three Nigerian players are brought in by Majeed, a local soccer manager, to help his club win a few games. Samuel, one of these players, suffers a serious injury and is forced to miss the rest of the season. In light of this, Majeed suggests that Samuel remain with him and his mother in order to save money on hospital bills. Soon after Samuel moves in with Majeed, the two form a close bond. Samuel becomes a famous figure in Majeed because the villagers had never seen a foreigner before. When this happens, the police are alerted, and they begin questioning Samuel about his passport. This film is a beautiful story, but it also shows us that suffering is a universal part of our lives. This is a heartwarming film that will stay with you long after you’ve seen it. This film is of the highest quality in every aspect.
6. Angamaly Diaries (2017)
It’s a tremendous risk to offer a film in a style that has never been done before in Malayalam cinema with a cast of 86 newcomers. While the film is well-acted and well-written, director Lijo Jose Pelliserry uses a raw, merciless approach to portray the story of an outlaw gang in the streets of the city of Angamaly. The 11-minute long shot that climaxes the film is definitely one of the best works in Indian cinematography. This film’s plot is bare-bones, but in its defense, “Angamaly Diaries” billed itself as a ‘local’ picture, one that didn’t adhere to the standards of the usual filmgoer, resulting in an experience that was completely out of the ordinary. Fortunately, they were able to take it home with them, making it one of Pelliserry’s numerous successful experiments.
5. Pareeth Pandari (2017)
When a famous biryani cook, Pareeth Pandari, and his wife (who works as a midwife in the community) start on a moving quest to find appropriate grooms for their three unmarried daughters, they face the societal hurdles of matchmaking in rural India. One of the most underappreciated films of the year is Gafoor Elliyas-directed Pareeth Pandari. The film’s storyline, director, cinematography, and performances are all excellent. Emotional and beautiful, ‘Pareeth Pandari’ is packed with meaning.
4. Thottappan (2019)
Thottappan, the second film by Shanavas K Bavakkutty, deviates greatly from Francis Noronha’s “Thottappan,” the book from which it is based. However, it’s not necessarily a terrible thing to deviate from the original plot. Aside from a smattering of extraneous fat, the film’s depiction of rural Indian life is nearly faultless and authentic, despite a few minor flaws. Follows his late partner’s and best friend’s daughter’s Itthak, who is the Thottappan (literally, “godfather”). To care for Sarah and raise her as though she were his own, Itthak gave up everything else. There is a lot going on in this picture about family, trust, and betrayal. Watching this film will leave you breathless because of the incredible performances by its cast.
3. Aalorukkam (2018)
To give you a clearer sense of why I’ve put Indrans at the top of the list, I’d like to give a little overview of the film. Indrans, one of Kerala’s most popular comedy actors, began his career as a celebrity tailor before his time. Unfortunately, Indrans had been forced into the team of typecast actors during the ’90s and ’00s because of his small, funny-looking face and expressions. Aalorukkam (A Man Gearing Up) is Pappu Pisharodi’s most challenging part yet, and he pulls it off brilliantly, conveying the sorrow of an old man conducting a sort of armchair search for his missing son.
Depressing, the picture moves at a sluggish pace that allows the audience to analyze the characters on-screen in great depth. For reasons of his declining health, the elderly man asks the doctors in charge of him for assistance in his quest to find his long-lost son. With its visual flair, VC Abhilash’s picture has a lot going for it. But there are a few problems to the film’s low-budget visual touch that detract from the film’s cinematic quality, assisted by some of the cardboard performances. A career-best performance from Indrans makes this film a must-see for fans of the actor. A National Award was given to him for this role.
2. Freedom At Midnight (2018)
Fast-paced, high-octane thriller ‘Freedom at Midnight’ revolves around Jacob, an ex-finance firm employee accused of killing a cop. Despite this, Jacob is innocent because he didn’t shoot the cop and is attempting to protect the one he loves. So Jacob and a few other inmates plan a daring jail break. There are no genuine violent parts in the movie, which is a heart-thumping action thriller. There is a lot to like about this movie in terms of its photography and soundtrack. Everyone involved in the production has done a commendable job. As long as the film isn’t compared to ‘The Shawshank Redemption,’ fans are likely to love it (it is not that level of smart).
1. Njan Prakashan (2018)
The story of Prakashan, a man who hates his job as a nurse and thinks it’s solely for women, is the subject of this 2018 parody. As a result of Prakashan’s plan to wed a foreign national, he hopes to obtain a visa to that country and begin a new life there. In order to earn more money than she does in Kerala, India, Prakashan learns that his ex-girlfriend Salomi plans to work as a nurse in Germany. Prakashan goes to great lengths to raise money to pay for tickets for himself and Salomi, but when he eventually finds that Salomi has been making a fool of him for the money, his quest ends in crushing failure. Prakashan’s reaction to this situation is unknown. Is he going to be able to get his life back on track after this major setback? Watch ‘Njan Prakashan’ if you want to find out. The script is superb, the cast is fantastic, and the movie as a whole is a blast to see. It’s impressive how the director maintains a delicate equilibrium between the film’s humorous elements and its more somber undertones.