Ever since I remember, I’ve been a fan of movies. Thanks to the parents for giving me a flair of appreciating meaningful movies. As I grew up, I also started liking no brainer ones. Especially since I started working, I realised no-brainer movies were a good way to keep your mind at home and just relax while being amused at the stupidity portrayed in such movies. No doubt I never missed good, meaningful movies which everyone else chose to ignore because it looked ‘serious’.
Me and my sister (especially) would indulge in movies from around the world and different Indian languages too. Marathi movies were a regular feature because we were born and brought up in Maharashtra. We somehow never stuck to Telugu movies since they came across as really useless. But to our credit, we watched a few black and white Telugu movies which were simply marvellous. I had always heard about Malayalam movies being brilliant. And then I fell in love with a Malayalee, following which my heart told me to listen to Malayalee songs (sigh! What all love makes you do!). Thanks to my many Malayalee friends, I decided to watch a movie too. My first ever Malayalam movie in a theater was Ustaad Hotel. I was instantly awestruck by just the opening credits of the movie – what brilliance! As the story slowly unfolded, I completely enjoyed the concept and how routine – yet different – the story line was. I had made a choice, unknowingly, then.
Within that same year I got married and moved to a different culture. Everything was so normal and yet so different. I was being made comfortable by the in-laws and every day was turning out to be a fiesta of finding new things about each other. Then came a Sunday wherein the highlight was watching Malayalam movies through out the day! Old movies, new ones everything was on TV and I happily took in the experience. From Mammootty to Mohanlal to Biju Menon to Dileep – I watched recent-old movies. And like a true Malayalee, chose my favourite amongst these – Mammootty.
Ustad Hotel featured Mammootty’s son Dulquer Salman, and I had loved his acting in that movie. Then came another Sunday with new Malayalam movies! I was completely amused by the new generation of actors doing such good, meaningful movies, complete with all the works. I couldn’t choose just one from this new generation. Dulquer Salman has a class in his acting and also the ability to make us judge his acting as very relatable. Nivin Pauly (my personal favourite :D) dawns each rolls to the extent that one tends to forget he’s a celebrity. Fahad Faasil almost made me put him in the category of a serious actor until I saw Oru Indian Pranayakadha. Asif Ali has been growing in every movie and has never disappointed me. Not to forget Vineeth Srinivasan who is jack of all and master of all! Singer, actor, director – been there done that-type!
The woman clan is no less! Nithya Menon, Parvathy, Nazriya – all of them taking the wonderful de-glam quotient to another level. That is also what makes these movies relatable – I can see a part of myself in Nazriya from Bangalore Days – the efforts to make your husband happy. Nithya Menon sneaking out of the house to pursue a parallel, fun life of singing in Ustaad Hotel. Parvathy playing the role of a handicapped RJ who assures us that any dream is achievable and possible. And my favourite from Bangalore Days – Kalpana, who plays the role of Kuttan’s mother, is brilliant in portraying what a frustrating life she has led, according to her.
Another great factor about Malayalam movies is secularism, owing to reality in Kerala. Everyone lives together – Christians, Muslims and Hindus – shares each other’s joys and sorrows. Yes, communal riots are also more prevalent in the same state, but it has never given me a negative feeling. My father-in-law has numerous stories to tell of friends from different religions. And we still make sure to visit them when on a trip to Kerala. The same has come into movies. Whether it was Mammootty playing a staunch, rational Hindu Brahmin in Drona or Nivin Pauly playing Kuttan from Bangalore Days – the role play is impeccable.
The thing about Malayalam movies, in my opinion, is that they blend their everyday, subdued life with the now-changing city life very well. The innocence of a child, the dumb illusions of a teenager, the confusion of a pre-adult and the current situation of moving to new cities – nothing makes you think “this doesn’t happen”. It does, or at least it’s possible. Romance, thrillers, politics – everything is portrayed with great efforts. May be that is also the reason that Bollywood is now turning to remake these movies! Malayalam music is definitely worth a mention too. What freshness! You assume that a certain song will go this way but there are a whole lot of surprises in just one song! Yes, I will take nothing against Malayalam music 😀 Take a look at their movie posters! No wonder Malayalees are great designers.
Of course I have my preferences in Bollywood too. But if you ask me today, I really have to think twice before deciding to spend so much on a Hindi movie, unless the trailers assure me that they’re rather worth the money. Given another choice at hand, I almost prefer watching a good Malayalam movie at home rather than pondering over a Hindi movie. I see myself turning into the better Malayalee (hey, movies are very important) and even being agitated at the fact that Malayalam movies were not being released in Nagpur. But once they did start, I blindly booked tickets to Premam, coming out fully satisfied with the real movie experience.
Source – http://www.bharatmovies.com/