It was another memorable year for Malayalam cinema at the box-office with 64 releases and among them half a dozen turned out to be hits. There were some meaningful off-beat films which were critically acclaimed.
The biggest blockbuster in the history of Malayalam cinema was the Lal Jose directed “Classmates” which according to trade may collect a distributor’s share of Rs 10 Crore!. The superstar domination continued in Malayalam cinema as Mammootty and Mohanlal were only actors who commanded an opening which is very crucial for the success of a film.
Lal Jose directed “Classmates” turned out to be a cult classic in Malayalam. The young guns- Pritviraj, Jayasurya, Indrajeet, Narain, Kavya Madhavan and Radhika have become a rage not only among the youth but also family audiences in the state. The songs written by Vayalar Sarthchandra Varma and tuned by Alex Paul have become chartbusters and “Classmates” has become the largest selling audio in recent times.
Mohanlal had a dream run with six releases- “Rasathantram”, “Vadakkumnathan”, “Keerthichakra”, “Mahasamudram”, “Photographer” and ‘Baba Kalyani” with only “Photographer” turning out to be a flop. Among them, “Rasathantram” and ‘Keerthichakra” were blockbusters.
Mammootty had seven releases with “Thuruppu Gulan”, “Balram Vs Taradas”, “Prajapathi”, “Bhargava Charitham Moonam Khandam”, “Pothenvava”, “Karuthapakshikal” and “Palunku”. For him only “Thuruppu Gulam” turned out to be a super hit but his off beat films like “Karuthapakshikal”, and “Palunku” received a lot of critical acclaim.
Dileep had six releases and among them only “Lion” and “Chess” were hits. Suresh Gopi had a record seven releases but only one film “”Chinthamani Kolacase” was a hit. It was Jagathy Sreekumar who did maximum number of films, a record 21 in character roles. Jayaram had a “Madhuchandralekha” an average grosser. Kalabhavan Mani did not have a great year.
Among heroines it was Kavya Madhavan who did maximum number of films at six, including the blockbuster “Classmates”. Padmapriya had five releases and Gopiak had four. There were no women centric films. Heroines from Kerala are making a beeline to Kollywood and among them Nayanthara and now Bhavana have made rapid strides. Nitya Das, Mamta Mohandas, Mukta have also moved out to Kollywood. At the same time out of work girls in Kollywood like Sneha, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, Laila, Aditi Rao and Padmapriya are in great demand in superstar films.
Audience apathy continues towards young stars. The youth brigade of Pritviraj, Jayasurya, Arun and others continues to struggle and could not make any ripples at the box-office. Pritiviraj’s films like “Vargam”, “Vaasthavam and “Pakal” which were good in content turned out to be damp squibs at the box-office. The bottom line is that the box-office is booming for the biggies while the quality of films being churned out is abysmal.
Top 5 Films of 2006