What a year it has been for the humble old Malayalam film fraternity. With a non-stop barrage of hits and blockbusters from early January to mid-July, Malayalam cinema has never had a better year. There have been films both commercial and non-commercial that has acquired pan-Indian acclaim, that the industry is now a force to be reckoned with! And it’s not stopping here! Not by a long shot.
As the first half of the year has drawn to a close, it now time for the happy cinephile to look forward to the fall line-up of Malayalam cinemas. There have been several ambitious projects in the pipeline and now the audience will finally get a taste of Malayalam cinema’s advent into big-budget territory!
Here is a list of movies to look forward to on he latter half of 2019!
Directed by: Anwar Rasheed for Anwar Rasheed Entertainment
Starring: Fahadh Faasil, Soubin Shahir, Vinayakan
Ever since the massive success of Usthad Hotel back in 2012, Anwar Rasheed who started off with commercial action flicks like Rajamanickam and Chotta Mumbai, was lauded for his sudden gear shift into deep dramatic territory. The film was acclaimed worldwide and made several top ten lists over the years. Rasheed, however never directed films afterwards as he entered into production ventures that gifted the industry benchmark films like Premam, Bangalore Days and Parava.
Now after a long interval of seven years, Rasheed once again helms the role of director and producer for his newest outing “Trance”. Since it’s initial announcement a year ago, the film has been generating a lot of buzz. The plot and premise of the film has been kept under wraps, while sources say the film discusses the journey of a celestial being with mystic abilities. This in turn suggests that the film is highly ambitious and complex.
With exotic locations like Amsterdam and Himachal, the film just might be the magnum opus of both Anwar Rasheed and Fahadh Faasil.
Trance is slated for a December release during Christmas weekend.
Ittimani: Made in China
Directed by: Jibi Joju for Aashirvad Cinemas
Starring: Mohanlal, Honey Rose, Johnny Anthony
It has been quite some time since Mohanlal has attempted a comedy. If you had been a close observer of his career graph over the past 3-4 years, you’d know that Mohanlal was attempting to augment himself as a pan-Indian brand and he is still at it. In the midst of several ambitious projects, fans are thrilled as they get to see their favourite actor back in the comedy avatar. Ittimani is shot in China, as the story begins with the lead character being conceived in China by his immigrant parents (the father played by Mohanlal as well), hence the clever tag-line “Made in China”. If one has to speculate, Ittimani will be a film that discusses the clash of two cultures which has scope for a lot of humour.
Ittimani: Made in China is slated to release during Onam week, 2019.
Directed by: Kalabhavan Shajon for Magic Frames
Starring: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Aishwarya Lakshmi
Kalabhavan Shajon has officially thrown his hat into the ring for the role of director. His debut venture as a director has bagged quite an ensemble as cast and crew. With Prithviraj Sukumaran playing the lead, produced by the team behind major hits such as Usthad Hotel, Chirakodinja Kinavukal, Traffic. Producer Listin Stephen has an impressive raster of movies in his portfolio, which pretty much affirms the fact that he is a man of taste.
Prithviraj is back into the acting game after his directorial venture that won the title of 2019’S biggest blockbuster as of now. All these facts make Brother’s Day something to look forward to.
Brother’s Day is also slated to release on Onam 2019.
Directed by: Praveen Prabharam for Little Big Films
Starring: Tovino Thomas, Samyuktha Menon
“Let’s take a break from realistic movie, we deserve a mass masala movie every now and then”. Since the teaser for the action-packed Tovino Thomas police movie Kalki dropped on the 13th of July, the audience have all been acknowledging the same thing. The fact that they miss over the top, far fetched mass movies that doesn’t draw them into deep emotional territory. The flexibility in terms of being entertained, that the Malayali audience possess is very much visible here.
The last time a mass action film appeared on screen was the 2016, 100 crore grosser “Pulimurugan” starring Mohanlal which was celebrated like a festival in theatres all around South-India. So, another addition to that roaster would be just the the kind of cathartic, movie watching experience the Malayali crowd needs just about now.
Debutant director Praveen Prabharam has made a bold movie approaching Tovino Thomas who is now a very happening actor, known mostly for doing grounded, grey subjects with a massy action film and convincing him to join on board.
Kalki is slated to release this August.
Love Action Drama
Directed by: Dhyan Srinivasan for Funtastic Films
There are so many things to be excited when we talk Love Action Drama. Dhyan Srinivasan’s directorial debut, Aju Varghese’s first production venture, Lady Superstar Nayanthara’s return to Malayalam cinema after an interval of two years and Nivin Pauly’s return to rom-com territory since 2015! These are just a few of the things that make LAD something to be excited about.
Speculations already say, that LAD might just be Nivin’s next big thing since Premam.
Ace cinematographer Jomon T John is also making his return to Malayalam cinema after a 3-year break. His last Malayalam film was the 2016 family drama “Jacobinte Swargarajyam”
Love Action Drama is one among several heavy-hitting contenders for the covenant title Onam festival winner and with good reason. There’s Love, there’s Drama and apparently a whole lot of Action.
Directed by Srinath Rajendran
Starring: Dulquer Salman
Based on the horrifying true story of Sukumara Kuruppu who was accused of faking his death for an insurance scam by murdering an insurance agent in cold blood and disguising the corpse as his own. Sukumara Kuruppu has been in hiding ever since. The whereabouts of one of the most dangerous criminals in the history of Kerala is still a mystery to this day. Srinath Rajendran who debuted along with Dulquer Salman in the 2012 gangster-thriller Second Show, is set to helm the directorial role of this passion project.
Dulquer who has not played a negative character before is very much excited for the project, as he emphasised on his Facebook page.The film is speculated to be a huge critical success despite the financial gross.Details of Kuruppu is kept under wraps as the film is nearly entering principle photography.
Directed by: M. Padmakumar for Kavya Film Company
Starring: Mammooty, Unni Mukundan, Prachi Tehlan
Based on an excerpt from the covenant “Idheehyamala” folklore, Maamangam is a period drama based on the grand harvest festival that was celebrated every 12 years, during the era of King Zamorin of Calicut. The film revolves around the assassination attempt of King Zamorin by the mercenary team of the rival King Kolathiri. Maamangam has been a project that jumped through so many hoops during it’s production phase, like the untimely change of production team, recasting of key characters and even bringing in a new director. The film has finally completed it’s shoot and is now slated to release this fall.
It is said to be one of the biggest Malayalam films of the year and the hype surrounding it as of now. The film’s first look poster that released two months ago has generated a lot of buzz on Social Media.
Marakkar: Arabikadalite Simham
Directed by: Priyadarsan for Aashirvad Cinemas
Starring: Mohanlal, Pranav Mohanlal, Siddique, Prabhu, Arjun, Suniel Shetty
Making the final slot on our list is perhaps the biggest film Malayalam cinema has ever seen. Director Priyadarsan who has been working on this project for 20 years, has finally proceeded to bringing it into fruition.
Marakkar is based on the life and times of the great Pirate hero who fought with the King Zamorin against the Portuguese invasion. The film has a charted budget of 100 crores with three major production entities bank rolling the film.Primarily produced an distributed by Anthony Perumbavoor’s Aashirvad Cinemas, along with Confident Group productions and Santhosh T Kuruvilla’s Moon Shot Entertainments, Marakkar is said to be one of those film’s that will cater to a pan-Indian demographic.
The film also has a large ensemble of actors like Mohanlal, Prabhu, Action King Arjun and Suniel Shetty, along with legends in the craft behind the camera. National Award winner S. Thirunavukkarassu who has a magnificent roaster of films in his belt such as Hey Ram,
24, Petta will be handling cinematography for the film while five-time national award winner Sabu Cyril is the production designer of Marakkar.
Malayalees have every right to be excited for this film, as it is unlike anything they have seen before. The film is slated to release December 2019.
As you can see, we are at an age of renaissance for Malayalam film. For an industry that was merely climbing up the ladder on a nation-wide scale is now flourishing at such a rapid rate that in terms of both scale and content.
By, Siva Sai