The Malayalam cine industry was for very long synonymous with Mohanlal and Mammootty. These were the actors who brought out numerous fandoms and attained and retained superstardom for the longest time. Their golden era was the late 1900s.
Now when we think of Malayalam cinema all that comes to our mind are young budding actors who rule the screens. So how did this transition come about? Was it due to film makers being tuned into the vibes of the new generation or simply because the actors were better suited to play new kinds of roles?
This new age of Malayalam cinema began around 2010-11. This wave brought about a whole new audience to the industry and the decline and viewers was reversed again. The themes chosen for the screenplay were unusual and films began to showcase vibrant colours on the screen as well as fresh actors.
While many of these actors were children of yesteryear established actors such as Dulquer Salmaan, many actors began to carve a niche for themselves.
The popularity of the films is in a large part owed to the down-to-earth themes that are more relatable to the audience. The industry thus started shifting away from superstar themes that were too far-fetched. To the Malayalam audience, this was a welcome change. To the numerous other viewers outside Kerala, this was an opportunity to catch a glimpse into the lives of Malayalees and their culture.
Premam (Source- HotStar)
The most notable directors who have made a mark are Alphonse Puthren who directed films such as Neram and Premam, Rajesh Pillai who directed Mili, Vineeth Srinivasan who directed Jacobinte Swargarajyam and Oru Vadakkan Selfie and Anjali Menon who directed Bangalore Days. Many of these directors have been in the industry for longer but are capitalising on the New Age to direct quality content.
The prominent actors of these films are Nivin Pauly, Dulquer Salman, Fahadh Faasil, Nithya Menon, Amala Paul and Nazriya. What makes their films even more special are the strong women characters built in such a way that they can be role-modelled after.
While many may argue that the Malayalam cinema industry itself keeps changing always and this can’t be considered the start of a new wave, it can be countered that these new films are garnering a never-before-seen attention from all over India. These films are seen as beautiful pieces of filmmaking which contain an exemplary showcase of acting talent.
If this has piqued your interest in watching Malayalam films, then these should definitely be on your bucket list:
- Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi – This is a film about the journey of a young man who goes on a road trip from Kerala to Nagaland. It stars Dulquer Salmaan in the lead and is directed by Sameer Thahir.
- Ohm Shanthi Oshaana – This humorous film which stars Nazriya and Nivin Pauly in the lead revolves around a spirited, young girl who wants to impress Giri, who is her first love.
- Maheshinte Prathikaram – This Fahadh Faasil starrer is about a man who has publicly sworn not to wear slipper until he has avenged being defeated in a brawl.
By Mathuram Murugaiyan