The Top Five Malayalam Films of 2011
It was another year of mixed fortunes for Malayali movie goers. There were some spectacular films from newcomers, while some celebrated names made disappointing films.
Here is our pick of the five best Malayalam movies of 2011.
Adaminte Makan Abu
Director: Salim Ahmed
Cast: Salim Kumar, Zareena Wahab
With recognition at the national and state levels, this heart-wrenching tale of an old Muslim couple who are desperately trying to go for the Haj pilgrimage, easily find its place right at the top. The film is India's entry to the forthcoming Oscars.
Director Salim Ahmed was unknown to the industry until he began collecting awards for this film and received plaudits at a number of prestigious film festivals.
Salim Kumar, who is mainly known for his comic roles, proved to be a fantastic actor and gave a stellar performance in the film.
Image: A still from Adaminte Makan Abu
Director: Rajesh Pillai
Cast: Kunchacko Boban, Sreenivasan, Rahman
He had made the eminently forgettable Hridayathil Sookshikkaan some years ago, but that didn't deter director Rajesh Pillai from making Traffic, one of the finest films in any Indian language this year.
Scripted Bobby and Sanjay, the film become a superhit and is now being made in Hindi by Endemol. Rajesh directs the Hindi version too with a cast that includes some of the top names in Hindi cinema.
Image: A scene from Traffic
Director: Madhav Ramadasan
Cast: Suresh Gopi, Parthiban
Based on a play of the same name by Soorya Krishnamoorthy, Melvilasom is about the court-martial of a soldier accused of murdering his superior officer. The camera never leaves the room and director Madhav Ramadasan's technical wizardry is on display in this film.
Suresh Gopi, who is going through a rough patch in his career, has given an excellent performance, and Parthiban showed that a good actor doesn't need too much screen time to prove his eminence.
The film was shown at the Busan International Festival and also at the recent IFFI in Goa.
Image: A scene from Melvilasom
Cast: Prithviraj, Thilakan, Rima Kallingal
At a time when hate comments are being posted on the Internet about him, Prithviraj plays a non-macho, small time real estate dealer who dreams of making it big, in Indian Rupee.
Veteran actor Thilakan, who has been away from the action for some time now, gave a superb performance.
Indian Rupee, produced by Prithviraj's August Cinemas, got both critical acclaim and box office recognition. Ranjith once again proved his eminence as one of the best writer-directors in Malayalam cinema history.
Image: A scene from Indian Rupee
Salt N' Pepper
Director: Aashiq Abu
Cast: Lal, Asif Ali, Swetha Menon, Maithily
A simple tale of romance, very well narrated, with food and music as the backdrop, Salt N' Pepper, director by Aashiq Abu, has an unconventional cast.
Lal and Swetha Menon fall in love when she dials the wrong number to order a pack of thattil kutti dosa.
The film went on to become a sensation and an actor like Baburaj, who is usually cast in villainous roles, got a fresh lease of life.
The movie also underlined the fact that good cinema always gets the thumbs up from the audience.
Image: A scene from Salt N' Pepper