1. Maheshinte Prathikaaram (2016)
Maheshinte Prathikaaram marked Dileesh Pothan’s debut as a director, and turned out to be a commercial success. It narrated the tale of Mahesh Bhavana (
Fahadh Faasil), a photographer who strives to reclaim his name and honour by winning a duel. The movie’s brilliant screenplay, by
Syam Pushkaran, won the national award.
2. Drishyam (2015)
Drishyam is arguably the best crime thriller Malayalam has ever produced. With Mohanlal and
Meena Durairaj playing the lead characters, the movie narrated the tale of a family which decides to face a catastrophe, rather than surrender themselves to the law. Mohanlal was exceptional in his portrayal of a determined father fighting for his daughter’s safety.
3. Shutter (2014)
Shutter is one of the most critically acclaimed Indian movies of the 2000s. It had Lal in the lead and was directed by
Joy Mathew. The movie narrated the story of a middle-class man who gets trapped with a prostitute, inside a closed shop adjacent to his house. The film explored the hidden patriarchy and misogyny among the Malayali society.
4. Amen (2013)
Amen was directed by
Lijo Jose Pellissery, and had Fahad Fassil and
Swathi Reddy in the lead. A musical romantic comedy, Amen narrated the love story of Solomon and Sosanna, and through them, the story of their place, its culture, and its musical tradition. The film stood out for its unconventional method of storytelling and the catchy music.
5. Kireedom (1989)
Kireedom had Mohanlal and Thilakan playing the leads and was directed by
Sibi Malayil. The movie followed an event that lead to the protagonist’s failure in achieving his father’s dream. The film was a commercial success and fetched Mohanlal the state award for the best actor.
6. Immanuel (2014)
Immanuel, directed by
Lal Jose, told the story of a middle-class man who starts working in an Insurance firm in order to keep his small family going. As the story progresses, we are introduced to the hidden traps and agendas behind every insurance offer we receive. Mammootty plays the good-at-heart Immanuel, who realizes that the life of an Insurance agent is one of lies and deceit, and decides to make a small change.
7. 1983 (2014)
Essentially a sports movie, 1983 is the tale of Rameshan and his love for Cricket. The film shows the impact India’s 1983 world cup win left on the hearts of many Indians, and how that single incident had changed the course of their lives. This tale of cricket, love, and family, was directed by Abrid Shine’s debut.
8. Thanmatra (2005)
Thanmatra was directed by Blessy and had Mohanlal in the lead. It narrated the story of a middle-class family coming to terms with the Alzheimer’s disease affecting the hero. Mohanlal won a state award for his portrayal of an anguished man with fading memories.
9. Midhunam (1993)
Another Mohanlal starrer, Midhunam was directed by
Sathyan Anthikad, and also had Urvasi and Innocent playing key roles. It told the story of a newlywed couple, wherein the wife thinks that her husband’s love for her has not been the same as when they were dating. The movie was noted for its humour and dialogues.
10. Chinthavishtayaaya Syamala (1998)
Another Sathyan Anthikkadu directorial, this comedy-drama had Sreenivasan and Sangeetha playing the lead and narrated how a wife copes when her irresponsible and lazy husband suddenly turns religious. The witty screenplay by Sreenivasan made it one of the biggest hits of the year, despite being an underdog.