10 Hidden Gems of Malayalam Cinema on Netflix
Netflix may be the storehouse of amazing original content but when it comes to regional content, Netflix is still running the race. However, the few regional contents it has are simply astounding. Malayalam movies are scarce on Netflix. So, to ease up the process for you, here’s a list of ten must-watch Malayalam movies on Netflix. (The films are ranked in no particular order)
1.Varane Avashyamund (2020)
Genre: Comedy Drama
Cast: Dulquer Salman, Kalyani, Sobhana, Suresh Gopi
The stellar cast was the first thing that excited me about this beautiful film. Shobhana and Suresh Gopi, one of the most anticipated on-screen couple of the 90s reunite in Varane Avashyamund. Veteran director Priyadarshan’s daughter Kalyani Priyadarshan also makes her debut in Malayalam opposite Dulquer Salman (The film is Dulquer’s maiden production venture). If I were to describe Varane Avashyamund in one word I would say, soulful. It leaves us with a big smile on our faces. The story is excellent and will keep you engaged throughout.
Genre: Social Drama
Cast: Parvathy, Asif Ali, Tovino Thomas
Parvathy Thiruvoth shines in this Bobby-Sanjay script. The film is about an acid attack survivor who rises above the odds. It is interesting to note how the writers deviate from the clichéd storytelling about acid attacks. The film covers many layers and is an intense drama that will make you think as you watch. Asif Ali is another highlight of Uyare. His brilliant portrayal of the antagonist makes us hate him so much!
3. Comrade in America (2017)
Cast: Dulquer Salman, Chandani
If communist ideologies excite you, maybe this film will too. Dulquer Salman unites with director Amal Neerad to play Aji, a communist from Kerala who travels all the way to America illegally to find his girlfriend. How he reaches his destination miles across his country is really engaging to watch. CIA released on May 5, which happens to be the birthdate of Karl Max who is the flag bearer of communist ideologies.
4. Njan Prakshan (2018)
Genre: Coming of age drama
Cast: Fahad Faasil, Anju Kurian, Sreenivasan
There was a time when I thought that maybe director Sathyan Anthikad’s reign over Malayalam cinema has ceased. With new storytelling styles, he may find it difficult to recreate his 90s magic. But his recent film Njan Prakashan proved me wrong. Using his template of ‘careless young boy learns life’, Sathyan Anthikad recreates his old charisma on the screen. The film is humorous, soulful, and deep. Do give it a watch.
5. Kappela (2020)
Genre: Coming of age drama
Cast: Anna Ben, Roshan Mathew, Sreenath Bhasi
Kappela is one of those films that could not enjoy a theatrical release due to the pandemic. Nonetheless, the Netflix release of the movie made up for that. Anna Ben plays Jessi, a naïve young girl who finds herself in trouble over a missed call. The film is very raw, real, and visually captivating. Roshan Mathews and Sreenath Bhasi also offer astounding performances.
Related: Kappela Movie Review
6. Aadu 2 (2019)
Cast: Jayasurya, Vijay Babu, etc.
It was director Midhun Manuel Thomas’s strong belief that made him film a sequel to a flop film. And guess what, the sequel turns out to be a blockbuster success! Aadu 2 gets everything right that Aadu got wrong. It is the character development that makes this film so lovable and memorable. If you are in for non-stop laughter, then this one is just right for you.
7. Angamaly Diaries (2017)
Cast: Anthony Varghese, Sarath Appani
Lijo Jose Pellissery’s cinematic style may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Angamaly Diaries, which marks the debut of actor Antony Varghese is a crime drama thriller in the backdrop of Angamaly, a place in Ernakulam city. Like every other LJP film, this one too is raw, intense, and visually stunning.
8. Sudani from Nigeria (2018)
Genre: Sports drama
Cast: Soubin Shahir, Samuel
Zakariya Mohammad’s directorial debut Sudani from Nigeria is a feel-good sports drama shot extensively in the backdrop of Northern Kerala. A football fan can never miss this film. Soubin Shahir (he also won Kerala State Award for Best Actor for this film) plays Majeed, a local football team manager. Samuel, a Nigerian footballer in his team meets with an accident and becomes Majeed’s responsibility. Over the period Samuel recovers, his relationship with Majeed strengthens. The film is all about love, kindness, and love for football.
9. Vikrithi (2019)
Genre: Social Drama
Cast: Soubin Shahir, Sooraj Venjaramoodu
Based on a true incident, Vikrithi is a reminder to be kind with your digital devices in public places. The intensity with which it may tear apart lives can’t be imagined. A mute man’s photo had gone viral on social media. The photo claimed that the man was found drunk and unconscious on the metro. However, this wasn’t the truth. This is the incident that Vikrithi visualizes. Suraj Venjaramoodu amazes us with his mind-numbing performance.
10. Eeda (2018)
Genre: Romantic tragedy
Cast: Nimisha Sajayan, Shane Nigam
There have been many adaptations of the Shakespearean tragedies in Malayalam cinema and Eeda is one of them. It is the adaptation of Shakespeare’s acclaimed novel Romeo and Juliet. Kannur becomes Verona in director Ajithkumar’s version of Romeo and Juliet. The story happens in the backdrop of the political warfare of Kannur. Nimisha Sajayan and Shane Nigam deliver intense and praiseworthy performances.
Image Courtesy: YouTube/Instagram