Malayalam movies 80s and 90s
Culture, Top Picks

Malayalam movies of 80s and 90s that can’t be missed!

Who said movies get boring with time? No matter what decade we are in, these Malayalam movies are always going to remain fresh and vivid in our hearts. These old Malayalam movies of the 80s and 90s can’t be missed at any cost.

1.Mathilukal (1990)

Mathilukal

Mathilukal is a masterpiece adaptation of Vaikkom Muhammed Basheer’s novel of the same name. Drawing inspiration from the real-life story of the author, Mathilukal, directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan is poetic in its narrative. Basheer finds love across the wide walls of his prison. He hasn’t seen her, yet his love for her keeps deepening. Mammooty’s poignant performance as Basheer brings strength to the character and prevents him from becoming a mere caricature. Mathilukal is one of the finest movies ever made in Indian cinema.

2.Moonam Pakkam (1988)

Directed by the veteran filmmaker Padmarajan, Moonam Pakkam is an intriguing narrative that has actor Thilakan deliver his best performance ever. Thilakan plays Thampi, a retired railways employee who leads a life in solitude in his ancestral home. He is excited when his grandson comes to visit him during vacation but his happiness does not last long. Rich with complex emotions, Moonam Pakkam was a commercial success during its time of release.

3.Sandesham (1991)

Time and again, Sreenivasan proves that he knows his state and fellow people best. Sandesham only reaffirms this fact. In Sandesham, writer and actor Sreenivasan expertly caricatures Kerala’s political activism. Expecting a happy retirement life, a father returns home only to get stuck in the dramedy of his two sons who happen to work for opposite parties. Sandesham makes us laugh and think at the same time.

4.Guru (1997)

Using the metaphor of sight and blindness, Guru makes a powerful statement on communal violence that is relevant even today. With a huge star cast and stellar performances, Guru creates a narrative that keeps us engaged till the end. Guru was also selected as India’s official entry for the 70th Oscar Awards.

5.Dasharatham (1989)

dasharatham mohanlal last scene

Surrogacy was an entirely new idea during the 80s and Dasharatham, with its subtle yet impactful storytelling was able to introduce the idea to a wider audience. Rajiv (Mohanlal) is born into riches and has no purpose in life. With no parents to guide him, Rajiv wastes his money on alcohol and unnecessary luxuries. But Rajiv craves love and decides to have a son. He finds a surrogate, Annie, who agrees only to find the money for her husband’s treatment. Things begin to complicate as Annie (Rekha) gets attached to the baby boy and refuses to let him go. The movie successfully explores the layered emotions of human relationships and the need for love in a person’s life.

6.Devasuram (1993)

Devasuram

Mangalassery Neelakanthan is an iconic character in Malayalam cinema. Arrogant about his lineage, Neelakanthan grows up to be a spoilt brat with no regard for people’s circumstances. But his crown falters as some hidden truth is spilled on him. Devasuram explores the rivalry of two spoilt heirs of the feudal families – Mangalassery Neelakanthan and Mundakkal Shekharan. Rich with cultural depictions of the feudal system of those times, Devasuram is a classic that everyone needs to watch at least once in their life.

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