Best Malayalam Movies of 2021
The year is about to end and you know that calls for a countdown. Here’s me looking back at some of the best Malayalam movies of 2021 that made me laugh, cry, think and also inspire.
Kurup was my first theatrical experience of 2021. It felt great to be back at the theatre after nearly two years. Kurup takes inspiration from the life of the fugitive Sukumara Kurup, who has been wanted since 1984. Dulquer Salman’s Kurup was the first film to release since theatres opened after the second wave and broke all the collection records. With the box office success of Kurup, things began to feel like before. The contribution of the film in bringing back the thrill of being at the theatres is immense.
Kuruthi introduced me to an entirely different narrative involving religion and faith. Most of the film happens in closed surroundings and keeps us on the edge of our seats. It is the thoughtful dialogues of Kuruthi that really inspired me. Prithviraj Sukumaran, Roshan Mathew, Srinda, and other actors deliver amazing performances.
#Home is one of the sweetest films I watched in 2021. The movie is about the fading parent-child relations because of the over engagement of youngsters with social media. Indran’s Oliver Twist is one of the best characters of 2021. The film may not be a perfect one, but the way it made me feel at the end was blissful.
I found it difficult to believe that Nayattu, a film with a serious tone, is directed by Martin Parakatt, the same Martin Prakatt who gave us light-hearted entertainers like Charlie and Best Actor. Starring Nimisha Sajayan, Kunchako Boban, and Joju George, Nayattu is a painful take on the complexities of our political machinery. The thriller-paced style of the film keeps us thoroughly engaged and we will need some time to come back to reality.
5. The Great Indian Kitchen
We as a society are on the verge of change. We are in the process of learning and unlearning several prejudices and stereotypes. The Great Indian Kitchen is like fuel to that process. The film is an intense peek into the incessant toiling of women in the kitchen and how we have normalized the suppression of women in households.
6. Operation Java
In spite of having no popular faces, Operation Java simply won my heart. The film details several cyber investigations undertaken by the cyber cell station in Kochi. The narrative is compelling and balances the adrenaline rush with equal amounts of emotional segments. The film touches upon so many things like unemployability, movie piracy and gives a detailed insight into these as well.
Though the film did not have big names in the cast, Jan.E.Man received lots of love from the audience because of its simple and sweet storytelling. While most Malayalam movies of 2021 were intense, Jan.E.Man is one of the few movies that explored a lighter and sweeter narrative.
Malik is a film that was made for bigger screens. However, due to the pandemic situation, Malik was released on Amazon Prime Video. The film is based on the true incidents that occurred in Beemapilly, Trivandrum. Fahad Fasil’s Malik is like a Malayalee version of the Tamil movie Indian, and the Hollywood film Godfather.
Dileesh Pothan-Fahad Fasil combo is something that everyone has been rooting for. The duo came up with a simple yet brilliant piece of art that leaves us windblown. Loosely based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Joji is about a young jobless guy who attempts to murder his father and gets haunted and chased while getting caught.
10. Drishyam 2
Drishyam 2 was yet another film that deserved a theatrical release. Not many (including me) were happy to have a sequel to the best Malayalam thrillers of all time, Drishyam. But we were in for a surprise. Drishyam 2 was the perfect sequel to Drishyam and does total justice to the masterpiece. The script of Drishyam 2 is top-notch and deserved a special mention here.
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