Malayalam movies that were inspired by novels
I’m mostly a movie-over-book kind of person. But once I have read the book first before watching the film (which rarely happens), I always prefer the book. Adapting a book into a full-length feature film is a challenging task. I found some Malayalam movies that have taken up this challenge and aced it effortlessly. Here’s a look at those Malayalam movies that are adapted from books.
Thanmatra is loosely inspired by the short story written by the legendary filmmaker Padmarajan, called Orma. Thanmatra tells the story of Rameshan, a Kerala Government secretariat employee who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The toll the disease takes on him and his family is what the film explores. The story is so deep and touching that we cannot sit through the entire runtime without weeping.
Mathilukal starring Mammootty is the adaptation of the autobiographical novel by the same name written by the legendary writer Vaikkom Mohammed Basheer. Mathilukal tells the story of the time when Basheer was imprisoned during British rule and how he finds love across the giant walls of the prison. Narayani, his love interest, is another prison inmate whom Basheer never actually meets. They meet and exchange their feelings for each other by standing across the walls of the prison that separate them.
3. Thoovanathumbikal (1987)
Thoovanathumbikal is a movie directed by Padmarajan and partly takes inspiration from his own novel Udakappola. The film and the book both explore themes of lust, prostitution, and love. The film was a huge success and is cited as a cult classic movie. Rain acts as a recurrent theme as if it were a character in the movie. The movie stars Mohanlal, Sumalatha, and Parvathy in the lead roles.
4. Ivan Megharoopan (2012)
Ivan Megharoopan is a biographical film that is based on the life of renowned poet P. Kunhiraman Nair and uses his autobiography Kaviyude Kalpadukal as inspiration. Actor Prakash Bare plays the poet in the film. The film was highly appreciated by the critics.
5. Chemmeen (1965)
Chemmeen is a cult classic movie that this an adaptation of the novel by the same name written by Thakazhy Shivasankaran Pillai. The story is based on the myths and beliefs surrounding the coastal community. Chemmeen uses the myth that if a married woman engages in infidelity while her husband is out there in the sea, he will be devoured by the raging waves and die. Chemmeen has Sheela playing Karuthamma, and Madhu plays Pareekutty, the son of a Muslim fish trader.
6. Akam (2011)
Akam is a thriller drama movie that is a contemporary retelling of the 1967 novel Yakshi, written by Malayattoor Ramakrishnan. The film is about Srini (played by Fahad Faasil), a young architect who begins to suspect that his wife Ragini (played by Anumol) is a yakshi (she-demon).
7. Ore Kadal (2007)
Directed by Shyamaprasad, Ore Kadal explores the complex extra-marital relationship between Nathan, an intellectual economist, and Deepthi, a housewife. The film is heavily inspired by the Bengali novel Hirak Deepthi by Sunil Gangopadhyay. Ore Kadal is an intense drama that beautifully captures the troubled relationship of the individuals. The film is not direct in its narrative and uses stretched frames to help us understand the emotional aspects of the characters.
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