My whimsical thoughts


It’s a well known fact that Indians are crazy about three things: – Cricket, politics and Movies. I come from southern most part of the country where cricket is substituted by Football. I am no exception to that. Here communism still survives and politics is discussed with the highest amount of intensity. That leaves us to the last item i.e. Movies! Malayalam film industry is well known across India and have contributed the finest of the stars and artists. It has produced quite a lot of movies with CLASS. The movies with entertainment value are being remade in other languages by Priyadarshan and likes. However, I don’t wish to go GAGA over it.

After 4 months of break with Malayalam movies, I watched ‘Bodyguard’ with lot of eagerness and expectation. The movie was a topic of discussion even before its first scene was shot. It had a near perfect cast. Dileep and Nayanthara’s mention was more than enough. They were directed by the hitmaker Siddique. This also happens to be Nayantara’s Malayalam movie after long. I can’t find words to describe this movie. Calling it Trash would be belittling the word. My limited vocabulary doesn’t know any word lower than this. Mostly, we see a movie because of trust attached to the person(s) involved with the movie. I just had it in me that Siqqique will not fail and he did fail me. A starved movie fan gets stabbed in the back for the blind faith he had. Dileep seemed so serious in a wafer thin nonsense plot. Come on dude, you have to understand that people don’t want you to be serious and you have failed numerous times playing the serious guy. Learn something from it.

Disappointed and dejected, I took another chance and I saw ‘April Fool’. Well to keep it short, I was rubbing salt on my wounds. Again a hyped movie with an ensemble cast by Malayalam standards. Jagdish had worked hard to get it together. Do we need that line? It turned out to be a trashy remake of Bheja Fry, which in-turn was the remake of a French movie ‘Le Dîner de cons’. Remake or not, the Hindi movie was made in a nice way. The point to be noted here is that, a solid story with a film to refer couldn’t be made into a good final product. Movies don’t merely run by snob value! People have to stop marketing the movies by sheer star power!

If I were to ask an average movie viewer (not the hopeless fanboys) as to which was the last good movie (in literal sense) they watched; they will have to scratch their heads for long time to come up with an answer. Is this the same Industry which produced films that I watched during my childhood days? On various occasions, I’ve seen film makers blaming SOAP’s, piracy etc. Recently one of the superstars even blamed other language movies. Case of ‘Sour Grapes’? Indeed YES!!!!

One must always understand that it is quality that matters. Run of the mill “stories” don’t always work and so doesn’t the presence of a Super Star. It is always the presence of quality cinema that matters. I’ve seen movies like ‘Black and White Kudumbam’, ‘Duplicate’ which have seen moderate success compared to the much touted superstar movies. These aren’t great movies and also were released with movies from other languages, and were also victims of piracy. Yet they made some money. This just indicates that there are still viewers in theatres if you show them a good movie.  Guys! Are you all out of your senses and its high time you all wake up!

If I had a chance, I will first slap the director and then the producer for making such trash.  My next double slap will go for the actors who take up such trashy assignments. You guys are held in high regard and you have ardent fan following. Why abuse it? Costs of making films are rising because of the higher remuneration. Why the extra money? For the nonsensical fan clubs? In theatres these days, you see more of fan club posters than that of the movie’s! It is because of these guys that the movies recover the money. Gone are the days when the movies used to run based on quality; quality means better word of mouth publicity. Now it has totally turned to leveraging your fan clubs and fan followings. I’d criticized Thilakan when he spoke against superstar power and the abuse by fan clubs. I think now that he is right.

I hope they realize the drawbacks soon and comeback to the good old days. It’s high time you stop basking in your own glory.

– A Malayalam movie fan

PS: Thanks a tonne to Vidhyut S and Fatima for editing and making this readable 🙂

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Comments on: "Current State of Malayalam Film Industry" (32)

  1. Its true that the rate of bad movies made in Malayalam film industry is on an all time high, but this is the same scene for past few years. Hardly 3-4 Good movies are made in a year. I do regret for not being a regular viewer of malayalam movies, but I’ve come across some really good makes recently. Bhramaram, GhostHouse Inn, Ivide Swargam aanu, Paleri Manikyam to name few. .

    Next time, try to get some reviews/feedbacks about new malayalam release before jumping head down into it. I should have slapped myself for doing this crime of entering Papi Appachan’s first day first show :l

    Nice post buddy. Keep up the good work! Even I feel like putting up a list of good Malayalam movies here

    http://movieoman.blogspot.com/

    🙂 Cheers,

    Akash

    • You can count on your fingers the number of good movies that come.
      Sad state… Hope they improve soon 🙂
      Paapi Appacha was a movie that I was looking forward to see. Naseef gave me the same opinion as yours.

      Thanks for reading and the comment. 🙂
      Will visit your blog soon. 🙂 *bookmarked*

  2. You are right.. The state of “prestigious” Malayalam film is now pathetic. Hardly any good movie is released these days. I have stopped watching Malayalam film in theaters.

    • Back when we were young, we could go and watch looking at the cast and crew. Now we have to ask opinions and rely on reviews.
      Hope they do a turnaround.

  3. Very well said!! I have been watching Almost all these stupid movies and really felt sad about the state of our industry. Are we lacking talent?? No I don’t think so .. We have good script writers, directors, actors etc.. There used to be a time when we all were proud of Malayalam film industry for the quality films and strong story line.. We need our film makers to be more sensible and they should understand what an ordinary malayalee wants out of a movie. We need more new talents/ new thoughts/new concepts .. where we don’t have to tell our younger generation that “Malayalam films were much better when we were kids”

    • I will have to agree with you. I also end up watching all the movies for the love of it.
      We do have talents. Somehow they are not given the freedom like Thilakan suggested.

  4. Yep, BodyGuard plot was pretty bad. The execution was worse. I think the hype it got was because of Nayanthara.
    Agathan was better.

    • Didn’t get a chance to watch Agathan.
      Body Guard some good songs. Apart from that everything was hopeless!
      Thanks for reading and the comment. 🙂

  5. I should agree wid you 2 a large extend! i was on cloud nine last december, watching all the magnificent makings that got released in 2k9, thought the golden era was back.but 2010, reveals that Changaran Thengel Thanne!sad…

    • Spot on dude. I felt the same seeing the trailer of Paapi Appacha…
      Heard that it is also a Dud!

      Thanks for reading and the comments 🙂

  6. In the past 5-6 years, I could find a few movies which are worth the class which Malayalam movies once had..Classmates,Paleri Manikyam, Kadhavasheshan,Kazcha to name a few..Nowadays movies with good story value doesn’t perform well unless u have a superstar acting in it. Unlike the 80’s n 90’s now script is written for superstars. Gone are those days when we used to get movies with rich story content penned by greats like MT, Hariharan, Padmarajan etc..

    • Its all about superstars! They are hardly bothered about the story or anything. Get superstar, make a state-wide release. Get money back. This is the strategy.
      I wonder why they dont get tired of this.

      Thanks for reading and the comment 🙂

  7. i havent seen any malayalam movie for past 5 yrs so was very excited to watch Kerala Cafe of which i had heard so much most importantly from Mr. Tharoor :p. So was watching with high expectations..well cant say if that got delivered. Why must all story end in tragedy? Some of them were apallingly heart-breaking, shocking, numbing. Or all of them?

    Malayalam industry has this fetish for making people cry for the movie to be known as a hit. I don’t buy that..if i am spending 2 hrs time, i dont want to get depressed each time.

    • I would partly agree to your thoughts. On the other side, we have an awesome set of hilarious comedy movies. You have forgotten them 😉

      Thanks for reading and the comments 🙂

  8. So true…I used to tell my northie friends that the movie what they were seeing was just a cheap of a classier malayalam movie…
    Not any more…because there aint any… 😦

    • They are there, but they come like special editions 😀

      Thanks for reading and the comment. Thanks a tonne for helping with the editing part.

  9. Totally agree!!! Good job..keep it up…. I kinda like movies like Kireedom and Chengol….were the movies had reality to it and actors like Mohanlal had naturality in his acting..

  10. Aarti... said:

    M not aware about Malayalam movies…but same goes 4 bolly too……n i totally agree wit you..everyone is just running for cast rather then the quality of the script…..great work keep it up…cheerzzzz!!!!!

    • However bollywood is slightly on a better note. Mini budgeted movies are doing quite good. That is a good thing that is happening.

  11. There are many ‘film makers’ out there still trapped in the formulas of so called commercial cinema. First shot should be a rising sun with Suprabhatham as BG score, murappennu, heroes who are the supermarkets of goodness..etc..!!

    Story is the area of biggest concern. Looks like they don’t consult with anybody else and have a discussion. Most of these bullshits could be scrapped if somebody with minimum common sense was asked to review the script.

    The channels play an equal and sometimes larger role in misguiding the viewers. Every crap movie is accompanied by several programs and talk shows.

    Acclaimed director Ranjith recently said that he is not getting calls from producers now a days since he started doing different movies!! That’s the situation!!!

    • Story is the area of biggest concern. Looks like they don’t consult with anybody else and have a discussion. Most of these bullshits could be scrapped if somebody with minimum common sense was asked to review the script.

      You have summed it up properly. They should be given a class by an IT guy on what is the power of review 😀

      Thanks for reading and the comments 🙂

  12. Yeah…very true. Gone are the days of excellent script and flowing narration and screenplay in malayalam. However, movies like gulmohar, kerala cafe, neelathamara, paleri manickyam, passenger etc. which came out in last couple of years seems to show lot of freshness in thinking. Eventhough, they are exceptions in a heap of trash, I hope we can look forward for a brighter future from directors like Blessy, Ranjith, Lal jose etc.

    • Sad factor is only these directors are given the freedom. Rest are not given that creative freedom and are forced to go with the outdated formulas.
      Hope things change soon.

      Thanks for reading and the comment. 🙂

  13. Vidya Menon said:

    Awesome post!! I guess this thot goes through every mallu movie-lovers mind! how i wish to see a movie like the one’s mohanlal did in late 80’s and 90’s like chithram.. thalavattom.. thenmavin kombathu.. dearth of good mallu movies.. though we do get a breather with some good movies in b/w like Classmates, bhramaram..
    Wish better times came to our mollywood! 🙂

  14. I remember watching that movie. When the diary was thrown into the trash can I remember thinking that that was where Siddique found the stupid story.

    However, I don’t believe the producers are anything other than businessmen who are intent on making an ROI. I don’t blame them. If there were better filmmakers making quality plots, story lines and script, they would eventually have gotten sidelined.

    I wouldn’t blame the actors either for not being choosy enough. I believe the problem is that they don’t get assignments that’s quality enough. The general talent (story writers, lyricists, social critiques, script writers) in the film industry has gotten mediocre.

    Mohanlal had once told Priyadarshan (in an interview) that if he waited for a good script he wouldn’t be able to take any assignment for years together.

    • I remember watching that movie. When the diary was thrown into the trash can I remember thinking that that was where Siddique found the stupid story.

      ROFL 😀

      I would still put the blame on the known people who are part of the movie. ie the directors, actors etc. Mainly because we are at a habit of seeing a movie because of them. Its a habit, which we have to change maybe!

      I wish to differ to what Mohanlal has said. He has a responsibility towards the fans.

      Last but not the least, Movies like ‘Kerala Cafe‘ shows that we still have good talent around.

  15. I am told that ‘Bodyguard’ is going to be remade in Tamil and/or one other South Indian language. That made me think it is a hit in Malayalam.

    I heard that the recent ‘In Harihar Nagar-3’ is a disaster, that left the viewers totally speechless.

    Let’s hope our Film Industry will recover soon…
    🙂
    @jean_blore

    • I have made up my mind that I must stop looking at hypes and trust only word of mouth + reviews.
      Harihar nagar 3 is decent from what I heard.

      Thanks for reading and the comments 🙂

  16. Hi Ameen,
    You are not alone in that thought. Recall in an interview ( not sure whether it was Jagathy or Vijayraghavan) mentioning the evolution of the Malayalam movie as a product. At one time it was known (and the goodwill associated) by the Banner, then it evolved into the Director’s movie (as in a Bharathan Film, a Padmarajan Film) and now its known by the Actors (A Mammootty film and so on). The amusing part of the whole equation is that the emphasis has shifted over the years from where the entire creative process takes place to the end of the chain. So with the commercial ‘demands’ ( imagined, most of the times), directors are forced to work backwards, keeping the Actor as the focal point and then try weaving something convincing on screen around the name. I sometimes think, given this bizarre need to keep themselves looking 35 with pancake and toupees when they are actually pushing late 50’s, citing the ‘requirement’ of the market, how long will they do this? Would M&M 🙂 be still trying their very best to keep looking 35 even when they reach 65? At some point of time the body will give away and then what will they do? Announce retirement? Or will they still go on as sad caricatures like Dev Anand? Its so frightening.Thanks..

  17. New film stars should come to malayalam film industry to make a difference. Now all malayalam movies are like old wine in new bottle.

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