Thrillers have always been a hit-and-miss genre for mainstream Malayalam cinema and over the years the industry has seen a churning out of countless thrillers that toy with the genre within the confines of popular cinema. Even though the industry is known for its feel-good movies and darkly brooding character studies, thrillers have been brought back into prominence in the past few years, thanks to a stream of new-age filmmakers who are content overload. well aware of. Streaming Revolution.
Listing thriller movies is a challenge in itself as audiences have already been exposed to myriad content in the OTT space, giving them a taste of the best quality writing and filmmaking in the genre. The best thriller films are the ones that can pull the rug out from under the audience’s feet, even when the basic beat of the storytelling remains the same. Here are five thrillers from Malayalam cinema that need to be given a chance:
Here are five thrillers from Malayalam cinema that need to be given a chance:
twenty one grams
Streaming Platform: Disney + Hotstar
It is one of the most overlooked Malayalam films of the past few years, which had a dedicated fan following in the Malayali diaspora at the time of its release. The film, directed by Bibin Krishna, is a run-of-the-mill serial killer mystery, notable for its unique central conceit. The title of the film itself is linked to a certain aspect of the entire story in a twisted way. Directed by Bibin Krishna, the film starring Anup Menon and Leona Lishoy was a surprise winner at the box office and is an ideal watch for crime procedural lovers.
Advocate Mukundan Unni Associates
Streaming Platform: Disney + Hotstar
One of the most twisted character studies to come out of Malayalam cinema in recent times, Advocate Mukundan Unni is one thriller that you will watch all season long. The film is a scathing critique of the sugar-coated, forced feel-good movie template and an antithesis to mainstream film culture where the protagonist is expected to be the embodiment of all things good and great. The small indie production starring Vineeth Srinivasan in the lead lead was a runaway success at the time of release and director Abhinav Sundar Nayak is already announcing a sequel in the works. If you feel like taking a respite from all the cozy, reassuring feel good movies to see a unique vision of the world, then look no further.
Streaming Partner: Amazon Prime Video
Few directors can stick to a particular genre of films like Jeetu Joseph does with a thriller film. Right from his early days with films like Detective, Memories and the groundbreaking classic Drishyam series, Jeetu Joseph has always been the go-to guy for a quality thriller on screen. He did not disappoint with his latest film, Common, which released last year. The crime film starring Asif Ali and Hannah Reji Koshy was one of Malayalam cinema’s most deceptively simple thrillers, revolving around a slightly inert police officer investigating a strange series of murders in his village, Just to prove your identity and stand out in the world. The film was one of the biggest blockbusters of Malayalam cinema last year and is a refreshing change to see a culturally rooted crime film that follows the template to the T but never gets predictable.
Streaming Partner: Disney+ Hotstar
Rorschach is one of the most inventive tweaks to the revenge thriller template done in Indian cinema in recent times. The film starring Mammootty in the central role is a revealing, genre blender that turns out to be a creatively structured fever dream about a strange man who walks into a village, looking for his estranged wife. The film’s visual tone and narrative design are unique in the way it explores the protagonist’s topmost position trapped in a hellscape of personal demons. The ensemble cast, including Jagadish, Bindu Panicker, and Grace Anthony, all came with career-changing turns and the film was a blockbuster success and received rave reviews for its daring experimentation with form and content.
Ela Visa Poonchira
Streaming Platform: Amazon Prime Video
This could be the most underrated and underrated Malayalam film in recent times, forget a thriller for that. The film like a mood-piece is about a group of policemen at a special police check post on the outskirts of a deserted valley. The film is designed like a slowly opening crime documentary, mostly played out in dialogue scenes about the daily interactions between these isolated cops, but without losing the audience’s engagement at any point. Layered through the narrative is a scathing commentary on the dark sides of human nature, and delves into some of the truths that can deeply dispel the troubling aspects of the psyche. The film starring Saubin Shahir was a dud at the box office, owing to its meditative pace but a refreshing detour for lovers of the thriller genre.
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(Tags to translate) Mammootty (T) Jeetu Joseph (T) Asif Ali (T) Soubin Shaheer (T) Malayalam Thrillers (T) Malayalam Cinema