Updated: April 14, 2021 8:32:21 am
For long, communist themes have dominated the political genre in Malayalam cinema. But, in recent years, filmmakers have begun to embrace other colours of Indian politics too. Take, for example, Mammootty’s recently released One. Judging from the trailer, many speculated that Mammootty’s character appeared similar to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The filmmakers, however, steered clear of directly propagating any ideology or political party. So much so that the screenwriter duo Bobby-Sanjay doesn’t even mention the name of the political party that the protagonist belongs to or the ideology he believes in. All we saw was a film on sorry state of politics and how it is no longer considered public service.
In the same way, director Mahesh Narayanan’s upcoming political thriller Malik introduces to us a new political expression in Kerala. Rarely we see a mainstream film where a minority community is shown unapologetically asserting its political will.
Here is a list of the best Malayalam political films that released in the last 10 years.
It is a political satire, starring Biju Menon in the lead role. The film follows the struggles of a politician of a national party, which has no standing whatsoever in state politics. He neither has popularity nor financial support to win an MLA seat. He has invested the majority of his life in politics but he has nothing to show for it. At 40, he has only his wit and moxie and political acumen to rely on as he tries to marry a girl of his liking. Vellimoonga is streaming on Disney plus Hotstar.
Eeda was the directorial debut of renowned film editor B Ajithkumar. Induced by a heavy dose of realism, it is the big-screen adaptation of William Shakespeare’s timeless romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet. The film is set in the modern-day Kannur, which has become an epic centre of political hatred. The film reflects on the horrors of political violence and lust for a bloodbath. Eeda is streaming on Netflix.
Helmed by National Award-winning filmmaker Sidhartha Siva, the film is a commentary on how politics is perceived by youngsters as a quick way to acquire money and power. The film follows Krishna Kumar, played by Nivin Pauly. He is a power-hungry general secretary of a communist student body. A ruthless and corrupt climber, he is even ready to throw his comrade to wolves if it helps him to further his political career. Sakhavu is streaming on Disney plus Hotstar.
Oru Mexican Aparatha
This 2017 box office hit is director Tom Emmatty’s unapologetic love letter to the idea of communism and revolution. The film shows us how bloody college campus politics can get. Set in the backdrop of Kochi’s Maharaja College, the film follows the rivalry between the members of CPI(M) and Congress parties. And it is easily one of the beautifully shot political films in Malayalam in the past decade.
This film was written by Sachy, whose untimely death has left a huge void in the Malayalam film industry. Like all his other films, Ramaleela is also heavy on punchlines. Set in a volatile political backdrop, the film tells the story of political leader K. R. Ramanunni, played by Dileep, who has recently switched his loyalty from the communist party. He becomes a prime suspect in a high-profile murder investigation and is forced to go into hiding until he proves his innocence. Ramaleela is available on Google Play Movies.
The 2019 blockbuster film thrives on the screen presence of its lead star, Mohanlal. And the visual style of a debut director Prithviraj Sukumaran and memorable dialogues by screenwriter Murali Gopy. The film doesn’t burden itself with the responsibility of romanticising politics as a service to people. Instead, it reminds us politics is not about choosing between good and bad. But, it is about choosing between the lesser of two evils. Lucifer is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Director Khalid Rahman’s film revolves around the struggles of a group of policemen from Kerala, who are deployed to ensure the security of a polling booth in a Naxal-infested area. They have no real-world experience dealing with unimaginable security challenges and humanitarian crises that prevails in dark corners of our country. Unda is streaming on Amazon Prime.
It is a political satire, which is written and directed by John Manthrickal. The film follows a series of hilarious mishaps that happens when Kerala cops are forced to implement a Central government order to improve the relationship between the police department and the public. Janamaithri is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
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