A slew of new Malayalam movies have been released across various streaming platforms recently. Interestingly, most of them have been from the thriller genre. While gritty thrillers like Love (Netflix), Joji (Amazon), Nayattu (Netflix), and recently released Kala (Amazon) have all exceeded expectations, some of them simply fell flat. Despite being ambitious and having an intriguing premise, the below mentioned films failed to deliver on their initial promise.
Here are five Malayalam films which could have been awesome, if not for a few missteps.
Director Midhun Manuel Thomas has made a fortune by making mindless comedy entertainers (the Aadu franchise), and he has leapt into a relatively new genre for Anjaam Pathiraa. It is not easy for a filmmaker whose expertise lies in the comedy genre to learn how to tell a psychological thriller involving serial killings. Well, the tone and texture of the movie make you think that he has a grip on the material. But, if you scratch the surface a little, you may see the movie is fundamentally weak. It all becomes predictable after a point and the way detectives unravel clues feels so pretentious. The film stars Kunchacko Boban, Sreenath Bhasi, Sharaf U Dheen, Unnimaya Prasad, and Jinu Joseph. And it is streaming on Sun NXT.
The crime thriller is jointly written and helmed by debutants Akhil Paul and Anas Khan, and they have picked an interesting premise to explore. The role of crime scene investigators, popularly known as forensic experts, in solving crimes seldom gets a nod in Indian movies. Our films are usually about a cop who follows his gut instincts and cracks the case, as opposed to following the DNA trail from the crime scene. However, soon it descends into anarchy as Akhil Paul and Anas Khan strong-arm the narrative flow to create dramatic tension. The uneven pacing and half-baked sub-plots don’t help the film’s case either. Starring Tovino Thomas, Mamta Mohandas, Reba Monica John, Renji Panicker in the lead role, Forensic is streaming on Netflix.
The Mammootty-starrer did a solid job in reviving the box office business in Kerala as the first wave abated. Vijay’s Master gave the theatres a much-needed jump-start, which remained closed for about 10 months. The Priest just came in time when the theatres were desperate for new movies to sustain the business. That said, cinematically, the film is a big let-down. The teaser promised exorcism, deep mysteries a ghost-busting priest. But, the promises remained unfulfilled as newcomer Jofin T Chacko delivered a watered-down horror story with few chills and scare. Starring Mammootty and Manju Warrier in lead roles, the film is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Irul could have been the desi version of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. Newcomer director Naseef Yusuf Izuddin and his writer Sunil Yadav stage the entire film in the backdrop of volatile weather, which necessitates three different characters to share a roof. And soon they will find a dead body in the basement. The filmmakers get all the ingredients right, but fumbles in executing it effectively, giving us a forgettable movie, despite the film’s impressive cast, Fahadh Faasil, Soubin Shahir and Darshana Rajendran. The film is streaming on Netflix.
It is one of those movies where the trailer is better than the actual movie. The film, again, has an interesting premise. But, writer S Sanjeev’s inability to come up with a convincing storyline and screenplay and director Appu N. Bhattathiri’s failure to demand more from his writer, leaves us with a movie that could have been far better, if its makers had put more heart in the script. Starring Kunchacko Boban and Nayanthara in the lead roles, Nizhal is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.