Nowadays we can see a load of movie lovers going through a new wave of movies which are coming from Malayalam film industry. Everyone wants a movie where screenplay is based on reality, relatable to life and lead characters appear to be ordinary men and women, and to be honest Malayalam film industry is giving it all. These films are occasionally called to be a part of the “New Generation” Malayalam film movement. Though the wave started during early 2010s, it is said that the first development of this trend was seen during 1980s. Many say the new wave in Malayalam cinema is recollective of the 1980s which is considered as the golden age of Malayalam cinema because it was the time when mainstream films bridged the gap between arthouse and commercial movies with the help of a team of talented writers and directors.
During this “Golden Age”, Malayalam Film industry was discovered by directors like Padmarajan and Bharathan who made many positive changes through some admirable path-breaking film like Peruvazhiyambalam & Thevar Magan. These films broke the rules which were considered as the requirement for a new bridge between mainstream and parallel cinema. After decades of mainstream productions, a film named “Traffic (2011)” directed by Rajesh Pillai triggered the whole movement of this new wave of films. In these films we can see the formations and styles are deeply influenced by global and Indian trends but then their thematics are firmly rooted in Malayalee life and mindscapes.
The ‘no-superstar’ system was also conceded in the industry to vanish the internal conflict among creators. We can also find an admirable appeal in acting, cinematography, editing, scripting and music sections of these films. Directors like Anwar Rasheed, Alphonse Putharen, Rajesh Pillai, Lijo Jose Pellissery, Aashiq Abu, Altas T. Ali, Sameer Thahir, V. K. Prakash, Martin Prakkat are trying their heart and soul to make these spectacular changes happen through the film industry. Their approach in making film is highly depended on unique narratives which show director’s vision led with his passion when expressing non-conforming stereotypical characters. These days we can also see an increasing number of scriptwriters diving into direction because scripting alongside direction can help one taking advantage of his creative skills. They feel that one can also enjoy considerable freedom providing an experience which satisfies them as a creator during writing a story. When we flip a coin we always have to deal with two sides of the thing, these Malayalee films do have their dark side too.
Sometimes these films are often questioned for their so-called emulation of western films, obsession on climatic value and its dependence on urbanized audience. Keeping aside all these criticisms we wish that the game-changers will never stop their amazing work by listening to all bashing around them. We also hope that they will continuously provide us masterpieces like Charlie, Neram, Premam, Bangalore days, Ustad Hotel and so on to show us the ultimate magic that we expect from Malayalam movie industry.
1. The Bawdy and the Beautiful, India Today (July 7, 2012)
2. Goodbye to the Superstar Era, The Hindu (Apr 13, 2013)
3. New Trails of Discovery, The Frontline (October 18, 2013)
4. Malayalam Movies: Non-linear narratives are making the box-office ring louder, The Economic Times (May 21, 2011)