A Blog on Cinema

Top 10 Musicals – Part 2


Celebrating our 150th post, we have a feature on the Top 10 Musicals in Malayalam. Yesterday we posted the first part of this series which featured Bharatham, Sargam, Dhwani, His Highness Abdulla and Kudumbasametham. Here is the concluding part.
(Written by Unni with inputs from the VC Team)

6. Nandanam – Navya Nair made her debut with Nandanam and wow! The film did not have any super-stars and loud villains, something that was unusual for a Renjith movie. This cute movie was appreciated both by the critics and masses alike. Navya played Balamani, the house-maid who was an ardent devoteee of Lord Krishna. Prithviraj played Navya’s lover, Manu.

Once again it was Raveendran at his best and the movie also had a song picturised on Yesudas.

Most Notable Songs: 1) “Sreelavasantham” 2) “Kaarmugil Varnante”

7. Swathi Thirunal – This biography of the the 18th century ruler of Travancore was directed by Lenin Rajendran and the role of Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma was played by Anant Nag. Even though he was a king, Swathi Thirunal was a major patron of both Hindustani and Carnatic music and wrote many devotional compositions himself. This movie dealt with his inspiration, the dusky dancer, Sugandhavalli, played by Renjini. The music was by M.B.Sreenivasan with help from Neyyatinkara Vasudevan. Almost everyone from Yesudas to S.P.Balasubramaniam has sung in this movie and all songs are classic.

Most Notable Songs: 1) Pannagendra Shayana 2) Saa Rasamukha
8. Rakkuyilin Ragasadassil – This was a rare Priyadarshan – Mammotty movie with music as the focus. Mammotty played a musician and Suhasini an accomplished dancer. Their artistic careers and ambitions played a spoiler to their marital harmony, both part ways only to be reunited in the end, their son being the catalyst for the reunion. Music was done by M.G.Radhakrishnan and the movie had both classical as well as melodious songs.

Most Notable Songs: 1) Poomukha Vaatilkal 2) Gopalaka Pahimam
9. Symphony – Deepak Dev had just made his mark with Chronic Bachelor when I.V.Sasi used him for his next movie which starred Sasi’s daughter Anu in the lead role. The hallmarks of the movie were terrible acting, a boring story and a yawning narrative. The movie sank without a trace, but Deepak Dev’s music was out of the world. Lot of the songs appeared in two versions, one without much orchestration and one like the normal song. If you listen to the song, “Panimathiyey Punarum”, sung by Yesudas and Chitra without any musical support, you will realize how divine their voices are. While all other films listed above were mostly classical or semi-classical, Symphony is not from that genre.

Most Notable Songs: 1) Sukhamo, 2) Raghuvamsa Sudha, 3) Nandavana

10. There are too many good movies to be short listed into a Top 10 list. So for the 10th place, we have a list of movies which were in our list.

  • Vadakkumnathan – This movie written by Girish Puthenchery had Mohanlal playing a Sanskrit professor who leaves his house to Haridwar. It had good music by Raveendran.

Most Notable Songs: 1) “Kalabham Tharaam” 2) “Gange”

  • Njan Gandharvan – This musical fantasy, which was Padmarajan’s last movie, had 3 fabulous melodies which Johnson composed to Kaithapram lyrics.

Most Notable Songs: 1) Devi Athmaragam, 2) Devanganangal, 3) Palapoove

  • Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha – This movie was a classic in every respect and it had nothing but excellent music in it. Bombay Ravi’s magic was best evident in this movie.

Most Notable Songs: 1) Indulekha, 2) Chandana Lepa, 3) Kalari Vilakku


  1. Thanks guys for the wonderful trip down memory lane.

  2. An excellent list. Does anybody know a good web-site where I can purchase the Audio CDs of malayalam film music? I am especially looking to buy the CDs of the top 10 Musicals.

  3. Incidentally, Navya Nair made her debut in ‘Ishtam’as the heroine of Dileep, and not in ‘Nandanam’.

  4. Sreejith, Thanks for the correction.

  5. A good listing…I think you’ve missed a few greats…one’s ‘SOPANAM’…definitely a musical masterpiece. Still…a great job guys..keep up the good work! 🙂

  6. Great list, but I missed sallapam in this list. Dilip and Manju Varyar.

  7. Good work, but Nakhashathangal should have been there….

  8. should have added “Vaishaali” (1988)

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