If you have just landed in Kochi International Airport with a bag full of money and want to know which writer or director you should contact to make a movie which will ensure good returns we have the answers for you. Looking at the 63 movies which were released in 2007, there are some patterns that emerge.There are some writers and directors who have repeated their success more than once and among the top is (in no particular order) Srinivasan, who was the script writer and hero of Arabikatha as well as Katha Parayumbol. Both the movies were thought provoking as well as well written in the typical Srinivasan style. Among the directors Shafi created wonders with two movies Mayavi and Chocolate.
Others who ensured excellent returns for their producers are Raffi-Mecartin, who wrote the hit film Mayavi as well as directed another hit film, Hello. Among the script writers, the dependable names were Sachi & Sethu (Chocolate ), Sathyan Anthikkad (Vinodayatra), A K Sajan (Nadiya Kollapetta Rathri), Anwar Rasheed (Chota Mumbai), and J Pallassery (Kangaroo). The other super directors are Mohanan (Katha Parayumbol ), Sathyan Anthikkad (Vinodayatra), K Madhu (Nadiya Kollappetta Rathri ), Raj Babu (Kangaroo ) and Lal Jose (Arabikatha ).
2007 did not see just “fun” movies like Chocolate or Hello, but some creative writing and movies which we could be proud of. Those responsible for keeping the flag of good Malayalam cinema flying include Adoor Gopalakrishnan with Naalu Pennungal, Shyama Prasad with Ore Kadal, Babu Thiruvalla with Thaniye, K. T. Kunju Muhammed with Paradesi, and Renjith with Kaiyoppu.
Among the heroes all the stars had hits. Mammotty had a big hit early in the year with Mayavi and he was part of another hit Katha Parayumbol. He was also able to act in two excellent movies, Kaiyoppu and Ore Kadal. Mohanlal had two major hits, Hello and Chotta Mumbai and acted in another excellent one – Paradesi. This was also a year in which Mohanlal presented us with a string of flops like Ali Bhai, Rock N Roll and Flash.
Dileep had a big hit with Vinodayatra and good success with Speed Track, but with the flop of July 4, he was no where to be seen for rest of the year. Prithviraj had the biggest hit of the year and his first hit as a solo hero with Chocolate. With Kangaroo doing well the trade circles have now accepted him as a bankable hero. Suresh Gopi too had a hit with Nadiya Kollapetta Rathri, but most of his other movies were clones of each other barely registering any difference in the human brain. Producer Lal tried his best to make Naren the next hero, but that Panthaya Kozhi did not fly. Jayaram had some releases, but it did not make anyone happy.
Other movies which deserves mention include Thaniye, which saw Nedumudi Venu doing what he does best – playing an old man. Then haven’t we seen enough of this genre?
M. Padmakumar and Prithviraj united to make another hard hitting movie on the system – Vasthavam, Amal Neerad showed us some stylish visuals in Big-B and Major Ravi bought a unique story to the screen with Mission 90 days.
Among the heroines, it was Meera Jasmine who stood out with a commercial hit – Vinodayatra and one with a terrific performance – Ore Kadal. Compared to that the rest of the crowd did not have much to do. Lakshmi Gopalaswamy acted in two excellent movies – Thaniye and Paradesi, but since both did not achieve commercial success, she did not get noticed. Kavya got the chance of a life time with Naalu Pennungal, but for rest of the year she was doing those run of the mill movies like Inspector Garuda, Kangaroo, and Nadiya Kollapetta Rathri. Bhavana had a hit in Chotta Mumbai, Gopika had Mayavi, and Roma had Chocolate. Bhama made her debut with Nivedyam and will soon be acting with all the senior citizens of Malayalam cinema.
Jayasurya showed that he can do well with negative characters in Kangaroo and Hareendran. Vinayan kept on dumping inane movies one after the other and director Kamal seems to have lost his mojo with Goal and Lohithadas with Nivedyam. The Kalabhavan Mani small scale industry produced some movies, but it did not register any shakes on the richter scale.
2007 was an uneventful year for Malayalam cinema. There were a few good movies, a few commercial successes and a large number of bad movies.