A Blog on Cinema

Can glossy songs help Malayalam Cinema?


“Why is it that Tamil and Telugu dubbed films have taken Kerala by storm? It is only because of the way the songs are picturised and the glossy packaging. Similarly we are trying something that will attract our youth.”

That is the analysis from Director Jayaraj on what is happening in Kerala. It is no secret that movies like Pokiri, Shivaji, Dhoom 2, Om Shanti Om and various dubbed Telugu movies have done very well in Kerala while many good Malayalam movies have flopped miserably. Most of those hit movies lack story and are an insult to human intelligence, but it is a fact that they did better than most Mohanlal movies.

Then is it just the way songs are picturized and glossy packaging that matters as Jayaraj says? If so “By the People” should have been a major hit. Kamal and Joshi have tried songs filmed in foreign locales, but even that did not help. So what can be done?

Says Alex George of Central Pictures: “The only way to stop the tidal wave of Telugu and Tamil films is to make films like ‘Of the People’ on a limited budget to bring back our youth audiences.”

Viewers go to see movies like Shivaji and Dhoom knowing that they would not have any decent story, but would have extravagance to compensate for it. The extravagance is not just in the way songs are visualized, but in almost every aspect of the film. The stunts, though highly cartoonish are stylishly presented. The heroines, often Malayalees, are seen in minimal clothing, which is something even the most glossy packaged Malayalam films don’t have.

If you try to make movies in a limited budget as Alex George says, that poverty will be evident through out the movie. For example, the cost of filming the Athiradee song would be the cost of two Jayaraj movies. Malayalam films cannot be big budget and so that has to be compensated with  something of a decent story or something “fun” like what happens in Shafi movies. If you just film glossy songs, people will be happy watching it on TV. To get viewers to the theater, you need something more.


  1. Andhra and Tamil Auidience are not-comparable to the people in Kerala. Upnorth crowd, Telugu and Tamil crowd are a bunch of people who expect pure entertainment…Music, dance masti and are mostly illiterates or half studies done dudes! 🙂

    Malayalees are people who used to read widely and more sensible. Today’s malayalee youth got tangled in soft porn from Shakeela and team.

    Our movie masters are completely responsible for letting the Kerala audience’s this “drifted interest”.

    Bollywood, Tollywood and Kollywwod are opportunist industry. They saw a very good chance to enter Kerala and we simply lost to them.

    The bad thing about the whole situation is, all our movie makers in Kerala are people who read, write, and think a lot and cannot make in-sensible movies at all.

    Their success to today’s spoiled crowd in Kerala is doubtful…

    Today good directors like Jayaraj want to try Tamil & Telugu style movies for basic survival… they will end up making soft porn with shakeela for the same…. “basic survival”


  2. Fast numbers will work for films made with limited budget because there will be good crowd for two three days.Films with small budget will get sucess with this formulae.
    Malayalam audiance (excluding youngsters)
    not only look for entertainment but some thing more.
    The reason for malayalam film industry’s suffering is not that there are slow,melodious songs but directors who can’t feel audiance pulse and poor marketing skills also.

    Tamil and telegu style movies are not going to work always until and unless there is some skin show, actresses wearing less clothes.

    Technically hollywood movies are much superior than tamil or telegu movies but yet they fail in kerala.

  3. Last year there was a Kalabhavan Mani movie with ample skin show by Rambha. Now we don’t even remember the name.

    Agni Sharman, You say Malayalees are well read are sensible. Then you come up with insulting generalizations like
    Upnorth crowd, Telugu and Tamil crowd are a bunch of people who expect pure entertainment…Music, dance masti and are mostly illiterates or half studies done dudes!
    What good is your literacy if you cannot respect other human beings?

  4. uff guys, tamil had mozhi, chennai 600028, paruthiveeran, katrathu tamizh – all movies with good story content, this year(also hits). It also had a Shivaji, Billa.

    What I want to say is, if you are making 60 odd some movies, you should make movies to cover all these segments. Also, I find that Malayalam movies of the past few years are nowhere near to their golden era of 80’s & early 90’s in terms of quality.

    Malayalm movies also somehow are trying to retain the antique look of their movies by using the technologies of 80’s & 90’s still. It is a visual medium god, exploit that. You ought to evolve in every technique.

  5. Yes, I strongly believe that good picturisation adds a lot of value to a song. Even the worst of songs can look good if the director has the talent to visualise it well. And as Sachita has mentioned above, we need to make use of the technical advancements more because that’s ultimately where the “gloss” lies in.

  6. I agree with Sachita. Our audience is also as diverse as Tamil/Telugu/Hindi audience in what they want from a movie. Its not true that *all* Malayali audience want only meaningful and realistic stories. Agreed that in Malayalam, we have a better audience for serious artistic movies. But we still have (and should have) audience who like fun, fast, visual based movies.

    So why not also produce fast-paced, visually appealing fun movies to cater to such audience? Is’nt it better than Tamil/Telugu/Hindi movies making money out of Kerala by catering to such audience? It will not do any harm to people who like only serious movies.

    I really liked the visuals of “lajjavathiye” and the songs itself. The song, even though mixed with some English rap, is pure Indian melody (raga SindhuBhairavi).

  7. The debate is not if glossy pictures are required (Answer: yes), the debate is if glossy pictures will run well in Malayalam (Answer: No). Lajjavathiye definitely helped that movie, but after that how many movies have been pulled up by glossy songs? For Tamil & dubbed Telugu movies, it seems to be a different set of rules.

  8. For Tamil/Telugu movies Kerala means some extra income and so support from a section of audience is enough. Glossy songs and skin show will get that section.

    But for a malayalam movie to be successful it need to attract multiple sections. MasalaAudience, Youngsters, Class and Family.

    When a movie like Classmates attract Youngsters and family it succeeds. So does Mass+Family in Mayavi/Hello.

  9. to all my malayalee friends!who said tamils and telugu people are illiterate people!they are also same human beings like u mallus.their population is far more than yours! and u should stop making cheap shakeela porn!

  10. who said Telugu and Tamil movies make only visually stunning…complete entertainment.

    they do make meaningful cinema…which are completely logical.

    telugu and tamil cinema has all kinds of movies i.e MASS MASALA type,suspense thrillers(now many telugu movies r cming with these type)

    MALAYAM cinema should also try every thing…making arty type of movies is not favour of this generation….those days r gone long back.

    now commercial cinema rulzz

    malayalam cinema have very good stories but the major entertainment value is missing.

  11. It is time for Agni sharman to swallow his own words. He claims his clan is literate , sensible and blah blah ….. but by his own admission, they love only shakeela and reshma. That is the “best” these “literate, sensible” people could produce and watch. you should have explored the malayalees penchat for vulgarity and indecency instead of pretending to be a smart ass.

  12. why do want glossy songs in the film? i only want sincere, realistic and more variety of films. I dont think song as anything to do with films. songs can develop on its own..let them make albums and release it with glossy videos..micheal jackson has not sung in any movies i think…

  13. @ Deepak
    “Malayalees are people who used to read widely and more sensible.”
    I used past tense to compare my father’s generation with mine. See obviously I am literate but insensible 🙂

    Education has nothign to do with respectinig other human beings. If you have been to kerala you will find some of rudest of people there 🙂

    When one is more educated, he/she knows how to commit a crime without being caught legally. For the same reasons Shakeela movie makers thrived.

    @ gen12
    Malayalam movie industry started to make Shakeela and Reshma (both from Andhra) famous by making movies with them, while Telugu industry used them only behind the scenes LOL

    @ Deepak and @ gen12
    What ever I expresses here is of my own opinon and has nothing to do with Malayalees across the globe. Each one has his/her own opinin and freedom to express it. I did it here!

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