The conjecture is that the growth of tamizh and most other cinemas is what market-mechanism ensures when fueled by the inflow of money and the absence of impedance from AMMA-type gundaism. In contrast, the growth of malayALam cinema during 1980s was due to the presence of a tiny bunch of talented, yet not other-worldly ( in the Aravindan/Adoor sense ) directors/technicians/actors – I mean bharatan, padmarAjan etc. – whose sheer talent and appeal were powerful enough to uplift an entire movie industry – in other words, it was rather fortuitous coincidence that this small bunch were born in Kerala and managed to get together. Once these people passed away/aged/entered a creativity-drought there was none left to pull the rest up, and things went back to where they would have been if the geniuses didn’t exist and unionism existed.[Indian Panorama – Malayalam movies galore]
froginthewell asked that question in the comments question about the golden age of Malayalam Cinema.
A lot of credit, as he rightly pointed out, goes to Bharatan and Padmarajan for uplifting the quality of Malayalam cinema. While Padmarajan was a writer as well as a director, Bharatan was not. Directors of those era were helped a lot by great scripts by MT Vasudevan Nair, T Damodaran and later by Lohithadas. Directors like IV Sasi too made some excellent socially relevant movies during that period.
Later there was the Sreenivasan-Sathyan Anthikkad-Priyadarshan type comedy, which were dark and socially relevant. These movies did not fly above the head like various Adoor/Aravindan movies, but connected with people. People were able to idenitify with the protagonists and their issues.
Once Padmarajan died, MT stopped writing for a while, Priyadarshan discovered Hollywood movies and Sathyan Anthikkad became a master of cliches, the field was taken over by the Shaji Kailas, Shafi, Rafi-Mecartin types. Their movies were entertaining in one sense, but were repetitive and predictable.
Lohithadas too seems to have lost his mojo and the last standing writer of that era is Srinivasan who is able to churn out movies like Katha Parayumbol, which still connect with the masses.Right now a director like Lal Jose alone is able to churn out a hit film called Oru Arabikatha based on Iqbal Kuttipuram’s script with Srinivasan as the hero. This is rare.
Right now the superstars are into mindless comedy, super man movies. Producers too want only them because they have a minimum guarantee. Hopefully a bunch of great talent will burst out – the souls of Bharatan and Padmarajan would have reincarnated somewhere — and save us from Anil-Babu and the likes.
What do you think?