The year started with Navya Nair getting married. Wisely she did not go to honeymoon in Egypt.
After facing a bad year in 2009, with only 10 movies making money out of the 79 released, Malayalam cinema made a bold move. They experimented by releasing a lousy movie with the number 2010 added to it. The movie, Drona 2010, written by A K Sajan and directed by Shaji Kailas flopped miserably, but adding 2010 helped the public because they could differentiate between the lousy Hindi one and the lousy Malayalam one. Giving it tough competition was a film which brings bottomless to bottomless pit – “Senior Mandrake” which looked “like a lackluster production for TV that suddenly ran out of funds.”
Bad movies can only cause a slow demise. To accelerate the death of the film industry, you need politics. As usual Thilakan came to the rescue. He accused a superstar of preventing him from acting in Christian Brothers. We are sure that superstar is none other than Tom Hanks since there is always an American conspiracy to every event in Kerala.
Meanwhile Happy Husbands turned out to be the first hit of 2010. It did not have any superstars, but had four minor stars and more than four heroines. It was colorful. It was funny. More important – it was better than Drona 2010 and Senior Mandrake.
In January, Sathyan Anthikkad, the man who is still able to make hit films with Jayaram, started work on his latest film. The film which has emotions, sentiments and humor is different from his other films which had emotions, sentiments and humor. The expected release is April.
In January Cochin Haneefa, the veteran actor of Malayalam and Tamil cinema, left earth to join Rajan P Dev, Murali and Sathyan who live in Pandora where they show better movies and the bajji is free. Meanwhile on TV, Idea Star Singer started their 212th stage with three new rounds – songs composed by Illayaraja at age 47, Swahili devotional songs and Duet with the ISS cameraman.
February started with Jayaram declaring that he is a Tamilian. So for all Malayalis who thought he was a fellow Malayali – Sorry. This state change was a fallout of some dark humor. On TV he mentioned that he would not be attracted to his maid because “My maid is a dark, fat buffalo-like Tamil woman. How can I even look at her?”. The only way to escape the situation was to be Tamil himself. One Tamilian insulting another Tamilian. Problem solved. He is now in great demand as a political consultant.
February was also the month in which Malayalam Cinema made some strategic moves. Analyzing last years movies they found that even M&M cannot guarantee a film. 20-20 was a hit. So make as many miniature 20-20s as possible. This is a sureshot strategy exemplified by the success of Happy Husbands. So shooting started for movies like Pokkiri Raja (Mammotty-Prithviraj), Christian Brothers (Mohanlal, Dileep, Sharath Kumar). The iceberg which is waiting for the Titanic called Malayalam Cinema has to wait.
A quick look at the box office results showed that Shafi’s Chattambinadu was still making money and was at the No 1 position. Second was Avatar. Both Bodyguard and Drona 2010 went to the dustbin. Much awaited movie of February was Kamal’s Agathan, which went to the place where recent Kamal movies go – the barnyard up in the sky.
Mammotty did not say Thilakan was nuts, but AMMA – the judge and executioner of Malayalam cinema did. Innocent asked Thilakan to apologize. Thilakan asked Communist Party to interneve. Communist Party asked Thilakan who are you? Then Sukumar Azhikode jumped into the fray and said Mohanlal’s romantic scenes are obscene to which Namitha got offended. The public wanted this to be made into a movie called 30-30.
Meanwhile on TV, Idea Star Singer progressed to the 213th stage, where all candidates we put in the elimination round and then restored back using various excuses. Mayans probably saw this and predicted the end of the world to put an end to this program.
Some thinkers think that Superstars are the bane of Malayalam cinema. Just replace them and flowers will rain from the heaven and Urvashi, Rambha & Mumaith Khan will dance all around. Just like how Tom throws a live dynamite to Jerry’s face, Malayalam Cinema threw four new movies on the face of those thinkers: Cheriya Kallanum Valiya Policeum, Nanthuni, Kausthubham and Valiyangadi. The thinkers threw those movies back at Malayalam Cinema and there was a loud explosion to Scott Bradley’s music.
Thilakan vs Alphabet Soup organizations was still the biggest news in March. Various pedestrians like Vellapally Nadesan, Late Veerappan, all jumped into the fight and Malayalam news channels gave proper publicity to this feud. If this was made into a movie, it would have fared better than Cheriya Kallanum Valiya Policeum, Nanthuni, Kausthubham and Valiyangadi.
One of the hyped up movies was Nayakan. This was not Maniratnam’s Nayakan, but a local variant in which Indrajith plays a Kathakali artiste “, who has to wage a battle against a world of crime and injustice“. This is quite different from films like Puthiyamugham and Chess because the heroine is different. Then guess what. It turned out to be a decent movie.
Looking for divine inspiration to save Malayalam Cinema, the industry turned towards two people who know the pulse of Malayalis. These people have been in every possible situation you can imagine and have an opinion on everything under the sun. We are talking of Boban and Moly.
Malayalam Cinema has two thinkers: Mammootty and Prithviraj. If you have listened to any of their interviews,(samples here and here), they have an opinion on everything from how to repair the Hubble telescope to eradicate flooding in Machu Picchu. One talent they both lost in March was in reading scripts. Mammotty acted in a movie called Pramani which was a poor man’s version of Parunthu, which was a poor man’s version of Vargam, which was a poor man’s version of Devasuram. Prithviraj meanwhile acted in a movie called Thanthonni which was a clone of Puthiyamugham and various Jayan movies. Worse, there were suggestions that Prithviraj was aping Mohanlal and many scenes were chopped from the movie. Both movies(Pramaani and Thanthonni) collected firewood, lay on top, and lit the pyre themselves.
While Malayalam cinema continued providing the same fare and wondering why movies are flopping, Idea Star Singer moved to the 214th stage, where again all candidates were again put in elimination round and restored back. This time viewers who had died during stage 1 and reincarnated were also added as new contestants.