A Blog on Cinema

Best Malayalam Movies of 2013


It’s that time of the year where we crib about the best and the worst of the passing year.The first one in a series of posts,here’s my list of this year’s Best Malayalam Films. [- NikhiMenon]


This KunchakkoBoban-BijuMenon starrer (partly inspired by the Robert De Niro-Sean Penn starrer ‘We are Not Angels’)told the comical story of two thieves who had to disguise themselves as Priests inorder to escape from the eyes of the Law.Though the script had it’s own share of flaws it was the terrific comic timing of the lead cast that made ‘Romans’ worth a watch.

Okay,let’s put it bluntly-this Mamootty Film fromLal Jose was nowhere near the team’s earliest offering-‘OruMaravathoorKanavu’ (which incidentally was also the director’s debut venture as an independent film maker).Neither was it a worthy successor to the director’s previous outing,the critically and commercially acclaimed ‘AyalumNjanumThammil’(which also won him last year’s Kerala State Award for the Best Director)but still this Movie managed to find a place in this list because it achieved what it intended to be-a decent family entertainer.It was also the only decent film in which Superstar Mammootty had acted this year.

Directed by debutant Alphonse Puthren,Neram narrated some strange incidents happening in the life of an un- employed lad named Mathew(NivinPauly).The movie had a wafer thin story to say but it was the brilliant making by the talented director(ably supported with a highly believable performance by Nivin) which made it a really enjoyable affair.The fresh-pairing of NivinPauly and NazriyaNaazim also worked to it’s advantage.

Director Ranjith Shankar’s most successful film till date,’PunyalanAgarbathies’ was the tale of Joy Thakkolkaran,an ambitious youngster who dreams of being an ‘Ambani’ by selling Agarbathies made out of Elephant Dung.The movie which reminded us of the good old eightees when the SatyanAnthikkadu-Sreenivasan-Lalettan combo used to make meaningful social satires laced with humour and family sentiments.Never preachy or boring,PunyalanAgarbathies co-produced by Jayasurya himself was a runaway success.
6.Philips and The Monkey Pen
When was the last time that a really good Malayalam Children’s film made you laugh and cry at the same time?Though there were the odd gems like T.D.Dasan VI.B(directed by Late Mohan Raghavan) or 101 Chodyangal(directed by Siddharth Shiva), most of the recent Malayalee attempts in making movies for Children were eminently forgettable(including the mamooth budgeted ‘Magic-Magic 3D’ from Navodaya).Director Duo Rojin Philip and ShanilMuhammed’s Philips and the Monkey Pen was a sweet little film which was thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining.But the real star of the film was Master Sanoop who played Ryan Philip to perfection.
5.Mumbai Police-

Written by Sanjay-Bobby and directed by Roshan Andrews this Prithviraj-Jayasurya-Rahman starrer was a critical as well as commercial success.Exploring the taboo theme of same-sex love,’Mumbai Police’ is undoubtedly one of the pathbreaking films in recent times.Prithviraj as Antony Mosses IPS gave a splendid performance as the Police Officer who is suffering from an identity crisis/existential crisis.Devoid of any songs or crass jokes,the movie was also technically slick with a highly competent direction by Roshan.
Based on the life of the pioneer of Malayalam Cinema-J.C.Daniel,Kamal’sPrithviraj starrer was not only a big winner when the Kerala State Film Awards for 2012(the Movie was Censored on the 31 st of December,2012 which made it eligible to compete for last year’s Film Awards)were announced early this year but also turned out to be a profitable affair at the ticket counters.Infact Celluloid was also a highly entertaining film with a hilarious first half which was a welcome change from the highly pretentious art house fares that usually shines in the awards/festival circuits.Prithviraj played J.C’s role to perfection while new comer Chandni who played the role of Rosi,Malayalam Cinema’s first heroine also did her part well.
Veteran director Shyamaprasad made a strong comeback through his FahadFazil-Ann Augustine starrer ‘Artist’ which told the story of a self -centered,egoistic painter-Michel Agnelo(Fahad)and his live-in partner Gayathri(Ann).Adapted from a novel by ParitoshUttam(‘Dreams in Prussian Blue’,published by Penguin India-metro reads),Artist tried to explore the themes of solitude,alienation and selfless love.ThoughFahad was good as Micheal it was Ann Augustine who stole the show with a career best performance as the confused and impulsive Gayu who is hopelessly lost in Love.The movie also introduced us a talented new comer,SreeramRamachandran who played Abhi-the friend with sinister plans.

Though this Prithviraj starrer was the least hyped among the Ramzan releases it turned out to be the highest grosser among the other Malayalam Movies which got released during that season.A Psychological thriller written and directed by JeethuJoseph,’Memories’ visualised certain episodes in the life of a police officer.Though the story had shades of Aamir Khan’s ‘Talaash’,Mohanlal’s ‘Grandmaster’ and Anitha Nair’s mystery thriller ‘Cut Like Wound’,it was JeethuJoseph’s brilliant execution and Prithviraj’s towering performance as Sam Alex,the I.P.S. officer with a troubled past that ensured success for the Movie.
Jeethu Joseph’s Mohanlal starrer ‘Drishyam’ is a cinematic triumph by all means.Brilliantly scripted and flawlessly directed,Drishyam is that kind of film which will be talked about by the Malayalee movie goers for a very long time.Thespectacular tale of an illiterate farmer(Georgekutty,played by Mohanlal) and his  struggles to protect his family from the inevitable collapse.I would rate Drishyam as Jeethu’s best work till date both as a writer and a director.It’s a brilliant edge-of-the seat thriller which is totally worth your time and money!


  1. I think north 24 katham should find a place in your top10. I would whole heartedly remove Immanuel ( unless u want to put a mammootty movie). I think your list is a good unbiased one.

  2. I personally feel that this compilation has missed out way too many gems from 2013….a splendidly relevant movie like “Left Right Left” which was also one of the best political genre movies in recent times has been omitted…its a pity that a serious list such as this discarded “Left Right Left” and some real quality movies for average fares like “Emmanuel” and “Romans” … some far more worthy contenders are out there namely “North 24”, “Annayum Rasoolum”, “Kunjananthante Kada”, “Amen”, “Neelakasham Pachakadal”, “Shutter”…

  3. I think ‘North 24 kaatham’ and ‘Neelakasham’ should have also found a place in this list.

  4. Thanks for commenting.The above list is strictly my personal opinion.And as far as Neelakasham,left right left were concerned,i simply didn’t feel that they were worthy enough of being included in this list,the first one because it didn’t have an engaging screenplay(moreover it also tried to wrongly portray the ethnic clashes between bodos and the natives of the north east as a communal clash which was an extremely childish and incorrect way of interpreting things).About left right left,for me it was a movie which was made with the sole intention of certain politicians in bad light.The celebrated critics might call it as a ‘piece of art’ or even a cinematic gem,but the ordinary movie fanatic in me couldn’t see it that way.

    Ps- I am not a communist,btw!

  5. cinefundoo..

    i hadn’t seen north 24 kaatham at the time of writing this list.But now after having watched the movie also,i feel that though Fahad,Nedumudi Venu were excellent in the film,the movie at best was an above average film.About immanuel,i do agree that it was also an average film,but somehow i liked it very much

  6. Emmanuel was just a disappointing mishmash of a whole lot of other movies (for example, Pursuit of Happyness). It should be on the worst movies list. Too bad it took the place of Shutter on your list. Agree with the other entries. Can’t say anything about Romans as I have not seen it.

  7. Why didn’t Amen find a place in the Top 10

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