While y’all are staying at home, refraining from stepping out and literally scrambling through each day, there would be moments when you feel uneasy and paranoid about this indefinite lockdown. As if the nail-biting and banging-head-on-the-wall kinda moments in our lives aren’t enough, the high-pitched, appalling and dramatic debates and field reporters on news channels and depressing social media updates just add on to it. While it’s important to stay safe, I cannot emphasize enough on the fact that it is equally important to stay sane too. If you’re one of those who think embracing the new normal is biting off more than you can chew, then machane, you really need to take a chill pill! And what better way to do that than binge-watch some of these mood uplifting Malayalam movies.
Pranchiyettan and the Saint
This is one of those movies that soars your spirits high up through its sheer storytelling capabilities and effortless performance by Mammooty. And let’s not forget the way he naturally nailed the Thrissur slang. You know you’re in for a treat right from the moment you see the opening soulful conversation between Pranchi and Saint Francis to the childhood-adulthood rivalry chemistry between Pranchi and Dr. Jose. The bitingly satirical dialogues, Pranchi’s unfruitful antics at hankering social acceptance and the final revelation that money is not the shortcut to achieving honors strike a chord with all audiences alike.
“Chin up, shoulder down.
Chin down, chin podik up
oru podik koodi
Ah! Eyes open… ready!”
If there is a movie that oozes out authenticity in each of its frames, it is Maheshinte Prathikaaram. Packed with finely-threaded elements of comedy and action, this movie regales the tale of a small-town, gentle commoner who gets in the midst of a harmless tiff only to be badly thrashed in the marketplace. Set in the backdrop of the picturesque hilly town in Idukki, this movie is centered around vengeance – not in the conventional way that it reeks of hatred and violence, but it gives you the essence of humor and light-heartedness.
Okay, so maybe you had a crappy day at work or a tiff with your friend. Even worse, your sweetheart has walked out on you! No matter what the scene is, a nerve-wracked Kunju desperately trying to calm herself by sharing a smoke with her cousin, Aju is enough to get you flashing a 30mm indulgent smile. Despite appearing on Asianet Movies every week or every other week, this is one movie that temporarily halts my channel hopping. Youthful, quirky and entertaining, this movie is a celebration of friendship and an out-and-out feel-good movie, all thanks to the directorial brilliance, accurate casting and the live-wire character sketches.
Every time I think of this movie, 4 words pop into my head – Koykkodu beach, sulaimani, biryani, and uppupa. Though these words alone don’t create enough magic, the spectacular journey of these combinations can take you on! This is a heart-touching movie that has all the ingredients for instant happiness –food, love, comedy, and family bonds. Team it up with an amazing script by Anjali Menon, natural, memorable acting by Thilakan and DQ and adorn it with some mouth-watering shots of DQ lifting the ‘dum’ off his biryani – there, I have just indulged in a massive feast!
I fell in love with the concept of smitten-by-love-at-first-sight twice. The first was when I watched the cheesy Sudhi falling for the timid Mini when they chance upon the same book at a bookstore. And the second was when I witnessed the endearingly romantic tale of the “Ummachikuttiye premicha nair”. Helmed by Vineeth Sreenivasan, Thattathin Maraythu is a movie that snaps you out of reality, takes you on a dreamy ride and leaves you with a warm feeling within. Another aspect of this movie that blows your mind away is the melodiously composed soundtracks and background scores. One of these harmonious background tunes struck such an apt chord that Shaan Rahman recreated it in the much-talked-about “finger-gun kiss” scene in Oru Adaar Love.
The warmth this movie exudes is incomparable. It wouldn’t be fair if I skip mentioning the kind of inspiration the scenes of this movie bring to one. One such scene is where Jacob, the enterprising businessman bonds with his son over a bottle of wine on the terrace while motivating him to explore the endless options that life has generously laid in front of him. Equally enthralling is the way the siblings bond during a crisis and another big charm of the movie unravels when Jacob’s wife steps in to spur hope to her children and take charge of the situation at hand. It is very rare when a movie makes you feel good, floors you and teaches you some life lessons at the same time.
It’s not always that the tagline of a movie stays in your mind even after 7 years. But in the case of Amen, it begs to differ! Maybe it is because this movie completely lived up to its tagline – “a divine comedy”. Though the movie starts on an unapologetically shitty note (pun intended) it manages to weave an unalloyed and fascinating “Kuttanadan” tale. Solomon, the clarinet player’s futile efforts to revive the village band to its deserving glory is truly an appealing celebration of satirical triumph. A delight to watch is the chemistry between the meek and innocent Solomon and the bold and “tough nut to crack” Shoshanna and so is the ethereally beautiful Kumaramkari backwaters.
Ohm Shanthi Oshaana
The cute, chirpy, bubbly teenager Pooja stirs you as a whiff of fresh air right from scene one. This is a coming-of-age story of one determined girl’s single-handed efforts in getting the man-of-her-dreams to fall for her. While the plot sounds quite mushy or Mills-and-Boony, this movie literally grows on you from the moment you watch it. For one, it is not your usual boy-meets-girl cliché, rather the reverse of it! And another, Pooja is not one of those cringe-worthy I-will-give-up-my-world-for-you blind romantic character. Through this movie, we see her budding journey into a fine, young doctor with whom her Giriyettan would anyway have fallen for her with zilch efforts. Whether you are a teenager or in your 50s, you will surrender to this one with a fond smile, for sure!
Now that this year has ended even before it began, number 10 is definitely going to be one from 2020. An unconditionally clean entertainer, Varane Avashyamund is the kind of movie you gotta watch before you hit the pillow. It is a blend of everything nice – terrific casting, ample amounts of humor, much-awaited comebacks of the duo Shobhana and Suresh Gopi, right doses of drama, and depiction of subtle emotions. One can’t stop awe-ing about the fact that debutant director Anoop Anthikad makes one feel hearty through the resemblance his movie’s treatment has with the typical Anthikad formula. This movie gushes simplicity and genuineness while it focuses on complicated human relationships in the most straightforward manner possible. No major twists, no masalas, no muscle-flexing – this is one movie that would make you feel as light as a feather inside!