Quirky AF Malayalam Movies From The 80s & 90s

If you’ve been binge-watching stuff through the lockdown, you must’ve started running out of things to watch. Or maybe you’re looking for something a tad bit different from what’s made these days. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few quirky movies from the past that might interest you.

Orkkappurathu

Orkkappurathu is a hilarious movie about a father-son duo who run small cons to make ends meet and to reclaim their boat. At one point they bite off more than they can chew and the rest of the movie follows the hilarity that ensues.

Highlights: 

  • Director-Writer Ranjith’s debut as a writer.
  • The movie has no songs, a rarity at the time.
  • Mohanlal and Nedumudi Venu as Anglo Indian father-son are a match made in heaven.
  • Thilakan and KP Ummer are amazing in this movie.

Pappan Priyappetta Pappan

Kaalan commits a clerical error and reaps the wrong Pappan’s soul. The wrong Pappan can’t be sent back to earth as his body is already disposed of. He can’t stay in Yamalokam because he’s going to be a nuisance to the other souls. The rest of the movie deals with how Kaalan and Pappan try to resolve this error.

Highlights:

  • Sathyan Anthikkad movie starring Rahman, Mohanlal, and Lissie.
  • People who say that the recent “Iblis” dealt with matters of life before death, clearly have not seen this movie!
  • Thilakan as Kaalan is a mood. 

O’ Faby 

A boy comes across a creature that is visible only to him and befriends it. The creature, called Faby, helps him become cool in others’ eyes. Basically Koi Mil Gaya, but with Faby instead of Jaadoo. 

Highlights:

  • This is the first movie in India to have a completely animated character.
  • This is the first live action-animation hybrid movie in India.
  • Ram Mohan, pioneer of the Indian Animation scene did the animation for this movie. 
  • Watch it only for the novelty value, because this movie did not age well.

Panchavadi Palam

This movie focuses on local politics and corrupt politicians, with fragile egos, who tamper with the Panchavadi Palam (the MacGuffin* in this movie).

Highlights

  • It is a political satire written and directed by the legendary KG George and was way ahead of its time.
  • The names of the characters are derived from Indian Mythology and the Bible (Dushshasana Kurupp, Shikandi Pillai, Mandothari, Rahel, Yudaskunj, etc.)
  • Some might say this is a better political satire than Sandesham, essentially making this a Sandesham Pro Max, but I’d like to think of Sandhesham as Panchavadi Paalam Lite.

*Wanna know what a MacGuffin is? Check out our post about MacGuffins in Malayalam cinema.

Dr Pasupathy

Late 80s and early 90s Malayalam cinema had a ton of movies set around a village and its colourful characters. This is one of them. The entire village is ecstatic about the arrival of a new vet, but little do they know that the vet is actually a con man running his latest con.

Highlights

This movie is on the list because it marks the first collaboration between Shaji Kailas and Renji Panikkar, and this is the only movie of this genre they’ve done before going on to do classics like The King, Ekalavyan, Mafia, and The Commissioner.

As with all the late 80’s Malayalam movies set around a group of villagers, the ensemble of actors is in top form.

Mandanmmar Londanil

This Sathyan Anthikkad movie, shot primarily in London, is about 5 local Kala Samithi members who go to London and get stranded there, and have to adapt and survive in a foreign country without the ability to speak or understand the language.

Highlights

One of those movies with no big names attached and rested solely on the performances of Jagathy, Nedumudi Venu, Sankaradi, Bahadoor, and Jalaja. Now imagine them in London!

Sakshal Sreeman Chathunni

The movie is about two unemployed goofballs played by Jagadeesh and Baiju who accidentally come across a Genie and the rest of the movie follows the trio’s adventures.

Highlights

It’s a fun movie with a template similar to that of My Dear Kuttichathan. But Innocent as a genie who likes to mess around with people is fun to watch.

Naradhan Keralathil

Naradhan Keralathil is a satirical movie and the plot is self-explanatory. 

Highlights

One cannot imagine a movie like this being made in the current socio-political climate, mainly due to the kind of jokes aimed at Malayali Culture, People, Religion, and Gods. 

We know that there are other wacky films we haven’t covered here. So keep adding to this list in the comments section!

You might also like: Quirky Af Films That You May Have Missed at the Theatres

Shahbaz M
I see movies, I talk about it.

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