Many Malayalam filmmakers have made a name for themselves by constantly delivering content in a particular genre. A few among them have dared to change genres and explore the craft. Some have succeeded in creating absolute wonders, some have flopped drastically, while others have made us commend the manner in which they tried to handle the genre. In no particular order, here are six Malayalam filmmakers who dared to venture into the thriller genre and make us go wow with their skills.
Vineeth Sreenivasan (Thira)
If there is anyone who can bring slice-of-life tales to the viewers in a relatable manner, it is undoubtedly Vineeth Sreenivasan. He has a special ability to write characters and stories that are rooted in reality. He also gives a lot of importance to the music in his film, which enhances the film’s quality and popularity. So, when we heard Vineeth was going to helm a thriller film titled Thira, we were quite shocked.
Initially planned as a trilogy, Thira is a thriller that deals with the theme of human trafficking. Co-written with his cousin Rakesh Mantodi, Vineeth does a splendid job in crafting this film. The several filmmaking techniques he incorporated were absolutely phenomenal to watch. In addition to that, he also brought out one of Dhyan Sreenivasan‘s finest acting performances. Though the film had an underwhelming run in the theatres, the movie gained popularity over time. Vineeth surely proved his worth as a director of thriller films and we would surely want to see him helm such a subject often.
Johny Antony (Masters)
Johny Antony is a filmmaker who has given some of the best evergreen comedies in Malayalam, including CID Moosa, Kochi Rajavu, and so on. Known for his filmography that has humor in some form, we all expected Johny Antony to stick to the same genre and deliver hits. However, in 2012, he stepped out of his comfort genre and ventured into the thriller space with the Prithviraj Sukumaran-Sasikumar starrer film Masters.
The film deals with mysterious serial killings that dropped no clue about the murderer or the reason behind the killings. Johny Antony did a great job in handling the excellent script written by Jinu V Abraham. He approached the film in a subtle manner and managed to keep the intensity of the script intact. His ability as a filmmaker was evident through this film and makes us want to see him helm more thrillers if he decides to make a comeback to film direction.
Midhun Manuel Thomas (Anjaam Pathira)
Anjaam Pathira is regarded as one of the finest crime thrillers to come out of Mollywood. But many were surprised to know that the writer-director of this film was Midhun Manuel Thomas, known majorly for his works in comedy such as the Aadu franchise, Alamaara, and Ann Mariya Kalippilaanu. In addition to this, he was also the script writer for Ohm Shanti Oshana. With a knack for writing subjects that are rich in comedy and serve as the perfect entertainers, no one expected Midhun to script a perfect thriller with absolutely no logical loopholes. The way in which he structured the story, built the suspense, and maintained the thrill, clearly showed the filmmaker in him who could handle the genre very well. It has made us all intrigued to watch its announced sequel, Aaram Pathira.
Jis Joy (Innale Vare)
Jis Joy is a filmmaker who is the go-to person for any subject that has a feel-good element to it. He is able to beautifully pack heartwarming moments and intricately tie them together to craft a brilliant story. His films have an element of philosophy in them, which never really goes overboard or to an extent where it gets preachy. The last person who we all thought would venture into the thriller genre was Jis Joy. However, he surprised us all when he announced his maiden thriller film titled Innale Vare.
Set around the kidnapping of a reputed and problematic film star, this Jis Joy thriller wasn’t really the best one in the genre, but it genuinely does get the viewers surprised by the manner in which he handles the genre. The story was very generic and to an extent cliched, but Jis Joy is successful in building a thrilling and intriguing atmosphere for the viewers.
Nadirshah gained prominence for his work in comedy and the mimicry field. From bringing several talented artists and technicians into the industry to building the childhood memories of several individuals, Nadirshah’s contribution is highly remarkable. When he announced that he would be directing a film, many were skeptical about this decision. However, he proved his naysayers wrong by delivering a hit in the form of Amar Akbar Anthony. He then went on to announce that his next project, Eesho, would be an out-and-out thriller. This was quite a surprise for many of us as Nadirshah is a name synonymous with comedy. Though the film didn’t live up to the set standards of a perfect thriller, it proved that Nadirshah is a filmmaker who has the skills to handle the genre efficiently.
Here are my picks of the several Malayalam filmmakers who ventured into the thriller space and surprised us with their ability to handle the genre. Though some of them had given us mediocre films, they did prove their worth as filmmakers and made us intrigued to look forward to their upcoming films in the genre. Who else do you think belongs to the list? Mention them in the comments below.