As a collective, Malayalis have embraced cinema as an integral part of our culture. We are drawn to the dramatization, strong performances, edgy narratives and crisp dialogues that string a film together.
It is interesting to note that while we have fictional films that are purely born out of a writer’s imagination, Mollywood has also gifted us movies that are rooted in real life.
Some of the movies which are inspired by real-life include:
Virus is one of the most important films of 2019. Pegged as Mollywood’s venture into medical thrillers, this movie was centered on the outbreak of Nipah virus in Kerala in 2018. With an airtight script and a stellar cast, Virus showcases the harrowing details of one of the worst medical calamities faced by the State.
Take Off (2017)
‘Take Off’, one of the most gripping movies of all time, was based on an actual incident in 2014, where 49 nurses were captured and held hostage by violent groups in Tikrit, Iran. The protagonist, Sameera, is inspired by Marina Jose. Marina, a nurse, had connected with Indian authorities and remove the group from the clutches of the terrorists.
Ennu Ninde Moideen (2015)
This poignant love story was based on real-life lovers, Moideen and Kanchanamala, in the 1960s. This heartwarming tale made us root for the protagonists and shed a tear because of the tragic end. The movie made a mark in the industry for the beautiful portrayal of the characters and heartwarming chemistry between them.
Celluloid is based on the inspiring story of the father of Malayalam cinema, J.C. Daniel, who created ‘Vigathakumaran’ – the first film of the Malayalam movie industry. Celluloid captures the elaborate struggles that the filmmaker experienced to acquire film equipment and to connect with other leading names in the industry. It also highlights the societal backlash of casting P.K. Rosie, who belonged to a low socio-economic background.
Khaddama depicts the painful journey of a woman who works as a housekeeper in Saudi Arabia. Rooted in the real-life experience of Subaida, the movie showcases lesser-known side of women who have struggled through abuse and torture while trying to make ends meet.
Paleri Manikyam: Oru Pathirakolapathakatthinde Katha (2009)
The movie delves deep into the murder of a young girl called Manikyam from the village Paleri, which was the first recorded case of sexual harassment in Kerala. The film garnered critical appreciation for the near-perfect depiction of the story and unearthing the mystery around the tragic incident.
Devasuram gave us Malayalis one of the most iconic characters, Mangalasherry Neelakantan. This character was developed from a real-life individual called Mullasherry Rajagopal. Rajagopal was a powerful figure and an ardent lover of music. When he was bedridden for almost decades, his wife’s unconditional care revived his health. This strength of their relationship is portrayed in the movie as well.
Oru CBI Diary Kurup (1988)
The first film in the popular crime thriller series was based on the ‘Polakkulam case’. The murder showcased in the movie resembled the real-life case where the victim’s death was made to look like a suicide.