We see big names in a film and immediately jump in to grab our tickets only to be disappointed later. And sometimes we accidentally come across super hits that have no popular faces but manage to entertain us with their refreshing narrative. Though big names and marketing may influence the success of the film, in the end, everything comes down to content. Here are five Malayalam movies that defied the odds and relied entirely on content and presentation to emerge as sleeper hits. These super hits have managed to garner worldwide accreditation, proving that the quality of content matters.
Operation Java (2021)
Operation Java did not have highly popular faces and was released at a time when theatres were slowly recovering from the pandemic shock. Drawing inspiration from real-life cases, the film follows a set of cyber investigations that happen in a cyber cell in Kochi. The cases they investigate are mainly related to job fraud, robbery and film piracy. The film, through its intriguing narrative, was able to build up excitement and curiosity and was successful in keeping us thoroughly engaged. Word of mouth publicity was the main source of success for Operation Java. The way the film handles all the storytelling and the addition of themes like unemployability issues among the youth helped create an emotional connection with the audience.
Malayalam cinema’s tryst with fantasy drama hasn’t seen much success over the years. To date, there have been a handful of movies that have experimented with this genre. Ithihasa happens to be one of them. A petty thief and a conservative software engineer get their bodies swapped when they wear magical rings. The story was refreshing and the humor quotient also keeps up with our expectations. Shine Tom Chacko and Anusree also deliver brilliant performances, leaving everyone impressed.
Urumbukal Urangarilla (2015)
It is the creativity in the name of the film that catches our attention. The film did not have any big names and yet it managed to become a success because of a strong storyline. The film doesn’t offer any surprises but manages to entertain us, making it worth our time. It tells the story of a couple of thieves and the events they encounter in their pursuit of theft.
We weren’t used to seeing Biju Menon as the lead in a Malayalam movie and maybe that’s why the expectation from Vellimoonga was initially low. But this political satire turned out to be a surprising hit proving us all wrong. The film also gave actor Biju Menon a career revival, making him a promising name in the industry once again. The crisp command over humor and satire made Vellimoonga a satisfying comedy-drama. It ended up being the highest-grossing Malayalam movie of that year.
Thinkalazcha Nischayam (2021)
A film with almost no familiar faces can emerge successful only through word of mouth publicity. For Thinkalazcha Nischayam, it was not just that, but also the prestigious win at the 51st Kerala State Film Award that added to the popularity of the film. The film had an OTT release on SonyLIV, a platform that wasn’t popular among the Malayali audience. But good films are always appreciated, no matter where they release and Thinkalazcha Nischayam got its deserved victory. Director Senna Hegde had initially planned to film this movie in Kannada. Lucky for us, we got to keep this gem!
Are you a fan of one of these super hits? Let us know in the comments why you liked watching them.