Mollywood’s Youth Sensations And Their Best Performances

The Malayalam film industry is home to several extraordinarily talented artists. Since the time cinema as a concept had been invented, we have seen different individuals create magic in front of the camera with their acting prowess. Mollywood has been lucky enough to witness legends such as Nazir, Jayan, Madhu, Sheela, Sathyam, Thilakan, Jagathy Sreekumar, Mohanlal, Mammootty and many others. Off late, we have seen new entrants into the fraternity, who have grabbed the attention of the audience with their spectacular performances. Mollywood’s youth sensations have amassed a massive fan following in Kerala.

In no particular order, here are 10 of Mollywood’s youth sensations and their career-best performances, according to me. 

Dulquer Salmaan

Being the son of legendary actor Mammootty, Dulquer was always looked up to as the one who would carry the legacy of Mammootty forward. However, after a disastrous debut, things looked different. He did rise up and made an empire of his own, however, his career-best performance would undoubtedly be his role of Krishnan in Kammatipaadam. The character required a mature and layered performance, which Dulquer did with ease. Unfortunatly, he didn’t win accolades for it.

Also Read: Dalit Renaissance In Kerala’s Movie Industry: A Myth?

Nivin Pauly

After having made a smashing debut with Malarvaadi Arts Club, Nivin grew to become a household name with several innocent and chocolate boy roles. However, after a point, he started starring in films that were commercial as well as critical failures. After being in a low phase in his career, he took up the role of Akbar in Moothon that changed the game for him. The painful transformation of Akbar, both mentally and physically, is depicted so brilliantly by Nivin. He rightfully won a Special Mention at the Kerala State Film Awards 2019. Akbar is undoubtedly Nivin’s most mature and nuanced acting performance, which has served as a benchmark for his future acting ventures. 

Also read: Mollywood Films That Defined The Decade

Tovino Thomas

Though he made his debut in 2012, he became a noticeable artist only after his performance in Appu in Ennu Ninte Moideen. The role was a turning point in his career as an actor, and he played it with such efficiency. I personally feel that Tovino’s performance as Appu is his career’s finest, though many may argue it to be Shaji from Kala or Mathan from Mayaanadhi. The role of Appu required a touch of selflessness and intensity, which Tovino lends aptly.

Fahadh Faasil

We all know Fahadh as the actor who acts with his eyes. He is an artist who has the special ability to completely transform into the character he is assigned. The one time I was absolutely mind blown by his mental transformation into a character was while watching Trance. The film is an out and out display of Fahadh Faasil. He was so bloody brilliant in each and every scene that this performance of his is undoubtedly one of the finest acting performances I have seen in my entire life. 

Also Read: What Trance Teaches Us About Kerala’s Cult Following

Asif Ali

If there is any actor who has built a huge fan following because of his talent and his relatable script selections, it is none other than Asif Ali. He is an artist who has done roles that are relatable to today’s youth. However, in 2019, he decided to step out of his comfort zone. He performs the role of Sleevachan in Kettiyolaanu Ente Malakha, which also happens to become his career-best acting performance. The matured manner of displaying expressions, apt voice modulations and brilliant transformation into the character makes Sleevachan Asif’s amazing.

Rajisha Vijayan

Winning a State Award for Best Actress is a major feat and winning it for your debut film just tells us how much talent an individual possesses. Rajisha Vijayan is one such artist to achieve this feat. She’s definitely one of Mollywood’s youth sensations. If I have to pick one performance of hers, which could be stated as her career-best, it would be June Sara Joy in June. Playing a character, which travels through a timeframe of teenage to young adult is a difficult task. However, with the raw talent and skills Rajisha possess, she made the process look easy and delivered a stunning performance.

Sunny Wayne

After making his debut alongside Dulquer Salmaan, Sunny found his journey to prominence a bit tough. He carefully selected films and roles that could enhance his position in the industry. Known for his sidekick and comical lead roles, Sunny’s career-best performance came from his only villain role in Kayamkulam Kochunni, as Keshava Kurup. The body transformation, mannerisms, looks, intensity and dialogue delivery of Sunny Wayne in the film was spot-on. Would you agree that he is one of Mollywood’s youth sensations?


Who can ever forget the naive Susheela from the Nivin Pauly starrer1983? Though Srinda was in the industry for quite some time, she became a noticeable face after the portrayal of Susheela. With each of her performances, she proved to the viewers that she is a talented and capable artist who can pull off any role assigned to her, be it comedy, emotional or a role that demands her to be extremely immersed into the character. With her performance as Suma in Kuruthi, she stunned all viewers. I personally feel that Suma is Srinda’s career-best performance. The role requires her to lend a sense of subtlety and nuance. She was efficient in doing the same, thereby giving a convincing and effective performance.

Also Read: Underrated Mollywood Actors Who Have Great Potential

Aishwarya Lekshmi

Touted to be a lucky charm for superhit films, Aishwarya Lekshmi had quite a dream run for her first five projects. Following that, her acting mojo went downhill. From her performances so far, if I have to pick her career-best, I would say her performance in Varathan as Priya. Sure, she did justice to Aparna in Mayaanadhi, but for me, it was definitely Priya. It isn’t an easy task to portray emotional transitions, but Aishwarya does it with utmost ease and makes the viewers connect with her feelings. Also, her role of Sneha in Kaanekkaane is possibly a starter for the great comeback.

Nimisha Sajayan

After making a stunning debut in Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum, Nimisha became an artist who tasted success with each of her ventures. She rose to become one of the most sought after and highly talented actresses the Malayalam film industry currently has. Just like Fahadh, she too has given splendid performances in each of her films and picking one performance of hers which could be her career-best is a difficult task.

Her role as Roselyn in Malik stunned me as a viewer. She had to perform an aged and young character through her mannerisms and dialogue delivery. Nimisha does exactly what is needed for the role. The one scene in the climax where she cries her heart out is possibly the most hard-hitting scene I have ever witnessed in a film.

There are several other actors and actresses, who are currently in their prime form and have delivered memorable performances in the past. Stay tuned for part 2 of this article. Till then, mention below your favourite performances of these artists, which you believe is their career-best performances.


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