The psycho villain from Anjaam Pathira gave us the chills, didn’t he? The movie was a new experience for most people as the concept of psychopathy is not something Mollywood addresses often. But whether described as psychopaths or not, Malayalam cinema still has its own set of psycho heroes and psycho villains, most of them being highly underrated, presented as just a bad person or a hero who does not fear blood. It would be amusing to know that there are other such characters who we have seen throughout the years in several thriller movies. Here are a few of Mollywood’s underrated psychopaths:
Advocate Lal Krishna Viradiyar (Chinthamani Kolacase)
Yep, the hotshot criminal lawyer from the 2006 movie Chinthamani Kolacase, Lal Krishna Viradiyar. Let me be honest, I thought of Lal Krishna as a vigilante hero who does not fear bloodshed. But turns out, he is a classic example of a psychopath. Lal Krishna was traumatised in his early childhood, after witnessing a gruesome murder, with even the victim’s blood getting splattered across his face. His repressed fear and anger towards crime and criminals grow, and he becomes a criminal lawyer who efficiently manages hardened criminals’ cases and saves them, only to brutally murder them later. And special mention goes to Suresh Gopi, who nailed the role with that iconic psychopathic gleam in his eyes.
Nadiya Mether (Nadiya Kollappetta Rathri)
Another one of Suresh Gopi’s engaging crime thrillers, Nadiya Kollapetta Rathri from 2007 is said to be based on Agatha Christie’s work Elephants Can Remember. In the movie, we have twins Nadiya and Nadira. The former turns out to be the evil one. She beats up her sister, stabs her right in the skull, and creates bite marks on her to make it seem like attempted rape. Nadiya also rips off Nadira’s braces right out of her mouth, to remove the only evidence that proved which sister is which. Apart from attempting to murder her sister, Nadiya also put up an amazing act as she pretended to be Nadira who was fighting for the life of her beloved sister. She is said to be have been adversely affected after witnessing the death of her father, who was killed in an encounter with the police officer in charge, and she grew up with this repressed anger inside her. Thus, being mentally unstable from the trauma at a young age, she quickly loses all sense of humanity as the man she loves chooses her sister over her.
This character played by Ashokan is from the 1996 movie Moonilonnu, inspired by the Hollywood movie A Kiss Before Dying. Usually, such characters are presented in an exaggerated manner, but Ashokan has truly done justice to the character. Venugopal shows all characteristics of a typical psychopath – being a pathological liar who is unempathetic, remorseless and manipulative. He targets the three daughters of a wealthy businessman but murders the youngest two, one after the other when things don’t go his way. He also murders the witnesses. However, his plans fail when the third daughter finds out about his dark secrets.
Warrier (Ee Thanutha Veluppan Kalathu)
One of Mammooty’s mystery thriller movies, Ee Thanutha Veluppan Kaalathu from 1990 is about a series of murders of some prominent people which is later revealed to be the work of Warrier, a spiritual guru, who wanted to seek justice for his wife’s rape. Warrier was severely affected after witnessing his wife’s rape and was then under treatment for mental problems. He leaves for pilgrimage and returns years later, only to see that the murderers were living happily and unaffected by anything, and so he sets out to deliver karma himself. The victims are murdered in different ways but after each murder, he would stuff their mouths with coir, as a sign of revenge for what they had done to him, and also manages to manipulate people and framing others for his crime.
Thambi Aka ‘Boss’ (Ernakulam Junction)
Starring Prem Nazir, the 1971 movie Ernakulam Junction is a suspense thriller in which a mysterious group is on the hunt for Inspector Madhu, who is investigating them. The movie begins with a woman leaving a suitcase behind. The police find the severed head of a man with a symbol stamped onto his forehead in this suitcase. Throughout the movie, the masked gang leader or ‘Boss’ orders the kidnapping, torture, and murder of several people; their technique of murder being the same as that in the beginning. The forehead of the victim is stamped with the gang’s symbol and then the head is severed. Ernakulam Junction might seem like a Scooby-Doo movie now, with the climax being the much-awaited face reveal of the mysterious cruel gang leader, who turns out to be Inspector Madhu’s friend Thambi all along.
In the 1990 movie Mugham, Narendran is a villainous police inspector who goes on a killing spree, murdering three innocent women in three weeks. The case is assigned to officer Hari for investigation. Narendran’s motive is to take revenge on the men who had affairs with his wife. He says that killing them would be an easy way out for them so he wants to make them suffer by killing their wives despite them being innocent. He also puts Hari through mental turmoil by tricking him into thinking that his own wife is cheating on him. He plans to murder his wife next, but in the end, Narendran is caught red-handed.
Jayarajan is the anti-hero in the 1984 movie Uyarangalil, which tells the story of a person who kills and manipulates everyone who comes in his way. He is an assistant manager at a tea estate. He loots a huge sum of money from the estate and also woos two other employees into joining his conspiracy. When the manager of the company catches them red-handed, Jayarajan murders him and covers it up efficiently. He then continues his murder spree as more and more people come in as hindrances, all the while, pretending to be an innocent man. Jayarajan, like a typical psychopath, is shown as selfish, manipulative, remorseless, and cruel. Neither does he value love or relationships, instead, he sees it as a tool to get him closer to his goal. With his unempathetic personality, he doesn’t hesitate to wipe out anyone who stands against him.
The list can go on and even date back to the early black and white era, ranging from psycho anti-heroes to cruel-minded villains. So keep this list going in the comments section!