There’s nothing better than having a couch potato moment watching your favourite thrillers. The best ones in this genre have the knack of keeping you on your toes and making sure you commit till the end. So, if you’ve grown fond of watching crime thrillers like Chinthamani Kolacase, Kuruthi, Drishyam, Nerariyan CBI, Forensic, and Irul, you should watch the classics that started this trend. We’re taking you back to the ‘70s and ‘80s that had a good amount of Malayalam crime thrillers. Settle in because you’re about to go on a sweaty palm, shivers down your spine, and bulged eyes kinda roller coaster ride.
C.I.D. Nazir (1971)
Helmed by Prem Nazir, the movie is all about uncovering the truth about the mysterious death of CID officer Chandran. Chandran is murdered during an ongoing investigation, making his colleagues baffled. CID officer Nazir comes to the picture to find out his murderer(s). The fact that Nazir is the protagonist should convince you to watch this epic crime thriller.
Maravil Thirivu Sookshikkuka (1972)
If the plot of Maravil Thirivu Sookshikkyka doesn’t intrigue you, we don’t know what will. Jayadevan (Prem Nazir) is a scriptwriter who is determined to find out why many deaths occur at a particular curve in a hill station. Nazir has the low-key charm of the ‘70s so consider your allegiance to him before you watch this movie.
When this movie hit the theatres, it was a mega-hit. The plot might sound a bit weird, but hey, the suspense is mind-blowing. So, here’s what the movie is about. A well-known king in Kerala Raja Vamana Varma dies of mysterious causes. After which, a bronze statue of the king ends up murdering people. Locals believe that the statue is possessed by the ghost of the king. Later on, Anthropologist Dr Menon (K.P. Ummer) uncovers this freakish mystery, leaving everyone stunned. You, too, will be mind-blown.
Puthiya Velicham (1979)
Think heist Malayalam movies, think Puthiya Velicham. Like any other heist movie, Puthiya Velicham has a mastermind, his clever scheme to win big, and of course, a lady to escape with the loot. But there’s a twist. The protagonist meets a beautiful widow. Will he lose sight of the golden egg? Or, will he save the damsel in distress? What about the lady love of his life?
Ariyappedatha Rahasyam (1981)
What happens when a family gets screwed by the family members themselves? You get Ariyappedatha Rahasyam. So in this movie, Thampy, a wayward womaniser is unaware that he has twins with a woman. The twins grow up to understand his antics and does something about it. There’s a series of mental and emotional torture sequences that can make you wonder how fucked up a family can get.
Aakrosam tells the tale of an honest-to-goodness police officer who shows a decoit the right way to live life. He even marries him off to a nice woman from a village. But, things take an unexpected turn for the decoit. The result is a fascinating story, equal parts irresistible and terrifying, but manages to keep you hooked.
John Jaffer Janardhanan (1982)
Like a bit of masala and drama in your crime thrillers? Then you should definitely watch this movie. John Jaffer Janardhanan is one of those ‘70s and ‘80s Malayalam crime thrillers that delve into the topic of religion. Three brothers raised in three different religious backgrounds join hands to hunt the people who separated them. The movie dives into the mystery at first but turns into a series of grim circumstances.
A tabla player goes missing. Sub-Inspector Jacob Eeraly investigates the case only to find out disturbing truths. The film comes with a lot of unexpected twists that will leave you wanting more.
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Do you know what’s a dime a dozen? When there’s a movie starring Mammootty and Mohanlal. Athirathram is one of those. Tharadas (Mammootty) is really angry. So angry that he wants exact revenge on Rajesh (Mohanlal). Why you may ask? So apparently, Rajesh murders Tharadas’ uncle and gets married to his ex-lover. The story does not end here. It gets even fucked up. We’re definitely not going to spoil it for you. So go ahead, and watch.
What would you do if a random corpse end up in your apartment? We would shit bricks, for sure. In Manasaryathe, the same happens and an investigation is conducted. All we can say for now is that it’s an entertaining crime thriller.
Ee Sabdam Innathe Sabdam (1985)
Three youngsters harass a couple who complain against them to the police. What unfolds later is the story of revenge, hatred, and misery. While this movie may remind you of Fahadh Faasil’s Varathan, it’s depressing and less thrilling than it. Part despair, part revenge narrative, part trauma, Ee Sabdam Innathe Sabdam is not for everyone.
Kariyila Kattu Pole (1986)
A film director’s death leads to an investigation, headed by DSP Achuthankutty. There are three main suspects. Who is the killer among them? It’ll leave you wondering, “What, who, why?” in the best way possible.
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Here’s our list of the ‘70s and ‘80s Malayalam crime thrillers you should watch. Let us know if we have missed out on any. Do comment below.