With Valentine’s Day here, couples, unfortunately, can’t make any movie plans this time due to COVID and the ‘sad/sassy singles’ (you get the pick!) are celebrating this news. Either way, we all find time to watch and re-watch romantic Malayalam movies to celebrate the occasion. Here, we have compiled a list of the most underrated romantic Malayalam movies that’ll fill you with the feeling of love, (yes, the singles too!)
Ishtam is one of those underrated romantic Malayalam movies that will forever remain a classic. Pawan (Dileep) lives with his father Krishnankutty Menon (Nedumudi Venu), occasionally remembering his mother who passed away 24 years ago. A series of hilarious incidents brings him closer to Anjana (Navya Nair). She lives with her mentor and unmarried teacher Sridevi (Jayasudha). Eventually, Pawan and Anjana decide to unite Krishnakutty Menon and Sridevi who were old star-crossed lovers. Though they put up a conflict, later it’s revealed that Sridevi teacher remained unmarried due to her love for Krishnankutty Menon during which Anjana and Pawan discover their feelings for each other. Following the plot of double love stories, this movie touched the hearts of young and old people alike for its simple message, that true love never dies.
Fun Fact: Ishtam is Navya Nair’s debut movie!
This is one of the most striking movies about love that continues to live on. The plot revolves around Professor Mathews (Mohanlal) and his ex-wife Grace (Jaya Prada) who has remarried Achutha Menon (Anupam Kher). Mathews is bedridden with Grace helping him even in the minutest of tasks. An unexpected meeting after Achuta Menon survives a stroke brings the three of them closer. Love takes various forms through this movie with Grace being the loving wife while still caring for Professor Mathews. The movie identifies companionship of love and loved ones as the main theme. As the movie concludes, Mathews and Achutha find a sense of comfort in each other while both of them are in love with Grace’s memories.
Siding along the quote ‘Love kills’, Luca is a love story that unravels itself through a murder mystery. Niharika’s (Ahaana Krishna) diary tells her love story with Luca (Tovino Thomas) whose life she changes with her love. Both of them are fighting with their inner fears and past trauma which bring them closer as they provide solace to each other. When Luca discovers that he’s fighting the last stage of cancer, the decision she takes for Luca to relieve him of his pain forms the twist of the story. Bringing in the essence of love through its songs, Luca’s talent and art set the perfect atmosphere. Ultimately Luca has a love story at its core.
Also Read: Malayalam Cinema’s Love for Virginity
June (Rajisha Vijayan) is a teen who takes us through her journey of innocent love and high school crushes. From hardly knowing your partner to your parents breaking off your relationship, it’s a relatable love story that stays with June as a sweet memory when she wades off to college. While she moves and begins dating Noel, her high school boyfriend, the complications and the immaturity of the relationship cause June to move on with someone else. The movie is a testament to the fact that your first love shouldn’t be your last if it isn’t the best for you. June’s heartbreaks teach us a thing or two about the beauty of moving on and the resilience from heartbreaks.
Ulahannan (Mohanlal) is a panchayat secretary married to Annie (Meena). He leads a dull and monotonous life as a family man. His complex friends are his only escape until his college reunion rekindles an old love following which he is a changed man. Over the course of the movie, he indulges with Julie (Neha Saxena) who continually flirts with him. The consequences and complications enable him to appreciate his wife and his role as a family man. Venukuttan (Anoop Menon), who is also a married man, is an adulterer and pays for it heavily. The plot also brings in Jini, Mohanlal’s daughter, and her supposed boyfriend, highlighting the issue of teenagers’ confusing love with infatuation. Especially relatable to married folks, as well as teenagers, the movie teaches us to count our blessings i.e. our routine life.
Tragedy and heartbreaks are inevitable parts of love. While caste and religion should not be hindrances to love, Annayum Rasoolum successfully pictures Anna (Andrea Jermiah) and Rasool (Fahadh Faasil) as victims of a society who thinks so. Rasool, a Muslim taxi driver, takes a special fondness to Anna who is a salesgirl. Their journey from strangers to friends to discovering the simple but pure love within them forms the element of the story. Running parallel to this is another love story of Ashley and Anna’s sister who become a nun in a convent post her heartbreak. The picturesque storytelling guides the audience through the pain of being in love yet not being able to unite. Though painful, the movie tells us that the death of a loved one is a no the death of love itself. Annayum Rasoolum can be added along with the idols of love whose story met a tragic end but nevertheless, the love lived on.
Anuraga Karikkin Vellam
Raghu (Biju Menon) is a short-tempered policeman who despite being married to Suma (Asha Sharath) tries to chase his ex-lover from the past only to realize that his life is very similar to his son Abhilash (Asif Ali). Abhi, whose an architect, takes his relationship with Elizabeth (Rajisha Vijayan) quite lightly and eventually breaks up with her. While Raghu works through the complications, he bonds with his son who soon regrets leaving Elizabeth. This movie shows us the importance of loving those who love us and the pain of losing a loved one, especially because we realise that we loved them a tad bit late. It also knits us into a family entertainer portraying the warmness and sweetness of family life.
Love definitely transcends looks and Thamaasha is the perfect evidence. This is a love story between a bald-headed Sreenivasan (Vinay Forrt) and an obese girl Chinnu (Chinnu Nair). What started off as a circumstantial and forced relationship eventually transforms into one of choice. Questioning the societal norms of the ‘perfect woman’ or ‘ideal relationship’ in terms of marriage, the movie poses an answer to those who body shame couples or people in general who don’t abide by society. Sreenivasan pursues many in an intent to live the typical married life and is constantly rejected due to his baldness and Chinnu cannot find a groom due to her obesity. This love story Thamaasha unites two people shunned by the same society and brings on this unusual love story which is both wholesome and heart-warming to its viewers. It acknowledges that every human being has flaws and we should embrace inner beauty.
Do we really know the people we claim to love? Arike questions the audience’s belief regarding love – ‘How do we know it is love?’. Shantanu (Dileep), Anuradha (Mamta Mohandas) and Kalpana (Samvrutha Sunil) are three close friends. The story follows Anuradha trying to bring Shantanu and Kalpana closer. While Kalpana’s parents want her to marry Sanjay, an accident spells complications which later leads to a revelation for Shantanu. The movie also tries to speak about Kalpana’s cousin who lusted for her under the pretext of love, leaving her traumatised for life. More than a love triangle, the movie contrasts the idea of love versus actually being in love.
If you analyse the movie deeply, Moothon is actually a story about love – romantic love and sibling love. The movie leaves its audience with a heavy heart. The portrayal of true love is so raw in Moothon that you actually feel for the characters. When Akbar and Ameer lay silently in a moonlit lake together, the feeling of solace engulfs within us. But the story takes a different turn with Akbar embarking on a gangsta journey. A kid enters his life, and that changes the course. Its raw, emotion-filled, and true to its roots.
Onnu Muthal Poojyam Vare
The movie introduces us to Aleena (Asha Jayaram), a widow and her four-year-old daughter Deepamol (Geethu Mohandas). Aleena refuses to let go of her memories of her late husband and abominates the idea of remarriage. However, their lives take a turn when the young girl gets attached to a “Telephone uncle” (Mohanlal) whom she comes across coincidentally while playing with her phone. The romantic endeavour between Aleena and “Telephone uncle” brings the audience a ruse that seems very comforting initially until Aleena’s hope for a better future comes to an end soon. Love cannot be bound and the movie teaches us about the consequences of love and the beauty of falling in love again.
Oru Cheru Punchiri
For true love, death is nothing but a life living on in memories. Oru Cheru Punchiri tells the beautiful love story of an older couple, a retired estate manager Krishna Kuruppu (Oduvil Unnikrishnan) in his mid-seventies and his wife Ammalukutty (Nirmala Sreenivasan) in her mid-sixties. The couple cherishes each day to the fullest, proving that age is just a number. They continually support each other while making lives better for those around them. From financially supporting their helper boy for his education to supporting their granddaughter’s relationship, they prove that true love never fades but only increases over time. They prove that the only people they need are each other, even refusing to sell their ancestral home and move in with their children to the city. Ammalukutty’s determination to continue celebrating her life after Krishna Kuruppu’s demise and cherish his memories leaves the audience teary-eyed.
These are a few of our favourite Underrated Romantic Malayalam Movies. Do you have more to add to the list? Comment now!