The ‘real’ sad state of Malayalam cinema

There has been a hue and cry in many blogs from Kerala about the sad state of Malayalam cinema. It is a fact that the mainstream movies being released these days are mostly junk and rejected by the audience. But is the state of Malayalam cinema too bad to cry that we are losing the hard-earned status of the best of Indian cinema? Or are we seeing only one side of the coin?

It is true that we do not have a Bharathan or Padmarajan these days who used to bridge the gap between art films and commercial films. But we should also check our attitude towards good films. How many of us who are now furious about the lack of talent in Malayalam cinema have seen Karutha Pakshikal by director Kamal? Kamal himself was so sad about the situation and remember it had one of the two super stars of the Malayalam cinema, Mammootty, in the lead role. There were lots of people complaining about scriptwriter-director Ranjith and the superhuman characters he made for superstars. But when he made a wonderful film such as Kaiyoppu, the Malayalee audience turned their back to the film (remember it had such a star cast with Mammootty and Khushbu). These movies were released primarily because there are KSFDC theatres or else it would have gone from theatres in the first week itself. Adayalangal, which has won several state awards this year, was gone from the KSFDC theatre in the first week itself (director M G Sasi had tough time finding distributors for the film) and director Jayaraj is now looking for help to release his latest film Gulmohar.

This, I say, is the sad state of Malayalam cinema. That we crib so much about the lack of good films but turns a blind eye towards them when they are released. That the film makers are not being able to release their films because there is no interest from theatre owners or distributors. That we never move from our armchairs at least to buy one ticket to see the movie and help the team who worked hard to make the film happen.

Tail piece: The maximum number of films selected for Indian Panorama this year is from Malayalam cinema which includes, Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Oru Pennum Randu Aanum, KP Kumaran’s Akashagopuram, TV Chandran’s Vilapangalkum Appuram, Priyanandanan’s Pulijanmam, MG Shasi’s Adayalangal, M Mohanan’s Kathaparayumbol and Jayaraj’s Gulmohar.

(Image courtesy: Rediff)