Out of the 121 films released in Malayalam - till Dec 1st, 83 films were directed by debutants. It’s probably the year when the highest number of new directors made their entry into Malayalam cinema. Among these there have been superlative, good, mediocre and plain forgettable films. Since it’s difficult to feature all 83 of them, we bring you our pick of the most promising debuts out of this list - The Top 5.
5)Antony Sony Sebastian (C/o Saira Banu): Two women belonging to two different worlds, find themselves pitted against each other to fight for their most valuable possessions in life. One comes with the privileges of money and power, while the other has come up the hard way, with only truth by her side. Director Antony Sony, who made the impressive short film, Moonnamidam, confidently handles his actors and situations without the hitches of a newcomer and sensitively steers the story forward, channelizing drama in right measure. With a stellar performance from Manju Warrier, who shares a crackling chemistry with her on-screen son, Shane Nigam and Amala making her comeback, C/o Saira Banu is definitely one of the nicer films of this year.
4)Rohit VS (Adventuresof Omanakuttan): One of those debuts that had the support of the humongous social media community, AOO made on a budget of 2 crores is a film helmed by a bunch of passionate young chaps. The film trails the journey of Omanakuttan, a young lad who takes up various guises to battle his dwindling sense of self-worth. And then one fine day he loses his memory. It drifts away from the conventional mode of storytelling and manages to keep you intrigued, despite the slow pacing and long running time. Asif Ali and Bhavana pitch in with fine performances.
3)Althaf Salim (Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela): Despite reservations about the manner in which a disease of such gravitas is portrayed, it’s clear that Althaf Salim is not a director to be ignored. There is a freshness to his thinking and ideating that reflects in his confident narrative style. With the right script, Althaf is capable of surprising us for sure. The film marked the re-entry of Shanti Krishna in grand style.
2)Mahesh Narayan (TakeOff): Editor-turned-director Mahesh Narayanan makes an impressive directorial debut taking up a story based on a real life incident—the rescue of 19 nurses stranded in Iraq, captive under the ISIS. With impeccable technical support and some fine performances, Take Off was a commercial and critical success and marked the entry of a promising director into our fold.
1)Soubin Shahir (Parava): One of the most awaited films of this year, Shahir doesn’t quite disappoint in his debut offering. He falls back on a terrain he is familiar with—Mattancherry, the people and the pigeons. With superlative cinematography (Little Swayamp), superb actors and Soubin’s eye for detailing the simplicity and beauty of ordinary lives, Parava is a beautiful piece of cinema. If only Soubin hadn’t fallen prey to the commercial trappings of filmmaking, his debut film would have been nothing short of spectacular.
Also made their debut:
Others who made interesting debuts include Srikant Murali with Aby, which tells the story of a boy’s (Vineeth Sreenivasan) obsession with planes.
There was Tom Emmatty who made Oru Mexican Aparatha, a communist propaganda film in the backdrop of old Maharajas college.
Ezra, a nicely shot horror thrillerby Jay K had Prithviraj battling with Jewish ghosts that surprisingly turned out to be a box office winner.
Haneef Adeni’s The Great Fatherstarring Mammootty was a stylishly packaged revenge thriller that was a winner at the BO, despite its mixed responses.
Prithviraj continues his fascination for Jews and stylised films in Jinu Abraham’s AdamJoanthat was met with mixed reviews.
The remake of Nil Battey Sannata, Phantom Praveen’s UdaharanamSujathastayed loyal to its original with Manju Warrier in fine form.
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Fullpicture is an exclusive, comprehensive, online English magazine on Malayalam cinema, put together by a team of experienced journalists who share a passion for everything about Malayalam cinema. The idea is to put out well-written and well-researched features, exclusive interviews,...