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|| Malayalam Cinema||
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The first Malayalam film, Vigathakumaran,
which was produced in 1928 by Shri J.C. Daniel, was a silent film. The next
film, 'Marthanda Varma' was produced in 1933 by Shri B. V. Rao. In
1938 Shri S. Nottani produced the first sound film in Malayalam called
Balan. Until 1950, film production in Malayalam progressed at a very
slow place with only one film each being produced in 1940, 1941, 1948 and
1949. The first major film studio, Udaya, was set up at Alleppey in 1947. It
was followed by P. Subramaniam's Merryland at Thiruvananthapuram.
1948, Nirmala became the first Malayalam film to be made in Kerala.
The 1950s saw the production of several Malayalam films with social themes.
The first social film in Malayalam was Jeevitha Nauka released in
1951. Neela Kuyil, which was produced in 1954, dealt with the
subject of untouchability. It won the President's Silver Medal for the
second best film that year. The film Newspaper Boy produced in 1955
was another important milestone as it paved the way for serious films in
Malayalam. From the early 1960s, Malayalam film-makers began making films
based on popular novels and dramas. This trend was more visible in the late
1960s and early 1970s. Popular literary works of Thakazhi, Muttathu Varkey,
P. Kesava Dev, S.L. Puram, Thoppil Bhasi and Vaikom Muhammad Basheer were
taken up for production of Malayalam films. In 1966, the Malayalam film
Chemmeen, based on Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai's famous novel of the
same name and directed by Ramu Kariat, received the President's Gold Medal
for the best film. Other acclaimed films were Iruttinte Athmavu (1967),
scripted by M.T. Vasudevan Nair and directed by P. Bhaskaran and Olavum
Theeravum, scripted again by M.T. Vasudevan Nair and directed by P.N.
Menon. Some of the Malayalam films that won the National awards for the best
film include Chemmeen (1965), Swayamvaram (1972),
Nirmalya (1973), Chidambaram (1985), Piravai (1988)
and Kathaporushan. Children's films like My Dear Kuttichathan,
Kummatt, Manu Uncle and Kochaniyan have also won
Adoor Gopalakrishnan is one of the most renowned
directors of the Malayalam filmdom. He directed the film Swayamvaram
in 1972. Later, he made Kodiyettam, Elipathayam, Mukha Mukham,
Mathilukal, Vidheyan and Katha Purushan, which won national
and international acclaim. Aravindan was another important film director,
who started his career with the film Utharayanam. His other films
Kanjana Seetha, Thampu, Kummatti, Esthapan, Pokku Veyil and
Chidambaram also won universal recognition. M.T. Vasudevan Nair's
directorial venture Nirmalyam won national honours. Most of the
films scripted by him were masterpieces, like Vaisali, Oru Vadakkan
Veeragatha, Perumthachan and Parinayam. Among other important
film directors are Padmarajan, Bharathan, Shaji N. Karun, Sibi Malayil, K.G.
George, T.V. Chandran, K.R. Mohanan, Lenin Rajendran, Pridyadarshan, I.V.
Sasi and John Abraham. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Aravindan, Shaji, T.V. Chandran
and Jayaraj had won the National awards for the Best Director. Aravindan
made significant films like Thampu (1978) and Kanchana Sita.
The end of 1970s witnessed the emergence of "sexy cinema" in Malayalam
initiated by I.V.Sasi's Avalude Ravukal (Her Nights), and soon such
movies began to be made in substantial numbers. This trend was again revived
in 1999 in the backdrop of the dismal performance of the Malayalam cinema.
Several C-grade movies like Neelathadakathile Nizalpakshikal (Birds
in the Blue Lake), Kinnarathumbikal (Love Birds),
Kamini (Heartthrob), Nishasundarikal (Night
Beauties) and Rakkili (Night Bird) were churned out
to cater to the fantasies of the masses using non-entities as heroes and
heroines, causing dismay and frustration among the serious film-makers.
Thikkurisi Sukumaran Nair, who was a script-writer, lyricist, director
and versatile actor, was like a father figure of Malayalam films. The
important heroes who ruled over Malayalam film kingdom were Sathyan, Prem
Nazir, Raghavan, Sudheer, Vincent, Sukumaran and M.G. Soman. Some of the
popular heroes of the present day are Mohan Lal, Mammutty, Suresh Gopy,
Jayaram and Mukesh. Among the earlier notable heroines were Padmini, Madhu,
Ragini, Sheela, Sarada and Jaya Bharati. Then came Ambika, Menaka, Manisha,
Sobhana, Manju Warrier and Divya Unny. Malayalam film actors P J Antony,
Balan K Nair, Gopi Premji, Mammutty, Mohan Lal, Suresh Gopi and Balachandra
Menon have won national awards for best acting, while Sarada, Monisha and
Sobhana bagged the best actress awards.
In the initial years, the
lyricists used to write songs based on the tunes of popular Hindi and Tamil
songs. However, the arrival of popular poets like P. Bhaskaran (1950),
O.N.V. Kurup (1955), Vayalar Rama Varma (1956) and brilliant music directors
like V.Dakshinamurthy (1950), K. Raghavan (1954), G.Devarajan (1955) and
M.S. Babu Raj (1957) on the scene changed the scenario. Among the early
playback singers were Kanukara Purushothaman, K.P. Udayabhanu and A.M. Raja.
Popular female playback singers included P. Leela, Santha P.Nair, P.
Susheela and Janaki. Later on many popular singers from the Hindi and other
cinema, like Manna Dey, Talat Mehmood, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle and
S.P. Balasubramanian lent their voice to Malayalam films. Even music
directors like Naushad, Usha Khanna, Ravi Bombay and Ilaya Raja from other
states composed music for Malayalam films.
|| Introduction || Silent Movies || The Era of Talkies || The Early Films-I || || The Early Films-II || Recent Films || Star Kids
Tamil Cinema || ||
||English Films ||
|| Melody & Music || ||Parallel or New Cinema || || Regional Cinema || ||
Kannada Cinema|| ||
in nternational Arena || ||Film Censorship ||Film
Journalism || ||Film Awards || Famous Cine Personalities ||