Histories and myths are getting retold as each day passes. It is only natural that these retellings find their way to the big screen. Excavated from these stories, are mythical and real superheroes of some sort. We have no way to assess their accuracy, but here’s the top 6 that we’re looking forward to in Malayalam cinema.
In ancient Valluvanad, Odiyans, who hailed from Panar, Pulayar and Choklear communities were considered professional assassins, hired by Nairs to kill members of the rival families. Being an agrarian society, most of the rivalries centered around land disputes. The Odiyans were known for their physical agility and worshiped tribal deities. It was believed that they were also into black magic.
According to folklore, the Odiyans applied an oil obtained from a slain human fetus on their ear, which gave them powers to assume forms that they desired. The stories say that they never actually changed into the forms or object they intended to be but created a sensory illusion on their prey. Odiyans would assume the shape of a bull or a cat or even a rock, lie on the route that the victim routinely used at night and prey on them.
Directed by ad filmmaker VA Shrikumar Menon, Mohanlal plays the last surviving Odiyan in the state. Made on a huge budget, Manju Warrier and Prakash Raj are also part of the cast. This thriller is scripted by Harikrishnan who won the National Award for his script for Kutty Srank. The film reportedly covers a 50-year period in a village in Palghat, Kerala, from 1950 to 2000. Increasing electrification and lighting slowly drives the Odiyans to death.
The shooting is set to begin in July. Their first look motion poster featuring a much slimmer Mohanlal in the garb of Odiyan has already grabbed eyeballs for all the right and wrong reasons.
Kunjali Marakkar IV
Kunjali III was succeeded by his nephew, the 40-year-old Mohammed Marakkar or Kunjali IV. There has been many a skirmish between his forces and the Portuguese—some won by the Portuguese, some by Kunjali’s forces now called Malabar pirates or Malabar Corsairs.
The Portuguese-Calicut treaty came into force in 1582-1587 and in 1585, a new factory was constructed in Ponnani. It was here that the estrangement between the Zamorin and the Kunjali IV started. Finally, he was beheaded by the Portuguese.
Santosh Sivan will direct Mammootty in the biopic film on Kunjali Marakkar. Scripted by Shankar Ramakrishnan and TP Rajeevan, the mega star will be essaying the role of Muhammed Marakkar—the 4th Kunjali Marakkar and the final naval chieftain of the Zamorin Naval Commander. August Cinemas will be producing this venture.
This MT Vasudevan Nair novel is a retelling of the Indian epic Mahabharata from the perspective of Bheema, the second Pandava. The story deviates from the traditional Mahabharata story as it avoids the divine elements of the ancient epic and represents the characters and events realistically.
Mohanlal will play Bheema on screen. A UAE-based Indian businessman will be producing the film, which will be India’s biggest ever motion picture. Directed by VA Shrikumar Menon, it will be produced in two parts and is scheduled to go on the floors by September 2018 for a release in early 2020. The second part will be released within 90 days of the first. The film will be shot primarily in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu and will be dubbed into major Indian languages and leading foreign languages. Randamoozham will also witness the coming together of various top-notch actors from Indian and global cinema.
The famous highwayman who lived in 19th century at Kayamkulam in Central Kerala, is said to have robbed from the rich and given to the poor. It was his impoverished childhood that resulted in an aversion to misers, moneylenders and landlords. He was betrayed by a friend and later died in jail. Ithikkara Pakki is one of his closest friends.
Directed by Rosshan Andrrews, written by Bobby-Sanjay, Nivin Pauly plays Kayamkulam Kochunni. Mohanlal plays Ithikkara Pakki in the film.
Puthumana Panicker or Chengazhi Nambiar along with Chandroth Panicker were those who were part of Mamaamkam in AD 1505.
Tovino Thomas plays Chengazhi in this multi-lingual historical drama. The film, directed and written by Sidhil Subramanian, is made with a budget of 100 Crores and will be released in different languages.
Chaaver Warrior (Mamangam)
Mamangam is a medieval festival that was celebrated every 12 years from 800 AD to 1755 AD. It's the tale of the brave warriors of Malabar. During the Mamangam festival held on the banks of Bharathapuzha in Thirunavaya, soldiers from all over the country used to come together to wage battles and combat.
This movie is about a brave leader and his loyal soldiers who were part of a Mamangam. Mammootty will be essaying the leader and the shooting has already begun in Mangalore. The film is directed by debutant Sajeev Pillai.