Out of comfort zone: 7 films you won't believe were made by these famous Malayalam directors

Most directors find a genre that works for them and stick to it - here are a few times they broke out of the comfort zone.
Out of comfort zone: 7 films you won't believe were made by these famous Malayalam directors
Out of comfort zone: 7 films you won't believe were made by these famous Malayalam directors
Written by:

Some call it forte, some call it niche, some call it a cliche and still others call it simply stereotypical.

The truth is critics and industry professionals alike are in a scramble to identify and label the genre that each director is going to take by storm and own for the rest of their life. Some of them come, conquer and just get stuck to it, others - at various points in their career - have experimented with genres and styles of cinema.

Here we list some surprises (and some shocks) delivered to the unsuspecting moviegoer by some of the otherwise genre-bound filmmakers.

Shaji Kailas (Dr. Pasupathy): It’s the kind of film and milieu where you would instinctively expect a Sreenivasan or a Sathyan Anthikad on the director’s list.

It ticks all the Anthikad boxes—a village political satire, rustic humour, naïve villagers, no super heroes and a host of indigenous little characters. But then we see the credits rolling –there is Shaji Kailas directing it and what more, his buddy writer Renji Panicker scripting it.

This was the pre-Thalasthanam days, when he hadn’t yet discovered the possibilities of swashbuckling political thrillers, the lip-smacking monologues and most importantly the marketability of the moustache twirling alpha male.

Shaji Kailas (Kilukkampetti): Who would have thought a man obsessed with Jagannathan and Induchoodan and their starstruck heroines would spin a tale about an ambitious single mom and a hero who is madly in love with her?

A successful architect who is so smitten by a lovely heroine that he is even prepared to act as a maid to win her over. It’s ridiculously anti-Shaji Kailas—a hero who doesn’t rough up baddies, who doesn’t mouth blithe patronising punchlines and mostly importantly, a hero who is as real as you and me. A heroine who gets equal or more screen space than hero. Not to forget a cute-as-a-button Baby Shamili serving as the glue between lovers.

Sathyan Anthikad (Pingami): A revenge story that would have been safe in the hands of an action thriller expert like Shaji Kailas; not the sombre Anthikad who can’t even say boo to a goose.

But then, he does shock the wits out of you when he winningly paces the story, with intrigue, a smart hero and a diabolic green-eyed villain. He even pushes himself to lend an alpha male bravado to Mohanlal—remember this is the same guy who is often called the middle-class man’s messiah.

Sibi Malayil (Ustaad): In the company of Lohithadas, Sibi Malayil always strove to pitch in family tales, of broken homes and relationships or warring dads and sons and siblings. Except maybe for the investigative thriller August 1 scripted by SN Swamy—that was also contradictory to the cinematic style of Sibi.

But what he does in Ustaad belies his 2-decade long career graph—the tale of a larger-than-life don who was a loving brother by the day. Interestingly it also looked like a rehearsal to Mohanlal’s much-feted alpha male roles later. Narasimham came a year later.

Sibi seemed shaky right from the start—it was an unfamiliar terrain and the maker couldn’t really capitalise on Ranjith’s script.

IV Sasi (Kanamarayathu): A full-bodied Mills & Boon, scripted by Padmarajan and directed by IV Sasi, gave a completely new connotation to the word romance. It is the story of love—compassionate, naïve and unspoken—between the brooding, tall, dark and handsome business tycoon, Roy (Mammootty) and the waiflike convent-bred Shirley (Shobana).

I V Sasi? Come again? The man who is known for his raw and blunt take on love and lust, the truth behind dysfunctional families, infidelity, greed in politics and the realistic village tales.

So, it's unthinkable that he took a mild-as-milk love story and brought in a divinity and purity to the romance.

Amal Neerad (Kullante Bharya): Strategically placed slow motion scenes, stylishly shot action stunts, a brooding, unbeatable superhero and a wafer-thin script. Usually, this is the deal.

But then Amal Neerad goes and makes this—a heart-warming love story of a dwarf and his pretty wife. Not only does it stand in stark contrast to his cinematic style, he stays true to Unni R’s script and makes us feel for the little man—one of those rare instances when substance overpowered style.

Ranjith (Rock N’ Roll): Ranjith trying to be cool and hip and failing miserably at it. Sure, there are the staple Ranjith-isms—alpha male hero, subservient heroine and well the whole trip, you know?

Maybe it’s the superficiality in Chandramouli’s characterisation that proved to be the director’s undoing. Neither was it aesthetically alpha male (read Induchoodan, Madhavankutty and Jagannathan) nor was it a context Ranjith seemed good at handling.

Note: This article was originally published on Fullpicture.in. The News Minute has syndicated the content. You can read the original article here.

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute