2021 has been a rough year for Kerala’s film industry. Owing to the surging second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in April 2021, the theatres in the state gradually shut down. While some films were pulled down from theatres, releases of other films were postponed. After almost a six month hiatus, the Kerala government permitted the reopening of theatres in the state, from October 25 with a 50% occupancy.
Following that, the business progressively headed to the path of recovery with big releases like Kurup, Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham, Janeman, and Ajagajantharam. With the beginning of 2022, filmmakers, exhibitors, and audiences very much look forward to the releases of some of the most-anticipated films.
Silverscreen India has curated a list of Malayalam films that will hit the big screens this month.
1. Super Sharanya – January 7
Starring actor Anaswara Rajan in the titular role, the film is written and directed by Girish AD. The film also features actors Arjun Ashokan, Mamitha Baiju, Nalseen K, and Gafoor. Super Sharanya’s trailer shows glimpses of college life and the friendship and rivalry among students. Previously, filmmaker Girish directed Thaneer Mathan Dhinangal (2019), a coming-of-age-film, that delves into the lives of a group of school students.
2. Meppadiyan – January 14
In an earlier conversation with Silverscreen India, Vishnu said that the film is set in Erattupetta in the Kottayam district. “It follows a common Malayali man named Jaya Krishnan, played by Unni. Meppadiyan is a script-driven film, inspired in part by true events,” he adds. The film also features actors Aju Varghese, Anju Kurian, Indrans, Major Ravi, Kalabhavan Shajohn, Shaiju Kurup, Aparna Janardhanan, and several others.
3. Salute – January 14
The Dulquer Salmaan-starrer action thriller film is directed by Rosshan Andrrews and written by Bobby and Sanjay. Essaying the role of a police officer named Aravind Karunakaran in Salute, Dulquer has also produced the film under his banner Wayfarer Films. The film also features actors Diana Penty, Manoj K Jayan, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, and Ganapathi, among several others. Salute’s music is composed by Jakes Bejoy.
4. Thuramukham – January 20
This period drama film is directed and filmed by Rajeev Ravi. Thuramukham has actors Nivin Pauly and Nimisha Sajayan in the lead roles, while Poornima Indrajith, Indrajith Sukumaran, Arjun Ashokan, and Sudev Nair, among several others, will be seen in supporting roles. Set in the backdrop of 1923 to 1957, the film revolves around the issues that happened in the Cochin Harbour at the time, mainly the imposition of the Chappa system. According to the Kerala Council for Historical Research, “The Chappa system was a labour recruitment and discipline practice based on caste-based hierarchic relationship controlled by a nexus of the port authority, shipping agents and the worksite supervisor, who was locally called Mooppan.”
5. Hridayam – January 21
Directed by Vineeth Sreenivasan, Hridyam stars actors Pranav Mohanlal, Kalyani Priyadarshan, and Darshana Rajendran, in the lead roles. The film is produced by Visakh Subramaniam and Noble Babu Thomas under the Merryland Cinemas and Big Bang Entertainments banners, respectively. Hridayam bought back the audio cassettes and audio CDs in association with Think Music, which had acquired the film’s music rights.
6. Kallan D’Souza – January 27
The comedy drama film stars Soubin Shahir, Dileesh Pothan, Surabhi Lakshmi and Hareesh Kanaran. Produced by Ramshi Ahamed in association with Sandra Thomas and Thomas Joseph Pattathanam, Kallan D’Souza is directed by debutant Jithu K Jayan.
In an earlier conversation with Silverscreen India, Jithu said that Soubin plays the titular role, while Dileesh essays a police officer. The film went on floors at the end of 2019 and was wrapped up a few weeks, before the imposition of the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. The film was completely shot in Fort Kochi over 53 days.
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7. Naaradhan – January 27
With Tovino Thomas in the lead, this political thriller film is directed by Aashiq Abu. Naaradhan is jointly produced by Santhosh Kuruvila, Rima Kallingal, and Aashiq Abu. Tovino plays the role of Chandraprakash. a news anchor. The film also features actors Anna Ben, Indrans, Renji Panicker, and Sharaf U Dheen, among several others.
8. Pyali – January 28
Pyali is produced by Sofia Varghese, daughter of late Malayalam actor NF Varghese, under the banner NF Varghese Pictures. Written and directed by the husband-and-wife duo Babita and Rinn, the film features child artists Barbiee Sharma and George Jacob in the lead roles.
In an earlier conversation with Silverscreen India, Babita said that Pyali is a drama that revolves around the bond between a sister and brother. “Barbiee plays the titular five-year-old, while Jacob plays her 14-year-old brother named Ziyah. The Kashmiri-origin siblings are orphans who live in a slum in Kerala. Despite facing many difficulties, Ziyah makes sure to do his best by his little sister. The story is about the siblings overcoming hurdles to fulfil their little desires.”