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From Swathi Thirunal To Celluloid: 5 Biopics In Malayalam Cinema!

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Biopics are not so common in Malayalam film industry like in Bollywood, where film-makers are banking on any prospective ideas to make a biopic.

Even though rare, Malayalam cinema has got some biopics to talk about. Take a look at some of the biopics in Malayalam cinema.

Swathi Thirunal (1987)

Lenin Rajendran made this film based on the life of Swathi Thirunal, the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Travancore, who was also a brilliant music composer. The film takes us through the entire life of Swathi Thirunal. Ananth Nag did the titular role in this film.

Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja (2009)

Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja written by M T Vasudevan Nair and directed by Hariharan is one of the biggest films made in Malayalam in terms of budget. The film narrated the braveness of Pazhassi Raja and his fight against the British empire. Mammootty played the titular role. Another film about Pazhassi Raja was made way back in the year 1964.

Yugapurushan (2010)

Yugapurushan, directed by R Sukumaran, narrated the life of Sree Narayana Guru. The director did put in years to make this film. Thalaivasal Vijay appeared as Sree Narayana Guru and the film also had Mammootty playing an important role in it. Another film named Sree Narayana Guru(1986) was also made based on the life of the social reformer.

Makaramanju (2011)

Makaramanju directed by Lenin Rajendran is about the life of Raja Ravi Varma, the renowned painter and artist. The film did look deeply into one of his creations in detail. Santosh Sivan performed the role of Raja Ravi Varma.

Celluloid (2012)

The film based on the life of J C Daniel, the father of Malayalam Cinema, is one of the best biopics in Malayalam. The film directed by Kamal had Prithviraj doing the role of J C Daniel. The film was a box-office success and also went on to win many awards.


The huge canvas required, big budget and the restricted market might be the reason why film-makers are hesitant to make biopics in Malayalam.

Interestingly, we have had many films like 1920, Thalappavu, Ennu Ninte Moideen etc which were based on real incidents . In fact, movies based on real life stories have found great acceptance now.

Director Kamal, who earlier made Celluloid, a biopic based on the life of J C Daniel, is all set to make another biopic in Malayalam.

The director is working on his upcoming film, which would be based on the life of renowned writer Kamala Surayya. If reports are to be believed, renowned Bollywood actress Vidya Balan has been roped in for the lead role.

Actor Murali Gopi would be seen playing an important role in this film. It is also being said the actor Prithviraj would also play an important part in this film. The script of the film is being written by the director himself.

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