The year 2006 was a very remarkable for the Malayalam film industry. Some of the films that were released this year are going to be talked about for a very long time, for all the right reasons. Two films are going to be remembered for their world class and one is going to remain unforgettable for its sheer performance at the box office.
What makes 2006 especially spectacular is the fact that good films simply did fabulously well.
Thanmatra was released towards the end of the year 2005. But the audience took some time to appreciate the film and within the end of the first month of 2006, it had become a huge hit. Blessy completed the year by making another film with Mammooty. Palunka's fate will be clear only next year.
Shaji Kailash's Chintamani Kola Case turned out to be a big hit at the box office. It struck a chord with the college-crowds, though many found the ragging scenes a bit too excessive. But the director claimed that he didn't exaggerate anything. Baba Kalyani too turned out to be a big hit. Mohanlal played the role of a very down-to-earth larger-than-life cop. But Don is a film he'd love to forget. Dileep tried an image revamp. The film would have worked for any other actor, but Dileep had about a decade of image to deal with. It collapsed.
Another film that the audience threw out of the theatres was Chakkarapottan. The message is- Don't take the audience for granted.
The audience's strong hatred for half-baked films was made very obvious by its reaction to Photographer. It earns the dubious distinction of being one of the superstar's worst flops.
Madhuchandralekha turned out to be the savior that Jayaram was looking for. But even before its release, the film's heroine in Malayalam was sealed by Lanka. Suddenly, the young and beautiful actress became the most-hated name in Malayalam for her glamorous performance in the film.
Keerthichakra gave Malayalam a wonderful war-film director in Major Ravi. Achchan Urangaatha Veedu touched a very controversial topic and brought out the excellent actor in Salim Kumar.
M Padhmakumar is another director who strengthened his position in the Malayalam film industry this year. All his films starred Prithviraj and they all did well. Jayaraj tried his hands at some films. All of them flopped uniformly. 4 The People still remains his claim to fame.
As usual, this year too, dignitaries from the Malayalam film industry went to IFFi and returned feeling very angry and ill-treated.
The year's best came from Lal Jose. It is not often that a commercial film gets lauded by critics too. Classmates earned that distinction. Its repeat audience is the best proof of its quality.
The films to look forward to in 2007 would be the sequel to Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha, Inspector Garuda and Mohanlal's Sholay (this one is a Hindi film but Mohanlal's presence in the film is good enough to create curiosity for the Malayalam audience).