A Hand Book To A Hit Malayalam Movie : A Trend Analysis of What The Audience Love

Dp foo8373720170417 28381 1sjbtz2 By AshVenu  |  over 2 years ago

Clichés. Trends. 4 songs, 2 stunts. A romantic couple running around the rose bushes. Add a sparring family member, better be a fraught dad with a mighty mustache.

Any ardent movie lover can get worked up thinking about the pure equation most movies tend to follow.

Love it or hate it, the Malayalam spoof Chirakodinja Kinavukal has shown us all the stereotypes a Malayalam Movie can possibly have. There is a frail yet devoted lover girl, righteous lover boy, a mustached villain of a dad, a mom to faint at the faintest sounds, and a villain who turns into the good boy just before the credits roll.

These elements are invariably seen in each movie. Maybe the whole package, maybe just one or few of them.

There is no shying away from this fact, there are trends that should be followed for a fail-proof movie release. And the most disheartening (or maybe otherwise too) fact is that, such success formulas are wholly set by the audience. If some concept gets applauded by the audience, the second direct experiments with it, audience keeps applauding, and before you know it, it becomes a trend and then a norm.

 And obviously, if I am a director, I will have a safety plan and will stick onto the norms. Most of us are not brave enough to follow the ‘Road Not Taken’. For the bravehearts- well the industry needs you! Where are you?

But for the those like me who appreciate being in the safe zone, read on.

From an eagle’s view of the Malayalam Box Office these days, here are some trends that have come in and are there to stick around for quite a while. Thank me later for these hacks to help you direct a hit maker.

Father Figure

This is not a joke. Malayalee audience has taken it up to obsess over the hero’s love for his dad.
In the past decade and before, hit-makers were Mohanlal movies, and literally all of them had a Mother figure he would die for. Invariably she will misunderstand him and banish him from home for a short while.
Gone are the days. Now the Father has gained prominence. And the hero loves his dad. Take the latest hits – Jacobinte Swargarajyam and Anuraga Karikkin Vellam. The hero’s dad is the central character. Take Charlie; the protagonist’s father is closer than a soul mate. Or even take Ennu Ninte Moideen – the hero’s life’s mission is to prove a point to his dad. So, when I make a movie this year, I will definitely have a dad playing the second lead.

Hero should fall atleast once

And badly. Maybe not in a physical scuffle, but a mental trauma will also work. Forgive my disconnected approach, but most of the movies these days are following this trend. The hero falls, and takes a while to recover. And at this time, the friends are always around to encourage and pull him back on track.
Take Premam for instance. The character George’s life is wrought with falls and failures. But he bounced back each time. And we all loved him for that. Which brings us to the next trend.

Guys can be emotional, and not always a Macho

George in Premam cries- literally weeps. Abhilash of Anuraga Karikkin Vellam likes to stay in the comforts of his home, and Mahesh in Maheshinte Prathikaram needs one whole movie to build up his self confidence to confront his foe. This new trend is totally welcome. Hello to realistic portrayal of heroes.
We had seen a similar wave when Vineeth made Thattathin Marayathu. Vinod does not really know what to do with his overwhelming emotions. Yes, in my movie the hero should also feel, strongly.


Strong Female Characters

The characters that are of the fairer gender are strong at heart and supports the hero and others through thick and thin. Invariably they have a life and thought of their own, and everyone respects this. Take Sarah of Bangalore Days, Nadira Imam of Anarkali or Tessa of Charlie. Let’s make the list longer adding Kanchana of Ennu Ninte Moideen, Eli of Anuraga Karikkin Vellam and so on. They are opinioned and are living in a world set by their own rules. Gone are the days of frail and dependent heroines.


Female Oriented doesn’t spell Feminism

In the light of furious debate about acceptance of feminism, movies that portray empowerment of women, and showing that it’s not about belittling the other gender is a trend catching up among movie makers. How Old Are You set this ball rolling. And so did Ohm Shanti Oshana. Other movies ensued, like Rani Padmini, Puthiya Niyamam, Mili, Nee-na and so on.

Who said a movie needs both a hero and a heroine? Take the latest Guppy- the movie does not have a heroine. Nor is there a clear demarcation between the antagonist and the protagonist. And one of them is a child too. But that movie too follows another strong trend that movie makers cling onto these days – a focus City.



Almost all the hit movies these days tell the story of a city. They do not pick a fictional village, or a town in the middle of nowhere. There will be clear signs and posts to establish the location. This strong trend can be surprisingly stark, yet doesn’t meet the plain eyes. Take Bangalore Days – the title is a dead giveaway. Jacobinte Swargarajyam – the movie brags about its Dubai locales. Premam- anybody who has stayed in the suburbs of Alwaye can point out each and every location and symbolism of the city. This might be mainly to etch a picture in the mind of viewers, and to attract the current patriotic dwellers of these places into watching the movie. And it works.



Movies these days do not really bother about mixing a compulsory fix of music. It is made to serve the purpose- to establish scenes or events; and not as the main medium used to attract the viewers into the theatre. Thankfully this means Tata-byebye to the compulsory 4-5 songs, and having songs included just to check this box.


If all else fails, block his dates. Just cross out all the rest of the things in my list and make a movie, hit a jackpot.


This analysis should only be used as a hand-book to guide your next hit movie – and I warn you, a hand-book, not a Bible.  
Stick onto these trends and you will have an assured success*.
*Of course it is subject to market risks; please understand terms and conditions applied. ;)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The article do not reflect the views of Filmelon. Filmelon does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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