Campus On Screen - Timeline and Trends of Popular Malayalam Campus Movies

Dp foo8373720170417 28381 1sjbtz2 By AshVenu  |  almost 4 years ago

Campus movies become huge successes because the youth sees their own selves in the characters on screen, and for the older generation it is often a trip down the memory lane.
Malayalam movies have always had some milestone campus movies during each era, and they remain as popular movies through time.

Here is a timeline of campus movies and a simple trend analysis through the times.

1980's were an era when Malayalam movies had so many Heroes, and even more villains, with so much ‘dishum-wham’ stunts going on, the trend slowly shifted to movies that told stories of selfless friendship and loving brotherhoods. So by 1987 when Venu Nagavalli took a campus movie, it relished friendship.

Venu Nagavalli’s directorial starring Mohanlal, Sukumaran, Jagathi Sreekumar and a slew of other favorite actors, Sarvakalashala attained cult status in the 80’s. The camaraderie portrayed in the movie captured our imagination, and the characters and their lives got etched into everyone’s hearts.
Mohanlal plays Lal, a student who is taking his third Master’s Degree, reluctant to leave the college premises. He runs into an unfortunate situation and gets wrongly accused. How the campus and the people he loves save him from the accusation forms the crux of the story.

By late 1990’s other popular campus movies hit the screens. The trend in Malayalam movies shifted to capturing more realistic aspects of life. It told stories of friendship, but it also showed the cost of such relationships too.

Mazhayethum Munpe
Mammootty plays the uptight professor, Nandakumar who is victim to many mischief of a gang of students at his college. Shruthi ( played by Annie) and her gang continuously picks on him, but Shruthi eventually falls in love with him. The story takes a different turn from that point. But the vibrant campus life depicted in the movie is significantly similar to the life and activities of campuses then.


This movie is more of a romantic movie than a campus movie. But the theme revolves around the life at campus. Aarathi and Maya, played by Manju Warrier and Divya Unni, get tangled in an ugly love triangle. The best part of the movie is it takes us through the pulse of the campus during this time. Through arts fest, competitions, silly fights and hangouts, the movie shows us the life at a college through the contrasting eyes of the demure Aarathi and the effervescent Maya.

By 1999, Mollywood was entering modern mindsets, and campus stories highlighted the friendship transcending gender differences. ShahRukh Khan movies had a major influence at this time, and Mollywood kept pace witht the changes around it, giving us Niram.

Perhaps the epitome of Malayalam Campus movies, Niram is one movie that influenced a whole generation of youngsters. One of the greatest hits of all time, and the movie has a fan follow even today.
It established the concept that best friends of opposite gender make good partners in love. It changed the perspective of many people and even families at that time.
Aby and Sona are best friends and brought up almost inseparable. Aby develops feelings for Sona first but he is reluctant to open up and possibly destroy their friendship. One thing leads to another, and finally the ‘Da’ and ‘Di’ realize they are perfect for each other and unite.


Heroism was back in campus post 2000, and ragging and gang-wars in campuses were being tackled strongly. During this time movies like Nammal and Nammal Thammil showed us factions and there spite, with often a twist that connects the gangs and ultimately reconciles the differences between them.

Kamal took up this project right after Niram. This was yet again a box office hit. He introduced Jishnu, Siddharth and Bhavana through this movie.
The movie revolves around Shyam and Shivan. They are campus heroes and rag and tease Aparna at college. Aparna influences the Principal to take action against Shyam and Shivan, but the Principal discovers that they are infact a couple of affable, ambitious orphans. The movie takes a bigger twist from here.
But this movie took us away from the easy going atmosphere of campuses shown in Niram, to a very dynamic and happening one in Nammal. It is vibrant and alive with action and a bit of adventure.


By 2005- 2009 campus life meant everything modern and flashy. The word ‘uber-awesome’ was often used to describe youngsters. So we had Chocolate, Puthiya Mukham and other movies setting the stage for campus heroes of a different kind. But a movie that took us back in time was Classmates, and this movie made re-unions indispensable and the trend continues even today.

Classmates is a cult movie in many aspects. This movie made it a norm for alumni to meet up often and arrange grand re-unions.
This movie transports us back in time to the class of 1991. A group of classmates meet for a reunion and here some old scores are settled, unrequited love is realized and some old, broken bonds are mended.
The movie is taken by Lal Jose and depicts a story of love and friendship, amidst the backdrop of strong Political alliances. When released in 2006, the campus life shown in the movie was like a time travel for the new generation and a wave of nostalgia for the older generation.

This is a pure campus entertainer. A popular girl’s college gets a new male admission, and what ensues is utter chaos but truckloads of fun. This movie is clearly a transition into the new generation college lives.
Shyam enters the college with a bored mindset but soon discovers that the world of Women’s College is far more competitive that he imagined. He is initially harassed, but later befriended by the gang of Sarah and friends. The cast is everyone we love. The movie did not become a cult, but the idea of a single male in an all women’s college became a novelty.


Puthiya Mukham
This Prithviraj starrer introduces us into the life at a typical Engineering College of this time. There is ragging, talent, affairs, heroism, stunts. Kichu played by Prithviraj and Anjana, played by Priyamani develop a friendship which her fiancé suspects as an affair. Kichu is attacked by the senior Sudhi, which was Sudhi’s way of telling Kichu to stay away from Anjana. But this mentally breaks Kichu, but later comes back in all his might to fight and gain his rightful place in the campus.


By 2011 we were given Seniors and Doctor Love. The movie Seniors revolves around friendship, heroism and a secret motive to uncover an old crime. The movie, sadly, looks like a re-imagined version of Sarvakalashala.

This is a fairly popular movie, where four friends come back to their alma mater and enroll as students. They become the heroes at campus, but clearly some issue is following them around. This movie kind – of contrasts between the college goers of 2011 and the Seniors who are desperately trying to fit in. Though they seem to be managing well (even better than most of the youngsters at campus) we can clearly see the contrast while following the plot.


By 2015 and 2016, we have a slew of movies that enliven campuses on screen. With maximum care to maintain originality, these movies really take a slice off the campus, making them easily relatable. Movies like Adi Kapyaare Kootamani and Aanandam became hugely popular due to this factor.

Cut to the present Engineering Colleges. This movie has a brief time spent on the campus shooting, because the class from the college goes on an Industrial Visit. The trip turns out into a one of self discovery and friendship.
The highlight is, in a very beautiful manner, director Ganesh Raj has portrayed the typical college students these days, with all their fun and frolics.


Ore Mugham
This is a directorial debut of Sajith Jagadnandan, and slated for release on 18th November, 2016. Dhyan Sreenivasan plays the male lead, for a campus story set in the 1980’s. The film was shot in Sree Keralavarma College in Trissur, and Aju Varghese, Prayaga Martin, Gayathri Suresh, Jewel Mary, Abhirami and so on play significant roles.


The next generation of actors is truly here. With all the stars’ kids growing up to be stars themselves, Kalidas Jayaram will re-enter Mollywood as a hero through this campus movie. This is the next directorial of Abrid Shine after Action Hero Biju. The shooting is mostly located in Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam and actors like Kunchcko Boban, Meera Jasmin are expected to play significant roles.
Kalidas has already made his entrance as hero in Tamil Industry through Oru Pakka Kathai and Meenkuzhambum Manpaanayum. Now it’s a wait for Poomaram to bloom.


Oru Mexican Aparatha
The wait is on for the Tovino and Roopesh Peethambaran starrer, Oru Mexican Aparatha. The movie is set in Maharaja's College in the 1970's. It portrays the story of how Students Federation of India (SFI) was established in the institute. Roopesh plays Tovino's rival, and head of Kerala Students Union (KSU). Roopesh, who had appeared as a child artist in 'Sphadikam', comes with a body transformation in the movie.
The movie is directed by Tom Emmatty and scripted by Jude Anthony Joseph.

Sakhavu is the new movie starring Nivin Pauly, and directed by Siddhartha Siva. It is slated for a Vishu release or by next year March.
The shooting locales have been spread over Trissur Medical College, Kottayam and final phase to be located at Peerumedu.
Nivin Pauly plays Krishnakumar, and as the title suggests, he plays a young political activist. 
An unfortunate news, that the shooting has come to a halt due to the recent currency issues, are making rounds in the internet.
We just hope it picks up pace and be ready for its Vishu release.

Upcoming Dulquer Salmaan Movie
The new Dulquer Salmaan movie getting ready to hit the silver screen soon is directed by Amal Neerad. News has made its round, claiming that its titled Sakha, but there has been no official confirmation yet. The shooting locations are spread over Kottayam and the U.S.. Dulquer Salmaan comes in the role of typical Kottayam Achaayan named Aji Mathew, who is a left supporter. A first look poster shows him in a handsome rugged get-up. Shibin Francis pens the script for the movie, and it is claimed to be a story revolving around comedy and romance, a shift from action oriented movies that Dulquer Salmaan is part of off-late. Newcomer Kartika Muraleedharan plays the female lead. The movie is expecting a February release.

Today's Highlights 

1. Prithviraj and Manju Warrier in Venu's 'Gabriyelum Maalakhamaarum'

2. Watch first video song from Aamir Khan starrer Dangal

3. Watch Nivin Pauly's intro song from Aanandam

4. When Movies Of Similar Theme Created Wonders!

5. Check out the official teaser of Prithviraj Sukumaran starrer Horror thriller Ezra !

6. The Malayalam film director who could be considered as the face of 'Versatility'

7. Sunny Wayne - Midhun Manuel Thomas team up again for Alamara !

8. Watch Just Go To Hell Dil video song from Shah Rukh Khan's 'Dear Zindagi'

9. Watch official trailer of Dyan Sreenivasan starrer Ore Mukham !

10. Check out the teaser of Bobby Simha starrer Paambu Sattai !

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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