History, mystery, murder. A conspiracy! Budding
romance, disappointment and everlasting love. Life has it all. We just have to
look around to see through people’s lives and be inspired to weave a new story.
Malayalam movies, famed for its realism, draws hugely from lives of people. This is why some of the finest movies have been prepared in this industry.
Here we present a list of 20 evergreen
Malayalam movies based on true, real life stories.
Most of the incidents were well known and highly discussed about, but it took the magical imagination of the movie makers to give it a whole new perspective, which nobody ever thought about.
1. Oru CBI Diary Kurippu (1988) is a mystery
thriller starring Mammootty in the lead as CBI DySP Sethurama Iyyer. The plot
of the movie revolves around a staged suicide case, where the victim is killed
and flung from the terrace of a building to replicate a suicide attempt, similar
to the infamous ‘Polakkulam Case’. Kerala Police used humanoid dummy experiment for the very first time to solve
this case, which is included in the movie too.Inspiration for the movie from real life does not end
here. Sethurama Iyyer’s character is based on the Radha Vinod Raju IPS who
played a pivotal role in the investigation of Polakkulam murder case.
Radha Vinod Raju IPS
2. Crime File (1999) is a movie
based on the 1992 ‘Sister Abhaya Murder Case’. This was one of the most
sensational cases solved in Kerala State. The plot of the movie revolves around
the murder of Sister Amala, found dead in the well adjoining her convent,
similar to the murder scene of Sister Abhaya.
With Suresh Gopi as the case in-charge Idamattom Palackal Easow Panickar I.P.S, the movie has strong scenes and punching dialogues from the popular actor, and was a hit at the box office.
3. Bharya (1962) starring Sathyan and Ragini was based on the Thiruvalla Ammalu Murder case. The movie was an adaptation of the novel with the same title, written by Kanam EJ, based on this case. The story binges on the over used theme of ‘love triangle’ and ‘Bharya’ is one of the pioneer movies to use the theme. Sathyan plays married man Benny, who falls for Gracy. While they try to elope, he beats up and subsequently murders his wife Leela (Ragini).
4. Lal Salam (1990) is a film that
revolves around the founding days of Communist Party in Kerala. The three main
characters are played by Mohanlal (as Sakhav Nettoor Stephen), Murali (as
Sakhav T.K Antony) and Geetha (as Sakhav Sethulakshmi). The story draws a lot
of incidents from real life, and mainly portrays the characters of Comrades
Varghese Vaidyan, T.V Thomas and K.R Gowri Amma.
5. Kamal created Celluloid (2013) which is
one of the most nicely told biopics. Prithviraj and Mamta star in this movie
which tells the story of J.C Daniel, Father of Malayalam Cinema.
J.C Daniel made the first feature film in Malayalam called ‘Vigathakumaran’, and ‘Celluloid’ takes us through the making of his film, and tell us about the first heroine of Malayalam industry, Rosy.
6. The sensational Rajan Murder case became the plot of the Malayalam feature film titled Piravi (1989). College student Raghu is taken into police custody and disappears without trace. On insistent search for their son’s whereabouts, the family stumbles upon the truth that Raghu might have been killed while torture in police custody. The story heavily leans on the case of Rajan in real life, who was allegedly taken in and killed in custody during emergency situation against Naxalism in Kerala.
7. The popular Renjith movie Thirakkatha (2008)
is a tribute to yesteryear actress Srividya. The story takes heavily from the
affair between Srividya and actor Kamal Hassan. Renjith drew stories out of
real life incidents in other actor’s life as well for the movie. The story goes
through the life of actress Malavika, her affair with popular actor Ajaya
Chandran, rendering it in an unprecedented fashion of storytelling. Prithviraj,
Anoop Menon, Priyamani play the main characters in the movie.
Maranam: Oru Flashback (1983) is a movie based on the death of actress Shobha.
The movie revolves around the struggles of an upcoming actress in the industry
and her suicide at the peak of her career, following an unsuccessful affair
with a director. This movie uses the ‘cinema inside a cinema’ technique to show
the young actress’s life. It became a controversial movie even before it was
10. Another Malayalam movie that was based on a real life story is Madrasile Mon (1982). It gets its story from ‘Karikkan Villa Murder case’. The movie stars Ravikumar, Raveendran, Mohanlal, K.P Ummer, Sheela, Thampy Kannamthanam and so on. A couple is found dead, with no trace of the murderer. The maid later gives an important statement which leads to the couple’s relative, called Madrasile Mon, who had murdered the couple for money and gold to sustain his drug trafficking business.
of God (2011) is one of the first few movies that began the trend of 'new
generation movies' in Mollywood. Though not accepted in the box office,
audience later recognized the uniqueness in the presentation of the movie.
The movie tells the story of three different set of people, who are all connected through an accident which is the opening scene. Each story gives a new perspective of the same place - Cochin. The basic idea of the story strongly resembles the Paul Muthoot Murder case.
12. Venal Odungathae is a Sanjeev
Sivan movie, which was canned for release at movie festivals. The movie stars
Salim Kumar and Seema Biswas, and other familiar faces like Siddique and
Mamukoya. The story revolves around a real life couple, who fights for the
semen of their dead son, in order to replace his memory with a child through surrogacy.
are always intrigued by the stories of Naxalism and the period of growth of
Communism in Kerala. Thalappaavu (2008) is one such rendition based on the real
life revolutionary Arikkad Varghese, and the humane police constable P. Ramachandran
Nair, who was forced to kill the Varghese in a staged encounter, and couldn't
live with the guilt.
The movie portrays revolutionary Joseph (Prithviraj) and constable Raveendran Pillai, who is later shown to come out to the media and confess his guilt, much like in the real life incident.
The movie did not do well in the box office, but garnered acclaims and awards.
14. Ente.. (2013) is a
movie by Rajesh Touchriver, which explores the uncomfortable realms of sex
trafficking, assault and vulnerability. It is a movie that will ring in the audience’s
mind long after the movie is over. Siddique and Anjali Patil play pivotal
characters. This movie draws form a real life incident sourced from Prajwala, a
rehab for sexually assaulted women based in Hyderabad.
15. Madhura Naranga (2015)
is a romcom starring Kunchako Boban and Biju Menon, with newcomer Parvathy
Ratheesh. The pivotal character are two cabbies from UAE and a girl from Sri
Lanka, who enters into their midst. The movie is based on a real incident in the
life of a UAE Malayalee, presented with least cinematic tampering.
16. Paleri Manikyam: Oru Pathirakolapathakathinte Katha (2009) is an adaptation of T.P Rajeevan’s novel of the same title. It is based on the true case of the death of a Thiyya girl Manikyam, in the village of Paleri. The case is the first recorded murder case in Kerala. The death has clear signs of murder, but the case goes cold over the years. The movie shows a detective reopen and unravel the mysteries of the case.
17. Lal Jose gave Malayali audience Achanurangaatha
Veedu (2006), an unforgettable experience for all. The story took shape
from the case proceedings of Suryanelli case, and shows the plight of a
molested girl and the torments the family goes through. The movie showcases the
true talents of actor Salim Kumar that transcends over his comic roles.
18. The real life incident of a Malayalee housemaid in Arab nation became the heart and soul of the movie Khaddama (2011) presented by Kamal. Kavya Madhavan plays the title role, who finds herself in a slavery-like life as a housemaid in Saudi Arabia. It is a whole new world for her, and trouble awaits her at every corner. She is subjected to sexual assault and battery, but finally manages to escape due to goodwill of a fellow Malayalee.
The true incidents and the sufferings of the real life character was known by all, but to see it enacted in big screen was a heart crushing experience for all.
19. Su Su Sudhi Vathmikam: This Jayasurya starrer movie is a biopic on the life of Ranjith's close friend, Sudheendran, a.k.a Sudhi.
Ninte Moideen is a Malayalam movie based on the real
life story of lovers Moideen and Kanchanamala, taking place in the 1960s in
Calicut. Theirs is one of the most endearing love stories that transcended time,
death and all other barriers. Moideen and Kanchanamala even develop their own
script to communicate their love.
Malayalam film industry has given the world some of the finest movies. Apart from the above mentioned, the list of movies from real life goes on to include movies like ‘Kulam’, ‘Amrutham Gamaya’, ‘Archana Aradhana’, ‘Kaanathaya Penkutty’, 'Dhanam', ‘Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi’, ‘Escape from Uganda’, 'Meeshmadhavan', 'Kireedam', 'Perumazhakaalam' and so on. Catch the new movies, and revisit the old ones to taste the brilliance of movie making.
7. Biju Menon - Ranjan Pramod film titled 'Rakshadhikari Baiju'
8. Pulimurugan review: "Mass movie with unbelievable action from a veteran actor !"
9. New directors who got a big start with Mammootty
10. Watch official trailer of Adithya Chopra's adult-comedy film Befikre starring Ranveer Singh